Thread count in crafting fabrics

NWF Thread count in crafting fabrics 2014-12-01

Ikea fabrics have for a long time had me torn between price and quality. I haven’t been able to make up my mind whether they are worth investing in or not, but today, when looking for something completely different on their website, I’ve made a discovery; they now list thread count for some of their stuff! Which led to some intreaguing googling on quilting fabrics and their weight, since we as consumers don’t speak of thread count in Finland yet. I doubt that many know what Egyptian cotton is either, but I know as per today thanks to the internetz (it’s one of those things I’ve thought of as “a very American thing to talk about” but it’s very admirable how consumers are so aware of things in general over there!).

So, what I did learn:

  • Thread count is “a measure of the coarseness or fineness of fabric. It is measured by counting the number of threads contained in one square inch of fabric or one square centimeter, including both the length (warp) and width (weft) threads. The thread count is the number of threads counted along two sides (up and across) of the square inch, added together.” (Wikipedia, see link below)
  • Good quality quilt-weight fabric should be between 68 and 78
  • Good-quality bedding is around 300-400

Just for comparison, the Ikea Alvine Örter single-bed set for 9.95€ has a count of 104, whereas Bladvass for 4.50€ is at 120, Malin Rund for 14.95€ is at 144 and Emmie Ruta for 24.95€ is at 146. It doesn’t seem like they price according to thread count yet and currently they don’t give the magic number for all their products, but this is certainly a step in the right direction. I also wish the information would turn up for the fabrics bought according to length. I would feel very bad chopping up a bed set in crafting purposes, unless I couldn’t find a lovely fabric on the bolt, and as a conclusion, I might try something out in a not-so-far future!

I definitely will return to the Wikipedia article Units of textile measurement, which is loaded with interesting information in the well-known compact format. There’s just so much to learn that I’ll have to take a break to digest this for now. I also found a couple of tangents worth pursuing another time; yarn-dyed versus printed, and the weight and composition of various threads. Oh and let’s not forget the difference between thread and yarn either… Phew.


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