Buyer Guide: Fabrics & Thread Count
Thread Count (TC) is at the heart of our bed linen. You’ll see it mentioned in our duvet covers, sheets, pillowcases and even our pillows! So we thought it would make sense to fill you in on exactly what thread count is all about.
What is thread count?
To understand thread count, we need to look at how fabrics are made. To weave a piece of material, warp (vertical) )threads and weft (horizontal) threads are crossed over and under each other. Thread count is the number of threads within a one inch area of woven fabric. More fine threads can fit into an inch than coarse, large threads, which is why generally, high thread count fabric is softer and more supple.
So, high thread count = high quality?
Not necessarily. Although a high thread count is a reasonably good indicator of the grade of the fabric, it is not a guaranteed way of determining the quality. A high thread count is irrelevant if the yarn that has been used for weaving is not of a high standard. Some manufacturers twist their yarns for weaving, essentially doubling the thread count without actually improving the quality of the fabric. We only use high quality, non-twisted Egyptian cotton strands in our products for an exceptionally luxurious finish.
What makes Egyptian cotton special?
Well, where do we start? Egyptian cotton has an outstanding reputation for creating the best cotton fabrics in the world. A number of factors contribute to this fantastic title, from the way that it naturally forms, to the techniques that are used in the construction of the fabrics.
Long Staples Cotton plants vary considerably depending on what type of plant it is and where in the world they are grown. Cotton grown in Egypt, on the Nile bank, has exceptionally long staples (fibres) that are incredibly strong. Short fibres mean that the threads are more easily broken whereas long staples produce a much stronger yarn, less prone to splitting. If Egyptian cotton is looked after properly, it can last for decades!
Fine Strands To create our Egyptian cotton bedding, the cotton fibres are washed and combed to remove any impurities and short strands, leaving only the fine, long strands. The threads are then woven using either plain weave or sateen weave techniques to create a fabric. Because of the fine threads, a large number of strands can be woven within a small area, resulting in a high thread count and a fabric that is resistant to dust mites.
Breathability These anti-dust mite properties, combined with the natural breathability of cotton, make Egyptian cotton an excellent choice for allergy and asthma sufferers. Egyptian cotton bedding is also favoured by those who tend to overheat during the night as the cotton is highly absorbant and stays cool.
Ever Increasing Softness Finally, cotton is unique in the fact that it gets softer with every single wash. When new, Egyptian cotton bed linen is very crisp, with a subtle shine to it. Every time it is washed (it’s machine washable too!), it gets silkier and smoother, so it only gets better with age. Plus, as we mentioned earlier, if looked after carefully, it can last for many years to come.
Egyptian Cotton Care You should try to rotate your bedding (so that the same spots are not being worn every week), wash it at a low temperature like 40°C if possible (without fabric softener or towels and clothing as these can cause friction and piling) and preferably hang your bed linen on the line to dry (if this is not possible, tumble dry on the lowest temperature setting). Taking these steps will ensure that your Egyptian cotton bedding will last.
Puzzled by Percale? - Weave Types
The fabric used for our bed linen is made by weaving the long strands of Egyptian cotton to create a soft yet sturdy fabric. For easy-to-use style, we often opt for plain weaves but sometimes (in the case of our 330 thread count range) we utilise different weaving techniques for a subtle pattern.
Plain Weave is a very simple weave, and is used to form Percale fabric (plain weave fabric with a thread count of 200 or more). Fabric made using this technique is formed by passing weft (horizontal) threads over and under warp (vertical) threads to form a tightly-woven material. This dense weave of threads creates a fabric that is light and airy yet too thick for dust mites to easily infiltrate the fabric. Our 200, 400 and 1000 TC bed linen is made from plain weave fabric.
Satin Weave is used to create satin-touch fabrics. Like plain weave, weft threads are passed over and under warp threads, but instead of an even distribution of one weave up and one weave down, weft threads are passed over more warp threads before being passed under to ‘lock’ the thread in. This creates a material that is much softer to the touch and has a glossy appearance. Our 330 TC bed linen is made from satin weave fabric.
Our High Thread Count Range
Our bed linen is available in 200, 330, 400 and 1000 TC, so you can find the best option for you depending on your budget and personal preferences.
Generally speaking, the higher the thread count, the more delicate the fabric, which means that 1000 TC bedding will be less durable than that with a thread count of 200. However, for the luxury of sleeping in smooth Egyptian cotton, the incredible softness will more than make up for any extra work that you may have to put in to care for your high thread count bed linen.
If you need Egyptian cotton bedding that is soft and airy but doesn’t lighten your wallet, our 200 thread count range is perfect. Available in a huge range of colours, this bedding is ideal if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to experiment with a new look in your bedroom.
For a luxurious feel and appearance, our 330 thread count bed linen range has a sumptuous satin stripe pattern woven within the fabric. Available in eight classic colours for a look that will never go out of style.
This mid-range bedding has the best of both worlds. With an opulent finish, this silky smooth fabric has a beautifully soft feel while being durable and practical. In a choice of four muted, natural hues, this organic bed linen is perfect for those with sensitive skin.
The best of the best, our 1000 thread count bed linen is crafted from a densely woven Egyptian cotton fabric for a crisp, smooth touch. This understated style is the epitome of timeless luxury.