What does Count mean in embroidery ?

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What does count mean?

This means one thing but calculated in two ways, which is why we have confusion. Firstly, one for general textiles, for example sheets, and upholstery textiles and that’s let’s say 300 count.   This is calculated by the number of threads in the warp + number of threads in the weft in one inch. so, a count of 300 means 150 threads in the warp, and 150 in the weft. The higher the number the finer the fabric, so Egyptian cotton 800 count so 400 threads in warp and 400 in weft making it a fine fabric, its quality comes not from thread count but the quality of the thread.

warp and weft diagram

There is also a variation in the weave from a standard to a satin weave, Plain weave has the warp (vertical) and weft (horizontal) threads evenly alternating. In satin weave the weft threads “float” over several warp threads (usually four) at a time, resulting in smoother and more lustrous fabric.

From embroidery fabrics it means the number of threads in an actual inch so 36 count means 36 warp Threads to an inch; this can also be explained in HPI holes per inch.  So, for embroidery fabrics the higher the count 60 count the finer the linen and the smaller the design. 

Now embroidery linen and even weave, usually have between 25 and 60 count, canvas used for needle point ranges or even rugs range from 3 count up to 88 count, aida usually used for cross stitch or black work range between 6 and 20 count. 

The quilters cotton we regularly use is between 65 and 220 count we prefer the higher count as it’s a more stable fabric and our silks have has over 200 count but have a special weave Dupioni (also referred to as Douppioni or Dupion) is a plain weave crisp type of silk fabric, produced by using fine thread in the warp and uneven thread reeled from two or more entangled cocoons in the weft. This creates tightly woven yardage with a highly lustrous surface

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