or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › What do those numbers mean?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What do those numbers mean?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
On Jantzen, for instance, in Fabrics, I see 100's, 110's, etc. Can anyone explain these?
post #2 of 10
I think that those mean thread count per a certain area, (although I am clueless as to which area that is.  Centimeter?  Square inch?  Foot? Yard? Acre?) I will add to your question so maybe these can be clarified as well. I have seen fractional numbers on fabric cards.  for example cm. 148/150 and gr.mtl. 165/175.  what do those mean? All help is appreciated. Thanks. CM
post #3 of 10
The higher the thread count, the "silkier" the feel, but one companiy's 120"s does not always equal another company's 120"s etc. See http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/78/artifact.html
post #4 of 10
Quote:
I think that those mean thread count per a certain area, (although I am clueless as to which area that is.  Centimeter?  Square inch?  Foot? Yard? Acre?) I will add to your question so maybe these can be clarified as well. I have seen fractional numbers on fabric cards.  for example cm. 148/150 and gr.mtl. 165/175.  what do those mean? All help is appreciated. Thanks. CM
The thread counts are per square inch. I remember, however, once reading that numbers in suits -- for example Super 120s -- referred to how far you could "stretch" the strand of fiber. Not sure if I'm remembering correctly or not -- perhaps the Super indicates the stretching potential.
post #5 of 10
Contrary to common belief, the number does not refer to threads per unit area, e.g. threads per square inch.  Cherrytree, whom unfortunately we have not heard from in some time, and I wrote a few posts on the topic some time back: thrad count posts some excerpts:
Quote:
Mr. Cherrytree, it's neat that you are sharing your experiences with us. Yes, I am also baffled RR's worship of Kiton and Borrelli. Sure, they make nice products, but to constantly use superlatives when talking of Kiton and Borrelli? They(RR) said in the 2003 Best of the Best issue that Borrelli makes shirts "using the finest cottons with a thread count of 200 or higher." Well, they're referring to 200s cotton, which is the highest. Nothing higher exists(yet, at least). Additionally, it is not thread count by which shirt fabrics are graded. 200s means that 200 meters of the yarn twisted together equals 1 gram.
Quote:
banksmiranda, great point on the thread count. A 200 thread count cotton is your basic bed sheet. RR should know better than that. Like you noted, what RR should have said is 200s. Another problem still exists even when one says 200s. Typically, 200s means an English Count of 200 [200 hanks (1 hank = 840 yards) of yarn in one pound]. But you can also mean metric count, which was your definition (200 meters of yarn in one gram). It's unnecessarily confusing. The problem is that a marketer can say that the cotton is 200s (metric) when in fact under the more common English count system it is a 170s. (1 Ne = 1.181 Nm, 1 Nm = 0.847 Ne). Of course, a 170 English count is still a great cotton. I noticed in the November 2002 Robb Report that the writer makes the same thread-count mistake, "Kiton's basic shirt is made of a 200-thread-count cotton fabric..." There's also another quote in reference to Borrelli that suggests a lack of understanding by RR. The author writes "...Borrelli, which offers the finest Egyptian, Swiss, and Italian cottons, as well as a rare Sakellaridis cotton with a thread count of 200." Not only is there again the "thread count" definitional mistake, but Sakellaridis cotton is rare because it is a poor quality cotton compared to today's Gizas. Egyptian farmers don't grow Sakellaridis because it's worth much less than Giza. Around 50 years ago, Sakellaridis was the best variety of Egyptian cotton, but it's been replaced by the much better Giza (and to a less degree, Maarad) strains.
Quote:
My God, I'm even confusing myself on the different yarn count measures. There are three cotton count types: English count: (# of 840 yds in one pound) Metric count: (# of meters in a 1/2 gram) French metric count: (# of meters in one gram) English counts are higher than metric counts. My prior example should have been an English Count 200s equals a metric count 170s. 100 English count = 84.7 metric count = 169.4 French metric count
Quote:
Cherrytree is right. I thought the exact thing when I read the RR articles - don't they know that a basic bedsteet is 200 thread count, and why don't they then make shirts from bedsheets ? The thread count across the warp and weft will be different. The warp may be 190 threads per inch and weft may be 95 threads per inch. I wonder how they weave bedsheets at such high thread counts. Are bed sheets made from 2-ply yarns? I know that with voile they weave a lower thread count, hence the sheer effect. If they weave shirt fabric with a very high thread count of 2-ply yarns then it would tend to "bulk up," a reputed custom shirtmaker has told me. Yes, sadly yarn numbers(though the salespeople call it thread count) for shirt fabric and micron numbers for woolens have become the main basis by which fabrics are judged.
Quote:
While yarn numbers, or cotton counts, are not everything, I wish it were easier to get this information for shirting fabrics. One can always get the microns, or the Super-XXX equivalent #, for suit wools, but it's difficult to get yarn sizes for cotton. I've looked through many cotton shirting swatches, and this information never seems available. I thought it may be helpful to give what I believe are the important considerations for cotton quality. Yarn size, yarn count, yarn number, cotton count They all mean the same thing and are a measure of the fineness (thinness) of cotton. Typically, it is measured using the English count method, which measures the number of hanks (840 yards) in a pound of the cotton. The higher the number, the finer the cotton. For instance, with 150s, a very high quality cotton, 150 means that a pound of the thread would measure 126,000 yards (150 x 840). 200s are the finest cottons I've seen. Blue jeans are made with 13s and 20s. The grading system for cottons (e.g., 80s, 150s, etc.) is completely different from that used for for wools (e.g., Super 100s, Super 150s) even though the numeric values are close. Single ply or two ply. Yarn made by twisting two cotton strands is called two ply cotton. Yarn that is simply a single strand of cotton is single-ply, or singles. Two-ply is generally better as it is smoother, stronger, and more uniform than singles. It is important to be sure that it is two-ply in both directions (weft and warp). Typically, singles will be marked with the letter s, such as 100s. A two-ply yarn will be designated with a 2 after the yarn size, e.g., 100/2 means that a 50-weight yarn is being made with two 100s. Often though, one will say the cotton is two-ply 100s, which is the same as 100/2. Length of cotton Egyptian, Sea Island and Pima are ELS (extra-long staple) cottons that range from 1 3/8 inches to 2 1/2 inches. They are all derived from the seed gossypium barbadense. The greater the length of the cotton, the smoother and more comfortable the fabric feels. Egyptian Giza and Sea Island cottons are considered the best, but in most cases Sea Island does not truly come from the West Indies, but rather is a generic name used for the g. barbadense seed. An Egyptian extra-long staple 60s cotton will feel better than a long-staple 80s. Thread count (don't use this measure) This is the most bogus of all characteristics assigned to cotton. Thread count refers to the number of single yarns stuffed in a square inch of the cotton fabric, including both the warp (lengthwise) yarns and the weft (crosswise) yarns. This is a function of both the yarn size and the sewing technique. Thread count is typically used in classifying bed sheets. It really never is used when classifying shirting fabrics, although the term is frequently misapplied to shirting fabrics (e.g., Robb Report). To give a sense of how thread count relates to yarn size, a 200 thread count sheet uses single-ply 40s cotton.
post #6 of 10
148-150 cm is the width this fabric is 59/60" wide 165/175 is the weight in grams. These numbers are rather useless to the consumer. 120's or 170/2 have more meaning. This is the yarn size and not yarns per inch. HIgher the count, the finer the yarn Some mills finish better then others. 120's from Ferno are better then 140's from Japan.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
148-150 cm is the width this fabric is 59/60" wide 165/175 is the weight in grams. These numbers are rather useless to the consumer. 120's or 170/2 have more meaning. This is the yarn size and not yarns per inch. HIgher the count, the finer the yarn Some mills finish better then others. 120's from Ferno are better then 140's from Japan.
What's the difference, where N is some number: N's and N/2? Like, what do -'s and -/2 mean?
post #8 of 10
Thanks for the clarification here on "counts." I had previously known for a certainty that a shirt with "180s cotton" was not made up of cotton with a "180 thread count," as in a "180 count bed sheet." I knew that my 180s CT shirts felt much softer than my 800 thread count bed sheets. But then some of these posts confused me, as did some misinformation on other websites. But it is ridiculous how uninformed even salespeople are. I heard a customer ask what the "120s" meant on the sleeve of a suit that he was about to buy off the peg. The salesman said, "It refers to how many times the fabric is woven." The customer's eyes lit up like a light bulb went off. I wanted to intervene, but the customer was so hopeless fashion wise -- he was a fat man who was wearing what appeared to be a skintight 3 button suit made of tinfoil with only the bottom 2 buttons fastened (and I'm not kidding) -- that I didn't want to upset the salesman.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
What's the difference, where N is some number: N's and N/2? Like, what do -'s and -/2 mean?
/2 indicates 2-ply like 2-ply toilet paper (sorry for the analogy).
post #10 of 10

It is quite sad when you walk into shops on Jermyn Street and the young men pushing 4 for the price of 3 have not been educated in the language of shirting

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › What do those numbers mean?