Fashion Magazine

Thread Count and Ply: What They Mean

By Attireclub @attireclub

Wearing clothes made from quality materials is a very important aspect of looking your best. This is why, even as a consumer, one must understand a few essential things that define garments. This way, you can see clothes in a more nuanced light and make better decisions the next time you go shopping. One of these essential characteristics is "thread count".

Thread Count and Ply: What They Mean

Thread count is one of the basic measures to understanding the quality of your clothes. It is specific to fabrics that are woven together by threads, like cotton and is used as a measure of fabric control all over the world.

Technically, thread count means the number of threads woven together in a square inch. You count both lengthwise (warp) and widthwise (weft) threads. So 100 lengthwise threads woven with 100 widthwise threads produce a thread count of 200.

The number of threads is usually an indicator people look for when buying bed sheets - in the industry it is known that the more threads a sheet has, the softer it is. It is said that 200 is a good thread count for sheets, while 400 is already considered to be very fine. Brands who reach for the moon also go for thread counts of 1000. However, thread count is also a good way of understanding clothes, as you will be able to understand this indicator. For example, summer shirts that are extremely easy and light have a smaller thread count than a proper dress shirt, which should be very compact. As a point of reference, an average men's t-shirt has a thread count of roughly 40-50 (single-ply). In comparison, a nice men's dress shirt at some of the retailers who sell high-quality garments will start at 100-120 thread count (two-ply).

As a side note, the ply is also an important aspect of a fabric. It defines the number of yarns that are twisted together to make a single thread, or single component, of fabric. Typical fabrics range from one-ply to three-ply with the most common varieties being two-ply and single-ply. The main difference between one-ply and two-ply is the number of yarns that are twisted together to make a single thread that is then woven into the fabric. Single-ply means that one yarn is twisted together while two-ply means that two yarns are twisted together. The result of this difference is that, generally, two-ply fabrics have a tighter weave and are heavier than single-ply fabrics. Therefore, ply is an important element to consider when comparing quality of fabric. This is why, it does not mean that a fabric of 120 thread count is of higher quality than fabric of 110 thread count unless you take ply into consideration as well.

Thread Count and Ply: What They Mean

When it comes to materials such as cotton and thread count, the quality and type of your cotton will also have an effect on the way the fabrics were dyed or colored, as well as how you should wash and care for them.

Therefore, taking thread count and ply into consideration when buying clothes or bed linens and when caring for them will help you make wiser decisions and maintain your clothes better in the long run.

Fraquoh and Franchomme

P.S. We want to hear from you! Do you check thread count and ply when buying clothes? What values do you go for? Do you have a certain preference? Share your feedback, questions or thoughts in the comments below! For more articles on style, fashion tips and cultural insights, you can subscribe to Attire Club via e-mail or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

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