- 7 years ago
The type of weave is another thing to consider. Cotton is the fiber, but the weave of the cotton is how you end up with more satin-like textures, twill/rough textures, etc. Also, certain cottons will lend themselves to certain weaves. So, once you become more familiar with the types of cotton, you’ll typically know what it’ll feel like before you even touch it.
The ply is also important (akin to toilet paper, if I may be crass). The ply pertains to how many threads are wrapped together in the fabric to create on single thread (so double-ply is better than single ply). The danger here is that you can buy sheets made up of 600 single-ply threads, and pay more than the 300 double-ply threads, even though the latter is made of much sturdier quality. I equate this to the difference between single-ply cardboard park toilet paper, and double-ply super soft hotel toilet paper.
I have single-ply sheets of higher counts, though, and these are more lightweight (perfect for summer).
I also pay attention to the different types of cottons/fabrics out there (Egyptian, Indian, Pima, Percale, organic, etc.). Everyone raves about Egyptian, but they all have different advantages and textures, which is why I feel the linens when I am shopping in-person. For example, I found that I tend not to like Percale cotton, although I will turn into a deranged kitten if I’m around a quiality Pima.
TL;DR: Feel! Feel! Feel the sheets before purchasing if you can (more often than not, your skin will know when it’s touching inferior fabrics). Watch out for manufacturers selling toilet-paper linen trickery. Research threads, fibers, and weaves on Google so that you don’t get swindled by 10,000 thread-count sheets for only $40.