Someone once remarked that we spend most of our life either on our feet or on our back; therefore we should wear the best shoes and have the best bed to lie on. You’ve got the bed, now how about the bedding?
People always ask about the number of threads in the Egyptian cotton. Some ask if we have 600 thread count or even 800 threads! Does it mean anything anymore? Not unless you know the yarn count also. Look at it this way, are you better off with 200 threads of quality yarn or 1,000 threads of rubbish? A high thread count does not mean a better fabric.
A plain weave fabric with 200 single Threads of Egyptian Cotton will stand numerous repeat laundering, making it ideally suitable for hotel use. Sateen on the other hand can have 400 threads or more. This has a different construction and the number of threads in the warp is doubled to get the lovely sateen finish. However it has no more intersections and will have a shorter life span than a plain weave.
One of the finest linen weavers of Egyptian Cotton in the UK was Peter Reed Fabrics. A Reed fabric was and still is the Roll Royce of Bed linen and holds the Royal Warranty. The sheeting was supplied to the best hotels in England. The fabric is still available today but sadly after five generations, no longer woven in Lancashire. A booklet produced by the company, explains that the higher the number of interlocked threads in a given area of cloth, the greater the friction holding the threads together and consequently the stronger the cloth. Cloths made from single threads are therefore used in sheeting and will stand repeated laundering.
How do you get 800 threads in a plain fabric? I have had fabric offered from overseas suppliers with 700-800 thread count. I asked if they could explain the construction as I could only count 200 ends. That’s correct they said, but the individual threads were made up of three or sometimes four thinner threads twisted together (in other words rubbish) so, if you multiply the 200 threads that you can count by the 4 that you cannot see, then you get 800! Egyptian Cotton is famous for its ability to spin very fine and still have strength. Why then would it be necessary to twist multiple ends together? I leave this for you to guess. Unfortunately, some of the Egyptian Cotton around today will never have been anywhere near the banks of the Nile.
..oh yes, about the Bed and the shoes, I have a waterbed and prefer Grenson Moccasins!
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