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Is THREAD COUNT important in downproof fabrics?
Placing reliance on thread count as an indicator of the downproof quality of fabric is a mistake. What is important is the type and size of yarn, the density with which it is woven (which is a different issue than thread count), and the specialized finishing techniques needed to insure the fabric's downproof qualities.
We use several different types of fabrics on our comforters. Most of the down products shown on this site are made from fabric woven by various European mills, many of which are still family owned, and that have been weaving downproof fabrics for over a century. These fabrics offer the ideal combination of downproof qualities, strength and durability, and fine hand. Their downproof character is derived from the fact that they combine the appropriate size yarn necessary to provide durability over years of use with a dense weave.
While our thread counts range generally from 226 to over 400, we do not think that consumers should focus on this issue. In our years in business we have seen high thread count fabrics woven by less experienced mills, or with inadequate quality control or finishing process, that have leaked down excessively. Our experience is that thread counts under 300 actually provide the best combination of durability, absorbency, performance, and feel. Fabric can be woven densely at 226 threads, or at 400 threads. But in order to weave more threads per inch, each yarn has to have a smaller diameter. This results in a cloth that is too fine and delicate for the heavy use that pillows and comforters take at night. The fabric must be durable enough to hold down and feathers, to hold the stitching over many years of "tossing and turning" and to withstand exposure to perspiration. Indeed, the weave in our 226 thread count cambric is actually "tighter" than most fabrics that are advertised at twice the thread count; it's just that the yarns are of the optimum size and density.
Additionally, the fabric is calendered in the finishing process by being put under tremendous pressure and heat to assure complete downproofness and fine touch.
The thread count on the pillows ranges from 226 to a 280 thread count twill, and we do match the weave to the relative percentage of down and feather blend being used. Every blend of fill requires a different fabric. We would never suggest making a pillow out of fabric above 300 threads per inch.
All of our pillows, and all of our comforters made from German or European fabric, carry our Confidence in Textiles guarantee that they have been produced according to strict European environmental standards, with no heavy metals such as Chromium, or other harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde or chlorine.
We would be glad to send a swatch of fabric to you for your inspection.