Busting the myths about thread count

If you've reached that stage in life where you recognise the importance of creating a sanctuary in which to sleep, you will no doubt, have also pondered the question about thread count when choosing sheets. Now don't get me wrong, thread count is important but it's not the single most important factor when buying bedding and can actually be misleading.

Thread count is literally the number of threads (both warp and weft) in a square inch of cotton fabric, so the finer the thread the higher the thread count ,which in turn leads to a softer, higher quality fabric. But (and here's the twist - literally) this is not always the case. High quality cotton thread comes from cotton plants which have fibres known as staples. Egyptian cotton is a long staple cotton plant and is renowned for producing a very fine, strong thread and regarded by many as the king of cotton but even with such high quality thread, it's very difficult to achieve a thread count higher than 600 using single ply. In order to achieve higher thread counts some manufacturers use multi ply threads which can be made from lower grade cotton and as a result won't necessarily give the same soft feel or durability of the single ply. So when looking at thread counts remember that they're not all created equal, a 200TC Egyptian Cotton sheet can be vastly superior in quality to a 600TC low grade cotton sheet.

The fabric finish is also very important when choosing cotton bedding; the superfine cotton that feels like silk will have been made using mercerised thread, where all loose fibres have been burned off to give a wonderfully smooth feel to the fabric, whereas cheaper, inferior cotton will not have undergone the same finish and the result is a rougher feel and fabric that pills readily.

Finally the weave needs to be taken into account when considering that all important question, sleeping temperature. The higher the thread count the thicker the fabric will feel and a sateen weave, which gives a shiny, silky texture, is believed to feel warmer than a Percale weave, which is prized for being cool and crisp as well as silky smooth. So if you're a Duvet flapper or a Pillow spinner my advice is to go for a high quality Egyptian Percale Cotton and the Malaika Plisse range is a perfect example of this, it's super stylish and wonderfully cool to sleep in.

Sweet dreams dear reader!


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