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What is the Best Thread Count and Why Don't my Egyptian Cotton Sheets or Sheet Set feel as soft as the Thread Count listed on the package? Thread Count is the number of threads per square inch in the woven fabric of your Egyptian Cotton or Pure Cotton Bedding most commonly used for Sheet Sets, Duvet Sets and other specialty Bedding made for the U.S. Bed Sizes of King, California King, Queen, Full and Twin. Are Highest Thread Counts really the best when choosing a new Egyptian Cotton Sheet Set? These are questions most companies simply don't want you to know or ask.Thread Count, and its determination, is actually one of the biggest and most confusing issues today for consumers. While Consumer Reports has done an excellent job of monitoring Bedding products and trends, certain specifics have remained unanswered.

Did you know Egyptian Cotton Sheet Set and Duvet Sets imports from other countries don't necessarily meet or uphold the same Thread Count standards as the U.S.? Are you aware that many either Falsify Thread Counts or intentionally Mislead Consumers as to the actual Thread Count of their Egyptian Cotton Bedding and products? Did you know that there is in fact a vast difference in how manufacturers are determining Thread Count for Egyptian Cotton and Pure Cotton Sheets, Duvets and Bedding? Manufacturers from many countries such as Egypt, China, Portugal, India and others are standardly using 2-ply or multiple-ply threads up to 4-ply, claiming the Thread Count of their Egyptian Cotton Sheets and Duvets to be double to quadruple what we consider to be the true value in in the U.S. And, while this may seem trivial on the surface level, the impact is substantial in the quality of product you're receiving. Rather than using one single-ply, Long Yarn Egyptian Cotton or Pure Cotton fiber of excellence, the cheapest fibers are instead twisted together to create a longer "thread."

You may even be surprised to learn that nearly all sets from other countries, and a significant number of domestic sets from smaller domestic "mills" utilize this practice in their manufacturing. This is the reason that a multitude of supposedly "high thread count" sets have appeared at such extremely low prices-the manufacturing cost involved is very low, based on the inexpensive fibers and poor-quality manufacturing. Why do manufacturers utilize these methods, and why is their such an increase in Inflated or even False Thread Counts for Egyptian Cotton Sheets and Cotton Bedding? The answer is quite simple: it all amounts to lower production costs.

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So what does this mean to you as a consumer? For starters, it means that your new set you thought was , say, "1000" TC is most likely truly only 250TC to 500TC. Worse yet, it will most likely feel and wear like lesser quality than a domestic 180TC set. "But why?," you will probably want to know. "you just said the lowest true thread count my new set could be is 250TC-so is must be better than a standard 180TC set." Well, we're sorry to say but that's unfortunately not the case, and here's why: in addition to the actual thread count, other key components include quality of manufacture and also length and quality of the actual fiber.

Twisting causes a compromised base resulting in weaker weave, a rougher surface and far less longevity. Most large or national manufacturers use single yarns and, although the thread counts typically stay in the 180-250 range, the single-ply threads used are going to last longer than two threads twisted or tied together. Even though the actual thread count may be lower, use of single yarns typically means that your set is going to have a far superior feel and last much longer. 

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Odds are high that you, yourself, have purchased a multiple-ply import set, like most in the U.S. So how can these sets affect you, and is it really that bad? "I can buy 3 or 4 sets for the price of one," you might say, "isn't that better than investing in one set." It is very true that you can purchase several cheaper sets rather than investing in a good set. Unfortunately, what most consumers don't realize at the time is that frequent set replacement usually turns into loss by year's end.

An excellent set is designed to last years, while cheaper sets are usually worn through in less than 365. And, if you have any similarities to our customers we speak with daily, you've probably replaced set after set, thinking each time that you're upgrading with what you believe to be a higher thread count than your previous purchase. You may even be baffled as to why your recently-purchased set seemed to last such a short period of time, or why it began to pill after two washings. In fact, if you're like many of our new customers, this may well be the reason you're shopping for new linens right this minute.

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Egyptian Cotton is the most superior of the Cottons, the most expensive, and currently the most popular for use in Sheet Sets and Duvets. There are however different grades and lengths, and the term Egyptian Cotton on packaging can be misleading. Until recently, use of Egyptian Cotton in bedding such as Sheet Sets, Duvet Cover Sets, Comforters and Coverlets has been extremely rare due to the expensive nature of the fibers. More recently, however, much of the bedding industry has been inundated with items marked Egyptian Cotton. Manufacturers have found a way around expense, by utilizing discard grade or short yarns.

Because of this, bedding made of Egyptian Cotton no longer means that you’re necessarily purchasing a top-quality item. In fact, the majority of sheet sets are now made with Egyptian Cotton, with the bulk of which are junk. Nearly all the sets you’ll find are made of extremely short fibers. Fiber length is crucial in determining the quality and longevity of your new sheets, but a difficult factor to decipher as a consumer. These short fibers cause roughnesss, pilling or have surface balling, and result in extremely poor wear.

So how do you know the fiber length of the Egyptian Cotton sheet set or duvet set you’re purchasing? Fiber length is not typically marked or notated on the package, at least not in terms of a numerical notation. Rarely, some manufacturers will specify that their product is Long-Yarn, at least providing the consumer some insight as to fiber length. Unfortunately this is a tricky area, as "Long Yarn" means simply that the fibers used are not only longer than the norm of short fibers but the longest yarns available.

A good starting point of ruling out short fiber sets is to review the package or speak with the manufacturer about ply. Any reference to the product containing a multiple ply, such as 2-ply or 4-ply, is your immediate tip-off that the item you are reviewing is usually comprised of shorter fibers. Because ply involves twisting threads together in order to create a long fiber, you’ll logically know that the necessity of fibers being twisted together to create length means that the fibers used are fairly short.

Review the package or text carefully, as this notation can be buried in the fine print. Look for any notation that states 2-ply, which means 2 fibers have been twisted together, or 4-ply, meaning 4 fibers have been twisted together. This information is not always hidden. Some manufacturers, in fact, boldly place it in clear view on the package. With knowledge that most consumers are unaware of what ply actually refers to, some manufacturers attempt to insinuate that "bigger is better," hoping consumers will be impressed by larger numbers. Knowing full well that there is confusion surrounding the term of ply, some manufacturers believe consumers will be impressed by the bold listing of this number in phrases such as "this sheet set is woven of 4-ply yarns." Consumers in the know realize that this actually means that the 1000TC Sheet Set they're reviewing is only 250TC. For manufacturers that do state their bedding products as Long-Yarn, test their knowledge wherever possible. To review, Long-Yarn is a relative term and refers only to the yarns used being longer than short yarns. Whenever possible, talk with the manufacturer or company to inquire about fiber length.

Few manufacturers will be familiar with this information but those who are are generally capable of providing a far better bedding product. If the manufacturer is not familiar with fiber length or ply, you can be assured that the product you are receiving is most likely standard one, not amongst the top tier.

If this section has answered your question and you are departing, please take a moment to click the 'Yes' button at the bottom of this article if you have found this Guide to be helpful. Thank you.

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All textual and photographic material contained within is Copyrighted property of Venus Rising Limited, sole Intellectual Property Rights Owner. In accordance with State and Federal Copyright Infringement Laws, Venus Rising Limited will actively pursue and and prosecute Copyright Infringement by any and all parties involved.

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