Price as an Indicator of Quality

It’s a fact: there’s no such thing as a high quality, high thread count sheet set that retails for $150.00.

Let’s do the math. Say you buy cotton fabric at $5.00 a yard at a fabric store, which is cheap compared to other fabrics, doesn’t include a (costly) Jacquard or printed pattern, probably has a ‘nappy’ feeling, and is still less than wholesale prices of premium cotton. Even using this rock-bottom price example, here’s how it adds up:

One solid-color queen size sheet requires at least 8 yards, using the U.S. Standard of 54 inches per yard width. At $5.00 a yard, that comes out to a whopping $40.00 per sheet. Double that for two sheets, add two standard pillowcases requiring another three yards of fabric, and the sheet set now already costs $95.00 in raw materials alone, excluding overhead costs such as equipment and labor for sewing, ironing, packaging and shipping.

This exercise quickly shows that in order for manufacturers to sell sheet sets at low prices, they must first start with sub-standard quality cotton. For consumers, it means you will indeed get what you pay for. The bottom line is: cheap prices = inferior linens almost always, and are never a “good deal”.

To illustrate further with this little-known fact: it takes a solid week, working an eight hour shift five days a week, for a single factory worker in Italy to complete ONE sheet set that includes embroidery or lace, even with using state-of-the-art weaving machines.

How can sheet sets be sold so cheaply by discounters who also claim high thread counts? Besides using inferior cotton, they rely on cheap overseas labor, weaving and finishing short cuts and tricks, and/or all of the above.

How do you know you’re getting good quality sheets besides comparing prices?

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