Buying Guide

buying guide to bed linen
Why us?

Why us?

Our guide to buying bed linen.

What does "thread count" mean, and how important is it when buying bedding?
We all like to know the thread count of our bed linen, it's a frequently asked question. A high number is reassuring and makes us feel special...but do we know what it really means? It's not easy to understand even after 15 years in the industry!

It's not black and white, and a high thread count can still be achieved using poor yarns. This means the product may have an appealing high thread count and matching high price tag, but it does not have the feel and performance of a 200 thread count product, made with superior yarns.
Would it surprise you to know that if we were being honest and only using single ply yarns and single picks it is not possible to make a 'true ' fabric over a 600 thread count?

So what is going on then?

Thread count became a trend in the late 90's, with the demand for high thread count forcing manufacturers to look at ways to produce inexpensive, high thread count fabrics.

At Secret Linen Store, we think about all factors that are needed to create a good thread count. It's the balance between the warp and weft yarns that makes a good fabric, not just a high number of threads that don't meet the required quality.

There are five important factors to consider when we make fabric to our quality and design standard.

• Fibres & Yarns
• Thread count
• Weaving
• Finishing

Fibres & Yarns

Fibres & Yarns


This is the base ingredient used to make the yarn for weaving. We only use 100% cotton, long staple fibres to make our bed linen. We know it is the best fibre for this type of product, and it is the most popular. Cotton fibres come in many different qualities dependant on growing conditions and all our fibres are produced in an environmentally conscious way.


Cotton fibres are spun into very different quality yarns. Yarns are given a number, normally from 40-100. The higher the number the finer the yarn, meaning better quality. Fabrics woven from long staple yarns are known to be the best. Long staple yarns can be made from any type of cotton and the most commonly recognised is Egyptian. Egyptian cotton has become the buzz word when it comes to bed linen choices. Egyptian cotton basically means that it is long staple cotton yarn from Egypt. You can still get fantastic quality, long staple yarn from other parts of the world. We always use long staple Egyptian cotton on our warp (the biggest surface), and our weft yarn is long staple, and comes from various sources, depending on the success of that seasons cotton crops.

We have tried and tested this way of making bedding and it is the best way to give you a fabulous softness and durability, at a fabulous price.

What is a Thread count?

What is a Thread count?

To understand a thread count, you first need to know how bed linen is woven. The loom is fitted with the warp threads (the vertical threads, in our case using Egyptian cotton yarn), the weft (Horizontal threads) is then woven through it.

The thread count is the number of threads, counting both the warp and the weft, in a square inch of fabric.
To achieve very high thread counts yarns can be twisted and doubled up. This is called the ply. Single ply or 2 ply yarns can be used. 2 ply yarns will create a higher thread count, but will not necessarily create a better fabric as they will undoubtedly be shorter, thinner yarns.

So, as you can see, there is a lot to think about, and lots of ways to make a high thread count.
We will always tell you the thread count of each of our bed linens, however, to feel the quality, please order a free sample and feel for yourself.

Weaving bed linen

Weaving bed linen

Our chosen yarns are then woven into our fabrics and designs. Our partner manufacturers for Secret Linen have been weaving bed linen for 35 years. A family business, now run by the second generation, they sure do know their onions when it comes to making bed linen.

What is Warp and Weft?

The Warp is the yarn that runs vertically through the fabric. This is fed through the loom.

The Weft is the horizontal yarn that is woven through the warp.

Jacquard weaving…
All our bed linen has a jacquard weave. Invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in the 18th century, the Jacquard attachment for the loom allows the warp threads to be picked up individually. This additional control of the warp yarn is what allows us to weave intricate patterns into our fabrics.



The fabric that comes from the loom is stiff and needs to be finished to be transformed into its final state. How you like your bed linen to feel is a personal preference, some like it crisp and cool, some like it soft and snugly.

We have 3 finishes within our range.

• Crisp
• Soft
• Sateen

Our finishing process is environmentally controlled and the fabrics are finished in a way to make you feel the fabric itself, not any artificial softeners.

The final word..

The most important ingredient in everything we make and do is…care. Sounds like a cheesy cliché but we really do care. We care about making wonderful things, we care about durability, design and comfort. We care about honesty and fairness and the people who make our amazing bed linen. From our friends who run the factory, to the people who cut, sew and pack your bedding.

We care about you being over the moon with your Secret Linen purchase and we hope it shows.
If you want to know anything else about anything else, email us or call us on 01243 606 239. We're happy to talk.


Sign up for our newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear about our new collections, secret news and receive exclusive offers.