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Choosing Linens Wisely - The Importance of Thread Count

April 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 180

There are many factors to consider when choosing linens, whether they are bed linens, table linens or bath linens. Among them are quality of the stitching, the quality of the fibers used in weaving, the quality of the dyes used for color and of course, thread count. Right now, the focus is on thread count and its importance.

When a fabric is woven, the threads running the width and length of the fabric can be packed very closely to each other or be quite loose. It all depends on the desired use of the fabric and whether long use is desired. Consider cheese cloth for example. It is desirable to have the fabric very loosely woven so that it may be used for a variety of things such as filtering cooking sauces and liquids, wiping down a freshly painted or varnished surface, etc. The likelihood of reusing the fabric is low. If put in a washing machine it is unlikely it will hold its shape or even hold together. Clearly this fabric is not appropriate for long use.

On the other hand when a fabric is tightly woven it is not only very strong but since the threads are packed closely together the fabric will be smoother and will hold its shape more easily. Because the threads are closely woven there may be even some advantage to preventing stains caused by spills. The absorption rate will be a bit slower giving more time to catch the spills and wipe them away.

For bed linens, having a high thread count will give longer life to sheets, and pillow cases. There will less stretching of fabrics and when tucked in over the mattress the sheets will stay smoother. Pillow cases will feel much smoother and will wrinkle less. Further, when the tightly woven fabric has been washed several times ironing will be less needed because the fibers will be somewhat relaxed and will support each other thus minimizing the wrinkled effect.

The advantages of high thread count apply as well to table linens. Less wrinkling, smoother feel, somewhat easier to wipe away spills quickly and longer wear. In addition, the tight weave makes it easier to have a clear design whether it is a print design such as Beauville linens or Jacquard weave as in Garnier Thiebaut linens and others.

Bath toweling has an additional need for closely packed threads which are measured by weight per square meter as opposed to counting threads. The closely packed threads help to keep the looped threads that make the toweling absorbent from catching and pulling out. They are held in place much more firmly than when the weave is less firm.

All in all, it is worth the investment to buy linens with high thread count to insure long life, retain the attractiveness of the linen, have easier care and extend the enjoyment of the linens for a longer period of time.

Kathryn Severance is co-owner of Gallic Traditions, LLC an online website featuring imported European linens, cookware, tableware and housewares. Having lived in France for several years, she became familiar with the beauty of high quality products not found easily in the United States. While in France she learned to weave fabrics and make bobbin lace. Knowledge of fibers, threads and fabrics has been an important part of her learning. In addition, she expanded her cooking skills and repertoire of French cuisine. She continues to search out high quality and interesting products and make them available through her e-store at Learn more on her e-zine at

Source: EzineArticles
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