- Created on Sunday, 03 December 2000 00:57
- Written by Rich Fitzmorris
Quite often I hear discussions about sheets and the quality that a particular customer might be purchasing. Sheets differ in thread count, yarn size and sewing quality, and for the purposes of this column I willdiscuss blends, not exotics like silk or nylon.
Sheets may be purchased in a mixture of blended yarns and thread counts per square inch. Blends are manufactured where the yarn in both directions are mixtures of polyester and cotton. Blends include 65/35 (65percent polyester, 35 percent cotton), 50/50 (50 percent polyester, 50 percent cotton), 80/20 (80 percent cotton, 20 percent polyester) and finally, 100 percent cotton sheets.
Today’s cotton and polyester blends dominate the market in sales because they provide the soft feel of cotton and the durability of polyester. The 50/50 blend is the most popular because it gives the buyer a sheet that lasts longer due to the overall durability of the polyester fiber, even as the cotton percentage is reduced by the laundering process.
Most often sheets are referred to as muslin or percale. Muslin sheets generally provide thread counts between 120 and 140 threads per square inch. Percale offers a higher thread count ranging from 180 to 220 threads per square inch. The density of the thread count determines how the sheet is “Typed.” A T/130 is the count per square inch of the filling and warp. The same is true for T/180 sheets that would be considered a higher grade of sheet – the yarn is woven tighter, producing more threads per square inch.
The durability of different blends can vary with the quality of the product. Typically, there will be more shrinkage with higher percentages of cotton, but the polyester portion helps reduce shrinkage. The answer to the question of which sheet to buy depends on the desired life expectancy, cost difference and preferred feel ofthe fabric.
The decision as to which quality sheet should be purchased is determined by initial cost differential, pilferage within your facility and the quality and comfort of the fabric.
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