By definition, thread count is simple: it’s the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric — the sum of the vertical (the “warp”) and the horizontal (the “weft”).
It seems logical for us to believe that when shopping for bedding, the higher the thread count, the nicer the sheets. After all, we’re accustomed to equate large numbers with luxury…think, carats for jewelry, horsepower for cars, etc. However, to be honest, thread count as a measure of quality seems to have started as a genius marketing idea by giving the consumer population an easy, tangible way to differentiate quality.
Thread count’s correlation to quality is not entirely false…it’s simply not the entire story. To demonstrate this, I suggest you type in 1000 thread count sheets into Amazon.com; you’ll quickly find a King size sheet set priced anywhere from $30 to $3,000. There must be more to take into account.
Instead of relying purely on thread count, we urge you to take the following important factors into consideration when purchasing your bedding.
FIBER: Let’s start at the beginning, the fiber, the very foundation of your bedding. In the US market, the most popular quality amongst consumers is cotton. This is because it has a soft feel, is easy to launder and is renowned for its natural breathability. For cotton, quality is about the length fiber and fineness of those fibers — the longer and the finer the fiber, the stronger and more elastic the yarn it creates. Home Treasures uses long staple and extra-long staple cotton, sourced from Egypt, to ensure the quality of our sheeting lasts. You can personally experience this difference by comparing the hand feel of even our 300 thread count sateen (Royal Sateen RC) to 1000 thread count sheeting found elsewhere — trust us, you won’t think about thread count the same way.
WEAVE: Your bedding is personal, so you should seek the weave that feels and looks best to you. There are two kinds of weaves that are most common. A Percale is woven with a “one over, one under” weave (also known as a “classic” weave) that gives it a crisp, cool feel with a matte finish, making it the preferred choice for warm sleepers. Most likely you have experienced Percale sheets in Hotels as they are also known to be more durable. In terms of Percales, Home Treasures has three collections — Deluxe (a 200 TC, Egyptian cotton), Perla (a 500 TC, Egyptian cotton) and N°45 (a Giza 45 Egyptian cotton, which is the rarest and finest form of cotton available…yes, please!). On the other hand, a Sateen is woven with a “three over, one under” weave that gives it a smooth feel and a subtle sheen on the side that has more threads on the surface. For those who want to be enveloped in softer, more sumptuous sheeting, sateen is the way to go. Home Treasures has a variety of sateen options available as well, so it’s about the weight and price point that’s best for you — Royal Sateen RC (a 300 TC, Egyptian cotton), Princess (a 600 TC, Egyptian cotton), Villa (a 700 TC, Egyptian cotton) and Plush 1000 (a 1000 TC, Egyptian cotton).
ORIGIN: The truth is, Europeans do it better. When it comes to the origin of your sheets, we recommend looking at those sourced from Italy, France and Portugal, as these cultures have generations of experience in weaving luxury textiles. The process they use has been perfected to ensure the sheeting is woven in a way that allows it to last — the hand feel remains consistent, colors do not bleed and the fabric does not pill. Home Treasures is proud to source from the most well respected mills in Italy (see, The HT Journey). By maintaining longstanding relationships with these mills and continuing to source from the same factories for the past 30 years, we are able to keep our quality consistent.
FINISH: As appealing as it sounds to have perfectly pressed sheets, without any of the effort, we highly advise against sheets that advertise “wrinkle-free” or “shrinkage control.” Why? Well, in order to achieve these attractive features, the mills put the sheeting through additional chemical processes. When it comes to your bed, where you spend a third of your life sleeping, we hope that you would agree that you prefer to keep this a chemical free zone. Further, many of these additional chemical processes are known to wash off and result in quicker deterioration of your linens.
We understand the equation to buying quality sheets is not straight forward. It’s actually a balancing act between feel, look and price point. So, as you look to achieve that perfect balance, remember to not be distracted by all the marketing and focus on the fiber, weave, origin and finish.