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Conventional wisdom says higher thread count equals higher quality sheets and a softer, more luxurious experience. It seems logical enough, doesn’t it? As with most things in life, however, it’s not quite that simple. The fact is, there are many factors that come together to determine linen quality and thread count is just one. Use the following guide to understand the relationship between thread count and the other factors that determine linen quality.

Linen Thread Count and Quality

Thread count refers to the number of threads woven into each square inch of fabric. To get a greater number of threads into the same area, the threads must be finer. This means the threads are woven together more tightly both vertically and horizontally. Higher thread count actually has more to do with how soft the fabric feels rather than the actual quality of the fabric. It means softer sheets, but it could also mean weaker fabric that will tear easily. It’s true, however, that higher quality linens typically have a higher thread count.  Luxury linens are woven with finer, stronger threads for softness and durability.  

Other Factors That Determine Linen Quality

The fact is there are many variables that come together to determine overall linen quality. The first and most telling factor is the type of cotton. There are four species of cotton grown across the globe, each having its own size and quality. In general, the longer the cotton fiber, the higher the quality. Each type of cotton is graded for quality using the following four specifications: color, debris, maturity, and mixing.

Another factor that has a significant impact on the quality of your linens is the yarn thickness. If a fabric has a high thread count but is composed of multiple short strands of fiber it will be heavy and lower quality. High-quality fabrics have a high thread count composed of single long strands of fiber. They are light and soft. Plied yarn is multiple weaker yarns weaved to form a single strong yarn. This yields a higher thread count, but a reduction in quality. Finally, the type of weave used and the fabric finish also contribute to the overall linen quality.

An Alternative for Higher Quality Linens

Maintaining an inventory of high-quality linens is often a challenge. Tracking, cleaning, storing, and repairing or replacing your linens takes time and money you may not have. Over the long haul, it makes a lot more sense for many organizations to hire a linen services company. That way, you’re able to enjoy high-quality linens without having to worry about cleaning and keeping an inventory. Instead, you are able to redirect your time, attention, and workforce to more important tasks. It also happens to save a lot of time and money over the long haul.

Wilkins Knows Quality 

While higher quality linens do typically have a higher thread count, thread count is only 1/10 of the determining factors of linen quality. For the highest quality, choose not only a higher linen thread count but consider all the other major influencing factors as well. Wilkins Linen is your Houston area source for quality linens and linen management services. Contact Us for more information on high-quality linens or to get started with linen services.


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