When looking to buy shirts, you may often notice shirt ply and thread count mentioned in the description. This isn't something that most people know about, however it is relevant when buying high quality shirts. Here we have put together a simple guide to shirt ply and thread count.
What does a high thread count mean?
The higher the thread count, the silkier and smoother the fabric usually is. A shirt with a high thread count is usually more expensive than a shirt with a lower thread count, and even if the same cotton is used for the fabric, the thread count will make a huge difference. The thread count is referred to in numbers, with 140 being higher than 120, and 160 being higher than 140 as our 'Superfine' range.
Is a higher thread count shirt better?
It is not a case of a shirt with a higher thread count being 'better' than another, just different. The thread count that you prefer will depend on the feel and weight you want from your shirt, so see what you prefer before automatically choosing the highest thread count. Example, our new 'Compact' shirts give a feel and look of the 140's for lower cost.
What is Single Ply, Two-Ply and Three-Ply?
When referring to fabric, including shirt fabric, the ply refers to how many yarns make up one thread. Two yarns twisted together to make the thread means the fabric made from this is two-ply, and three yarns twisted together will make three-ply. If you see a shirt fabric described as 100/2 x 100/2, this translates to 100s two-ply threads which run both upwards and across to make up the fabric. These numbers can appear more complex, but this is a simple explanation as to what they refer to.
Should I buy a certain shirt thread count and ply?
As we mentioned before, a high thread count shirt will give a softer and silkier fabric, however it is not necessary that a dress shirt need have a high thread count. There are many other factors which are relevant when buying a good shirt, be it a dress shirt or a casual shirt, and the cut of the shirt and the quality of the fabric overall are major considerations. A lower ply will be easier to iron too.
If you are in doubt about what shirt thread count is best, or what shirt ply to buy, WH Taylor Shirtmakers are happy to assist you.