Unravelling the truth about thread count
When shopping for bed linen there’s a common misconception that higher thread count means better quality. Marketers have used their persuasive powers to make us believe that sheet quality is determined purely by thread count.
So what is thread count?
Thread count is the quantity of ‘threads’ woven together within the sheet. It’s the amount of threads that run across the width and length of the sheet.
Despite what you’ve been led to believe, higher thread count doesn’t necessarily determine the quality of the sheet. You may not know, but by twisting together multiple threads, the thread count can be manipulated and increased without improving the actual quality. Similarly, it’s possible to have a lower thread count, but thicker threads, increasing the quality of the bed linen, yet maintaining a lower thread count.
Fibres and weaves
Most commonly, bed sheets are either 100% cotton or a polyester/cotton blend. The weave affects how the sheet looks, it’s durability and how it feels and the three main types of weaves are plain weaves, percale and sateen.
What should you look for when buying commercial sheets?
Hotel bed linen is in constant use and needs to endure hundreds of washes every year. You want your commercial sheets to be able to withstand day-in-day-out laundering.
Unlike retail sheets, that often have high thread counts, but thinner threads, good quality commercial linen will often have lower thread counts, between 160 to 200, but the threads themselves are thicker. This makes them stronger and more durable.
How do you know the thickness of the threads?
The thickness of the threads can be measured by weighing the sheets. You need to find out the weight of the sheet per square metre. The recommended weight for commercial sheets is between 160 – 200 grams per square metre. At National Hotel Supplies our range of commercial sheets are 160 grams per square metre.
While luxurious 100% cotton sheets are beautiful for your home, they are completely impractical in the accommodation industry. Retail sheets often weigh less than 140 grams per square metre, making them susceptible to fading, shrinking and warping when they are used in a commercial environment.
The most popular choice for commercial bed linen is a 50/50 polyester/cotton blend. It’s durable, crisp and comfortable and unlike 100% cotton, it doesn’t need ironing.
At National Hotel Supplies all our commercial sheets have been designed specifically for the hospitality industry, including high-end hotels and built to endure heavy usage. All our sheets are 180 thread percale, 160 grams per square metre, with thicker threads to survive regular commercial laundering. With a 50/50 polyester cotton blend our sheets have the longevity to survive year in and year out.