Last Updated on April 14, 2023 by Shariful Alam
From ancient times, muslin has been mentioned as one of the luxurious fabrics used by the royal people. At that time, muslin prices were not affordable for everyone.
But now the scene has changed completely, due to the industrialization, current muslin fabric is now one of the most common cotton fabrics which have a high demand all over the world.
Muslin comes in different qualities and for different purposes to use. When buying muslin from local, online shops or from a manufacturer, people choose the specific grade and good quality fabric. In this regard, muslin thread count helps them to select the best fabric for their need.
Thread count refers to the condition of how many vertical and horizontal threads are woven in per square inch of the fabric. Higher counts deliver a smooth, thin, and soft sheet which is lightweight and breathable. But relying on thread count won’t help you so much in choosing the best quality fabric although.
So, what else should you look for? Working with this historical fabric for several years, we have covered all about this delicate fabric.
In this article, we are going to clear all issues about muslin thread count. You will know what works correctly to find the best muslin. How to determine the best muslin fabric quality in the below discussion.
What is the thread count of muslin?
Thread count is an easy formula that helps to quickly get an overview of the quality of fabric or bed sheets you are going to buy. It is also considered to determine how finer or coarser the yarn is. When it comes to muslin fabric, thread count can be higher or lower but besides this, you also need to consider the cotton grade to understand the quality of the muslin fabric.
Once there was “Dhakai muslin or Dacca Muslin” which has reportedly a higher thread count ranging from 700 – 1500 per square inch. That kind of quality muslin cotton plant ( Phuti karpas) has grown only on the riverbank of Jamuna and Brahmaputra in Bangladesh. And the method of the handspun muslin cloth-making process become a cultural contemplation in Dhaka in the 17th century.
However, currently, muslin fabrics are processed industrially so they are not as delicate as long-lost original muslin fabrics. You can see bleached muslin and unbleached muslin in the market but they are low in thread count and not even manufactured with original muslin yarn come from Phuti karpas. So, the count of muslin now ranges from 80 to 200 threads count in maximum.
What is a good muslin thread count?
It is easy to think that a higher number of thread count fabric means high-quality fabric, but that’s not true all the time. High-quality muslin isn’t all about the high number of weft thread and warp thread count in a square inch.
In present days, manufacturers know that consumers go for thread count. Sellers apply tricks to show a higher thread count in fabrics.
As we have seen above the thread count of ancient and modern muslin cloth, you may be surprised to know the difference. The count difference also tells the utmost truth that how difficult it is to recreate the ancient Dhakai muslin.
However, researchers are on track to bring back the finest muslin fabric! Recently Bangladeshi researchers have succeeded in their goal.
With high care and awareness, the researchers did this by making about 9 yards of muslin saree that could easily pass through a ring. That is a remarkable achievement from Bangladeshi researchers. A report shows that the saree has a 300 thread count per square inch. To Create a handmade royal piece is really hard!
According to the present situation, we can say that a 200 – 300 thread count can be considered good for the muslin.
Can you determine the quality only by thread count (TC)?
Nowadays, thread counting is an additional term used among the textile industry and fabric enthusiasts. Especially those who want to buy bedsheets mostly use it to gaze the quality of bedsheets by the number of thread count.
A big misconception is that people often assume that high thread counts mean high-quality bedsheets.
The same goes for muslin consumers. While they go to buy muslin by the yard, they usually ask the shopkeepers about TC. But this isn’t the only way to measure fabric quality.
Often customers buy them online or near a store. Sometimes Shoppers pay a high price, to get the highest quality, but they fail to get their expected yard quality. So it is good to practice how to find the best quality before shopping or cart adding them.
Sellers can manipulate customers with fake ideas to increase sales. Besides counting on yarn, you should closely observe the sheet. How does it feel? Its breathability and smoothness confirm the quality.
For your information, a 200 thread count muslin refers that it has 100 warp thread and 100 weft thread in each square inch of the fabric.
Here also comes the yarn size, and weight that also determines how thin or thick the fabric would be.
A fabric with poor grade yarn is considered bad even if it has 800 thread counts, compared to a fabric with high-quality yarn and 300 thread count.
How can thread count be misunderstood?
Thread count can be misunderstood. The fabric does not always have the actual thread counts that the sellers & manufacturers said. Since thread count becomes a crucial metric for general people as they use it to gaze fabric quality and texture.
Manufacturers can manipulate consumers with false thread count numbers. How? Let it be revealed to you that to increase thread count, manufacturers apply simple math tricks like they use low-grade cotton that is thin but not reliable and long-lasting.
They used to twirl two or more individual threads and turn them into one thread to multiply the thread count in the fabric.
The reason is simple. They can include a higher price tag on the bedsheet or fabric. In this way, they just increase thread count but don’t improve the quality of the fabric.
Therefore, you shouldn’t buy fabrics depending only on yarn count. You should consider the cotton grade and the holistic features of the fabric.
Are there different grades of muslin?
Definitely, there are different grades of muslin and each of them are distinguished in characteristics. Once muslin was popular all over the world and Dhaka was the main production spot for the finest muslin cloth.
At that time, luxurious Dacca muslin was mainly created for Mughal emperors and their wives. Although, aristocrats, Nawab, and landlords also use this fabric they choose slightly lower quality instead.
If you are so interested, here are some variations of muslin fabric collected from the historical book Ain-i-Akbari written by Abu’l Fazl in the 16th century.
However, the 15th to 17th century was the golden age for the muslin. During this time period, it was traded to Britain, Rome, and Arabs in exchange for other precious materials.
Although, it is all about a myth at present because you can’t find the best quality of muslin anywhere to buy nor you can produce. Dacca Muslin, the royal fabric no one knows how it was made!
Yet you can see Jamdani and some lowest grades of muslin fabric in several categories such as,
- Gauze – used for medical treatment and quilt backing
- Mull – smooth and lightweight muslin, mostly used in undergarments
- Swiss muslin – an exclusive form of muslin that comes with raised Swiss dots
- Sheeting – Thickest muslin fabric used for bedsheet
What is the best muslin thread count today?
We have already known that Bangladeshi researchers have recreated muslin fabric which has the current best 300 thread count. But it was not decided to produce on a large scale. If you are in search of the best muslin thread count, you can consider Egyptian cotton, which is made of high-quality muslin sheets with approximately 400 thread count. Also, there is Moda muslin which is 100% cotton, comes in a wide range of colors, and works correctly with traditional fine arts though low in thread count.
Is 200 thread count muslin fabric good enough?
According to the present textile industry, a 200 thread count is considered good muslin fabric. It requires a lot of effort to produce higher thread count muslin.
As it is time-consuming, weavers aren’t interested to get in such textile projects. That’s why a 200 thread count is good for the present demand of muslin.
Final Words: Muslin thread count
Hope we can make it clear what muslin thread count is and how to choose good quality muslin. Before purchasing muslin fabric online, you can check the consumer reviews to get the credibility of the online store.
If you want to learn more about muslin, go to Dhakai Muslin Blog section to quench your thirst.