Q&A

Q?

The Fabric Spin Cycle

A.

As you'd expect, "thread count" generally refers to the number of threads on a piece of cotton sheeting. It's a label often used to up sell expensive sheets, because most of us have been led to think a higher thread count means better quality fabric.

The size of the area used to measure thread count varies by country and manufacturer - some use inches, others centimetres. There's no industry standard, and manufacturers don't have to tell you how they've counted those tiny fibres. So thread count alone isn't a reliable buying guide.

Q?

Preparation Counts

A.

Fabric softness depends a lot on how the cotton threads are spun or treated before they're turned into sheets. If coarser threads are used in weaving, a high thread count bed sheet won't feel much different to one with a lower thread count.

Q?

Quality Sheet Types

A.

Egyptian cotton sheets are made from a species of cotton known for its quality. This type of cotton makes fabric that's luxurious and durable, lasting decades with the right care.

Sateen is a type of fabric made from pre-treated cotton using a satin weaving style. You'll generally find these sheets are soft and luxurious, but can pill and wrinkle more than Egyptian cotton.

Percale is a closely woven fabric that's durable, smooth and crisp. Percale weave is often used in bed covers and sheets with complicated patterns.

Q?

Sheets

A.

Not all bed sheets are labeled with their GSM. This is because a lot of sheets are made to be thin, silky and cool. When it comes to cold climates, flannelette is the fabric of choice, and thicker GSM will give you a warmer, snuglier bed sheet. For the sweetspot, look for flannelette between the 150 to 200GSM range.

Q?

Bath Mats

A.

Bath mats can be made think, with a GSM comparable to a heavy weight towel, or at an exceptional thickness in the thousands. The thickness you choose is a matter of taste and choice. A thinner mat dries fast, whereas a thicker mat is more absorbent and protects you from the cold floor!

Q?

Towels

A.

Bath towels range from anywhere between 300GSM to 900GSM. Generally speaking, and as long as they're made from top quality material (like ours are), thicker towels are more absorbent. They also feel heavier and softer, making them more luxurious.

A lightweight towel may serve a useful purpose because it dries quickly. Towels like these can be used for taking out with you or going to be beach. But if you want a beautiful towel to spruce-up your bathroom, be sure to go for the higher ranges. 600GSM towels feel exceptionally soft, and with anything above that, it's almost impossible to notice the difference!

Q?

What is GSM?

A.

GSM is a term used to talk about the weight of material. It stands for grams per square meter and is often used to talk about products like towels, mats and flannelette sheets. But is thicker really better? Here's how to know what GSM to choose.

Q?

Why some products don’t have a thread count

A.

Some of our sheets are produced on a hand loom rather than a power loom. These sheets aren't associated with a thread count and rely on the craftsmanship of the weaver to produce a beautiful product. When woven by experts, handmade bed sheets are of an exceptional quality because they avoid the rough handling of the machine. Hand spun cotton is known for its durability and absorbency.

Q?

So how to look out for staple?

A.

Egyptian cotton is a type of cotton that has longest fibres. That's why Egyptian cotton is esteemed as the strongest and softest cotton. However, different species of long staple cotton are found all over the world. At Rans, all of our bed sheets are made from long staple cotton, and we never use short staple for any of our products.

Q?

Let’s talk about cotton

A.

Thread count isn't the only thing to look out when choosing beautiful quality sheets. The length of the cotton fibres, the "staple", has a big impact on quality. Short staple cotton is low quality because its thick an breaks easily, whereas long staple cotton is sturdy and fine. You can have 400TC bedsheets made from long staple at a better quality than 800TC bedsheets made from short staple.

Q?

Count your threads

A.

When cotton or linen threads are woven to make fabric, they are threaded together lengthwise and widthwise. The thread count is how many threads in a square inch of fabric. To get the thread count you need to add both the warp (lengthwise threads) and the weft (widthwise threads). Thread count is usually abbreviated to TC.

These days, sheets can be made with a thread count of anywhere between 200 to 1200. You can get more threads in one square inch by using finer threads. This is what makes the sheets feel soft and silky. A higher thread count often means a more luxurious and better quality material.

Q?

What is thread count?

A.

There are a number of factors that go towards making sheets high quality. The type of cotton (short or long staple), where the cotton is grown and how it's woven (hand loom or powerloom) are just some factors. Let's look at thread count and what it means for sheets.


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