why flax linen has thread count instead of GSM: a closer look at fabric standards

when it comes to choosing the perfect fabric for your bedding or clothing, you might have encountered terms like thread count and GSM. these standards help you understand the quality and characteristics of a fabric.

however, if you're curious about why flax linen takes a different approach, this blog post is your guide. join us as we take a closer look at why flax linen opts for thread count over GSM.


GSM in cotton

GSM stands for "grams per square meter." it's a way of measuring how heavy or dense cotton fabric is. you might wonder, "why does this matter?" well, it's essential because it tells us about the thickness and quality of the cotton. a higher GSM means thicker and more durable cotton. to measure GSM, you need a simple tool called a GSM cutter. you use it to cut a small piece of fabric, and then you weigh that piece. by knowing the weight and the area, you can figure out the GSM.

GSM isn't just for cotton; it's a versatile measurement used for various fabrics and textiles. fabrics like polyester, silk, and wool are also measured in GSM. this measurement helps us understand the weight and thickness of these materials, just like it does for cotton. so, when you're shopping for different types of fabric, keep an eye out for the GSM value. it can give you a good idea of the fabric's quality and how it might feel and perform in various applications. remember, a higher GSM generally indicates a thicker and more substantial fabric, while a lower GSM suggests something lighter and more breathable.


thread count in flax linen

flax linen, unlike many other fabrics, doesn't play by the same rules when it comes to measurements. instead of using GSM, flax linen uses something called "thread count" to convey its quality. now, let's talk about flax linen and its thread count. thread count is all about how many threads there are in one square inch of fabric. it's a way of showing how tightly woven the fabric is. for flax linen, a higher thread count usually means a softer and more luxurious fabric. measuring thread count is quite straightforward. you count the number of horizontal (weft) and vertical (warp) threads in one square inch, and that gives you the thread count. so, if there are 100 horizontal threads and 100 vertical threads in one square inch, the flax linen has a thread count of 200.


why don't flax linen measure GSM?

but why is flax linen the odd one out? well, it has to do with the unique characteristics of flax linen fibers. flax linen fibers are long, strong, and irregular in thickness. this means that measuring flax linen's quality in terms of thread count, which tells you how many threads are in a square inch, is more suitable. it helps us understand the tightness of the weave and the overall texture of the fabric, which is particularly important for flax linen. so, while GSM is a handy measurement for many fabrics, flax linen prefers to stand out by sticking with thread count as its primary quality indicator.


types of flax linen thread counts and how to differentiate them

when you're shopping for flax linen, you'll come across various thread counts in the market. these thread counts typically range from around 80 to 200 or even higher. the trick is to understand what these numbers mean and how to differentiate them.

  • low thread count (80-120): flax linen with a lower thread count tends to be coarser and more textured. it's great for a rustic, casual look and is often used for items like tablecloths or kitchen towels.
  • medium thread count (120-160): this is the most common range for flax linen. flax linen in this thread count range strikes a balance between texture and softness, making it ideal for bedding, curtains, and various apparel.
  • high thread count (160+): flax linen with a higher thread count is incredibly smooth and soft. it's often used for premium bedding and luxurious clothing items.

to differentiate them, feel the fabric. lower thread counts will feel coarser, while higher thread counts will be smoother. keep in mind that personal preference plays a big role - some prefer the crispness of lower thread counts, while others love the silky feel of higher counts. understanding the thread count can help you choose the perfect flax linen for your needs and preferences.