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Aug 9, 2008

Know Your Sheets

Remember when a sheet was just a sheet? Now adays, it's all about thread count, or so it seems. But that's just one of several factors to consider when purchasing a sheets.

Thread count. This refer to the number of vertical(warp) and horizontal( weft) threads in a square inch of fabric. Typically, the higher thread count , the softer and more lustrous the fabric.

Most people prefer a higher thread-count cotton sheet. Years ago, 180 to 200 threads count were considered the standard for a quality sheet.  Now , with advance weaving techniques, sheet produce in a higher thread counts ranging from 400 to 600 thread counts using single ply cotton yarns.

However, if you see sheet with a very high thread counts, the manufacturer maybe weaving two-ply yarn and counting the plys or individual strands, that are twisted together to make the thread. Don;t expect the same performance and durability from a sheet made with two -ply (twisted) yarns as those made the single -ply yarns.

Fiber lenght. The longer the fiber m or staple, the stronger and the softer the resulting fabric. Both egyptian and pima or supima cotton have long staples and usually identified as such.

Combed or carbed cotton. A good bet combed cotton.  Combing removes fiber that are short or dead( which appear as specks on dinished sheets). Combed yarn is stronger, softer and more lustrous and has a more even appearance.

Mercerized. The mercerization process removes irregulaties from the woven fabric, leaving its extreamly smooth and soft. Mercerization also increase the yarn luster, strenght and affinity for dye picking, resulting in improved shade brilliancy and evenness.

Anti-crease finish. This finish gives easy-care ironing properties to sheet and also improve the softness and handling after everywash without substantially affecting the sheen of the fabric.

yarn -dyed. Dyeing yarn before it is woven or knitted result in a more uniform color.