First, a basic definition: thread count is the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric. Thread count has become a popular buzz word
over the years, but very few people know that there are other more
important components that make a sheet luxurious and long-lasting, and that the thread count is really just a personal preference.
Beyond thread count: 3 Components of a Great Quality Sheet
The type of cotton. Egyptian cotton is considered to be the best in the world, due to the strength and length of its extra-long fibers.
Where the fabric is woven. Italian mills are the world's foremost experts thanks to their long history of weaving and superior technology.
The thread count. Look for a thread count higher than 200 t.c. (less than 200 t.c is called muslin), but remember, thread count is a personal preference!Thread count is important, but equally significant is where the cotton is grown and where and how it has been woven. Egyptian cotton is acknowledged to be the finest cotton in the world, just as the Italians are renowned for their long-standing tradition of weaving. The softness of your sheets depends more on the quality of the fibre - the raw materials - which is why a 220 thread-count sheet can feel softer than a 500 thread count sheet that uses an inferior grade of cotton or a twisted yarn. (The lower thread count sheet using long-stem Egyptian cotton and woven in Italy will last longer than a higher thread count sheet woven from inferior cotton.) Remember, higher thread counts can often be a mask for inferior cotton and weaving.