Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Threads Count

We are having a lovely, summer like day.  I thought we might go from winter to summer without much in between and today gives evidence of that.  I sat outside for a while-actually lay on a lounge and dozed.  I have to make sure my skin is protected as I burn so easily but still enjoyed the sunshine.  I took Heidi for a quick walk after that.  I don't have a lot of energy today as I woke up too early.  I am going to have to put down the blinds so the sun doesn't wake me before I want.
I learnt something new today that you might find interesting.  I needed to get some information on thread count in fabric as I saw it given in a different format.  We are used to seeing a single number; 600, for example, that would be in bed sheets.  This quilting fabric was given as a multiplication: 68X68.  I guessed that the figures  represented the number of horizontal and vertical threads in, probably, a square inch.  However, if you multiplied the given numbers it didn't make sense.
A little searching gave me the correct answer.  The numbers aren't multiplied but added.  I guess the X means across but that doesn't really make sense either.  In any case, I further discovered that when the numbers are the same, it indicates that there isn't any flaws in the weave.  Quilting cotton generally starts at 60 and goes up from there.  The higher the number, the tighter the weave.  Batiks are 100.
Knowing this will help me in determining if I am getting a good quality fabric that will allow for handling during the quilting process and stay intact after washing.
A weave that is too tight such as in bed sheets cause problems.  It is next to impossible to hand quilt, can dull needles and cause skipped stitches.  I would suggest if finances make it difficult to use good quality quilting fabric that you stay with the lowest thread count sheets.
I am sure we have all had the experience of spending a lot of time and money on fabric only to find it impossible to work with.  Another factor to be considered is the origin of the cotton.  The United States is good but Egyptian is the best.
Of course, not all this information is given either on the bolt or at the point of purchase but I now know what questions to ask.

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