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Thread: Cotton Thread Count?

  1. #1
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    Does anyone know the cotton thread count for quilting fabric? My neighbor just purchased some bed sheets at Macy's and she thinks she can use them for quilts. Although I have heard people using bed sheets for backing, I've never heard of anyone using them for the tops. The bed sheets she purchased are 200 thread count.

    If anyone says that's fine for quilts, I'm going to Macy's this weekend! The floral bed sheets she purchased are very pretty, and they were $8.99 a set, twin size.

  2. #2
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    As far as I know the thread count of quilting fabric can be different. For Kona Cottons 60 by 60 threads per inch is indicated by the manufacturer - that means a thread count of 120.
    There are other fabrics with a higher thread count, for example the Japanese fabric of Quilt Gate with about 150.
    I have never used bed sheets for quilt backings, therefore I can't give you information about this - but I am sure you will get help here on the board.

  3. #3
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    somewhere between 100 & 200 is the norm- batiks have a bit higher.
    many people re-use sheets- for piecing and backings.

  4. #4
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    It's my understanding that quilting cotton thread counts range between 60 square and 75 square. The higher counts use thinner threads, resulting in a softer hand.

    Check this discussion for more info http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-93689-1.htm

    There are several different ways of 'counting' threads, so be sure you're comparing apples to apples. :)

  5. #5
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    I used a sheet for the background color on a catherdal window quilt. I don't think there's any set rules for what you can or can't use for your quilt. People use T shirt material, silk, velvet, and other fabrics so why not a cotton sheet?

  6. #6
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I'd venture to use them for backs, but piecing with a bunch of material of different thread counts and weights will be more of a challenge, the final product may look and feel differently in spots and just isn't worth it, IMO.

  7. #7
    lllog's Avatar
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    Most cotton fabric runs about 120 thread count, except batiks which are much higher. The problem with using a really high thread count fabric comes with quilting it. speaking as a one time husband of a long arm quilter its a pain in the tush.

    Tension is the problem, particularly if the high thread count fabric is mixed in wih cotton blocks.

    Lanny

  8. #8
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Quilting fabric has 60 threads per inch standard. I've found 60 - 65 to be the average. I have a tread counter and take it with me when I shop for fabric. I find most shops have mostly 60 threads per inch fabric, it's not on the bolt anywhere. When I do ask the manager /owner they never know. That's why I take my thread counter.

    68 is what I look for premium quilting fabric. It doesn't shrink or ravel very much.

  9. #9
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo
    That's why I take my thread counter.
    Great idea! I just ordered one - thanks! :)

  10. #10
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    My mom used bed sheets often for quilts. Mostly she tied these quilts.

  11. #11
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    Where does one find a thread counter? I have asked the sales reps about thread count and most of them have no idea.

  12. #12
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    I ordered one from an eBay seller - they're also called linen testers. :)

  13. #13
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    Thanks.

  14. #14
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    The sheets that I buy at WM for my backing are 200 count.

  15. #15
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewecansew
    Where does one find a thread counter? I have asked the sales reps about thread count and most of them have no idea.
    They're available all over the internet, just Google 'linen tester'. You can also just use a 6X (or stronger) magnifying glass.

  16. #16
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    Thanks, ghostrider and the polyparrot. I Googled and I have a similar device, but I am not sure of the power. So you use the little scale on the bottom portion and if it is for cotton/linen, it will have numbers like 60/inch, etc? Just trying to clarify how it gives the scale.

  17. #17
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScrappyAZ
    If anyone says that's fine for quilts, I'm going to Macy's this weekend! The floral bed sheets she purchased are very pretty, and they were $8.99 a set, twin size.
    Why not fine? I live in Poland where we have almost no "quilting cotton" and I use clothing, sheets and curtains from the used clothing store. If it 100% cotton it gets snapped up very, very quickly. It works just fine. Really.

    To be honest, if it is the right color, I'll even use 50/50, but I don't prefer to--usually just keep looking for 100% cotton.

  18. #18
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScrappyAZ
    If anyone says that's fine for quilts, I'm going to Macy's this weekend! The floral bed sheets she purchased are very pretty, and they were $8.99 a set, twin size.
    Why not fine? I live in Poland where we have almost no "quilting cotton" and I use clothing, sheets and curtains from the used clothing store. If it 100% cotton it gets snapped up very, very quickly. It works just fine. Really.

    To be honest, if it is the right color, I'll even use 50/50, but I don't prefer to--usually just keep looking for 100% cotton.

  19. #19
    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    You can use whatever you want to use. If you like the feel of them why not? There are no rules!

  20. #20
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    Sheets may be ok for machine quilting, but if you are using them for hand quilting, buy the cheapest one you can find. They are less thread count and easier to quilt through. I have used only one sheet and it was for a whole cloth quilt I did several years ago. Good luck!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alice Woodhull
    Sheets may be ok for machine quilting, but if you are using them for hand quilting, buy the cheapest one you can find. They are less thread count and easier to quilt through. I have used only one sheet and it was for a whole cloth quilt I did several years ago. Good luck!
    I have no idea what project my neighbor plans to use the sheets for, but I'll tell her it's been recommended that she machine quilt. I machine piece and hand quilt, so I may pass on purchasing sheets for a quilt. I'd hate to make things harder for myself!

  22. #22
    Super Member clsurz's Avatar
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    I've never noticed before but does the count thread show on the bolts of fabric?

  23. #23
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    I have used bed sheets for whole cloth quilting, it turned out great and launders great.

  24. #24
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clsurz
    I've never noticed before but does the count thread show on the bolts of fabric?
    No, very rarely to never.

  25. #25
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    Thread counter....wow, what is the brand name, where did you purchase it?

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