What is the significance of the thread count (t/c)?
In a nutshell, the t/c is the number of threads woven into a square inch of fabric, the finer the thread, the more that can be woven into the square inch. Pure Egyptian cotton is one fabric in particular that produces a softer, finer and more supple material. The rule of thumb to always remember is that the higher the t/c, the higher the quality of the sheets / fabric.
For good quality cotton sheets you need to be looking for around the 180 t/c. A t/c that is 200 and above is considered as percale. It does not necessarily mean that the higher the t/c the better the quality, there are many other factors to take into consideration also, such as; value for money, comfort, design, type of cotton, texture and one of the most significant of features is the actual finish on the product. It is wrong to assume that the higher the t/c the better the sheets / fabric will be but, it is an important consideration when making a choice.
What is mercerised?
A textile process that chemically treats fibers to strengthen them and improve their luster and color qualities.
What is percale?
Percale, or percalcos, is a closely woven plain-weave fabric often used for bed covers. Percale has a thread count of about 200 or higher and is noticeably tighter than the standard type of weave used for bed-sheets. It has medium weight, is firm and smooth with no gloss, and warps and washes very well. It is made from both carded and combed yarns, and may be woven of various fibers, such as cotton, polyester, or various blends. Percale fabrics are made in both solid colors and printed patterns. The finish of the fabric is independent of its weave, so it can be either printed or unprinted.