Why We Stand for Thread Quality, Not Thread Count

What does thread count mean, and why doesn’t it matter?

While thread count is often used to describe quality, it’s just a measure of how many threads are in one square inch of fabric. Both the vertical threads and horizontal threads of the fabric are counted up to determine the thread count. The thinking goes: the higher the count, the thinner the threads used to make it. And this thin thread diameter alone is equated with softness. But a number can’t speak to the quality of cotton used, the type of chemicals applied to it, or the conditions under which the fabric was made. Thread count just can’t tell you the most important things you want to know about a fabric.

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What is the best thread count for sheets?

Do an online search for helpful guides to shopping for luxury bedding, and you’ll find many articles lead with trying to answer this question. From day one, we’ve prioritized our definition of quality differently. It doesn’t matter how many threads are used to make a fabric if they’re not the best threads possible. Put simply, the better the thread quality, the better your sheets. 

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What factors indicate sheet quality?

Materials: Harvesting the finest cotton and treating it right makes for better quality sheets. At Boll & Branch, we source the finest GOTS-Certified 100% organic cotton from the seed, and make sure it stays free from toxins during every step in the making of our fabrics. We ensure the purity of our products thanks to our custom-built supply chain that features 100% traceability: we have full visibility and control of our products all the way from the farm to your family home. 

Staple length: Cotton comes in short, long and extra-long fibers—or staple lengths. The difference in lengths offers a difference in quality. The longer a cotton fiber, the softer, stronger and more durable the fabric it makes. Our team scours the earth for the longest staple organic cotton we can possibly find. This cotton is so scarce, it accounts for less than 1% of available cotton in the world. 

Yarn diameter: Yarns are given a number to represent how fine or thick they are. We select the yarn diameter for each fabric to create the perfect hand feel for each product. These yarns can be used as singles, or twisted together. For each of our fabrics, we conduct countless weave trials to find the sweet spot for yarn diameter and ply.

Weave: The weave creates the experience of a fabric by bringing the characteristics of the yarn to life. Our bestselling Signature fabric’s four-over-one-under weave provides a uniquely soft, buttery hand-feel and a breathable, all-season weight. Another favorite, our Percale fabric, features a tight one-over-one-under weave for a smooth, structured experience that increases airflow and enhances the weave’s natural cooling properties.

To understand the difference these factors make to our fabrics, explore all of our Sheet Sets.

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But what is the thread count for Boll & Branch sheets?

At Boll & Branch, we believe the discussion around thread count is a distraction in the quest for quality. A better question for us to answer is: how did we master our fabrics without prioritizing this number? The answer: we’re proud of the way we make bedding better, and we love to spotlight the details that make us different. As our Founder and Head of Design, Missy Tannen, says, “When it comes to thread count, most people forget that the quality of threads is far more important than the quantity." To learn more about her journey to make the highest quality threads, read our Q&A with Missy.