Thread count, thread density, GSM - who is who

February 28, 2018

Thread count, thread density, GSM - who is who

The weight of a fabric is vitally important when having to choose between two similar fabrics which are of different weights. If the fabric of one linen sheet has a higher GSM than the fabric of linen sheet, then it is likely to be more hard wearing and not so breathable. Choosing the weight of a particular fabric will depend on how often it is going to be worn or used and what its purpose will be. For example, lightweight and middleweight linen sheets are suitable for everyday usage, for hot summer nights and cozy winter bedding, that will be much easier to wash every week. Heavier linen is more suitable to be used as additional bedding fragments as a bedcover, comforter, bedstead, laid, laid bed runner, decorative pillow shams.

There are two basic parameters that are essential for every woven fabric.


✓ suitable to describe bed linen

✓ measurement of the number of threads in a given area – that is, how tightly woven the threads are

✓ a numerical value, which expresses the diameter of the yarn and also indicate the relationship between length and weight  

✓ mass per unit length of that yarn. 

✓ very important for GSM and cover factor. But the GSM and cover factor also depend on the thread density.

Thread counts range from as low as 20 threads per inch as used in tobacco cloth to as high as 350 threads per inch, found in typewriter ribbon fabrics.  In Len.Ok linen sheets we have this measurement of 66 yarns per inch (260 per meter)


✓ measure thicker woven textiles like sofa cushions, bedspreads, throws, and blankets

✓ measurement indicating how much fiber is in a meter square, thereby allowing us to determine how strong and thick a fabric is. 

✓ fabric density helps explain the thickness of textile products. 

✓ base weight of the fabric, given as a value of grams per square meter.  

✓ compare the weight of certain textile products for which the thread count does not provide sufficient information; for example, whether a given product is suitable for warm or cold seasons. 


✓ GSM is a metric measurement meaning grams per square meter- it is how much 1 square meter of fabric weighs

✓ the higher the GSM number the denser the fabric will be Ounce per square yard (oz/sq2) is the imperial measurement which is also commonly used. 

A lightweight fabric is typically between 30- 150 GSM, medium weight 150-350 GSM and heavyweight 350+ GSM. Len.Ok linen sheets are 160 GSM - medium weight fabric.

The heavier the weight, generally the thicker the fabric will be, although bear in mind that the weight does not tell you how thick the fabric is. Fabrics with different fibers or weaves but with the same weight may not have the exact same thickness.


These fabrics generally fall into these categories:

Lightweight fabrics: chiffon, linen, organza, cheesecloth, lace, voile, mesh.

Medium weight fabrics: linen, sateen, oxford, velvet, taffeta, and charmeuse.

Heavyweight fabrics: upholstery fabric, canvas, brocade, poplin, denim.

Fabrics classed as ‘upholstery’ fabrics are heavyweight and are known to be stronger than other textile materials. They are suitable for cushion and furniture coverings and can be used for curtains but should not to be used for anything that touches your skin directly for all night long. The heavier the material is, the denser it will be which means it will block out more light and insulate the room better. We offer 160 GSM linen sheets, which are medium weight and perfect for bedding sets as they are rather heavy for creating a cozy shelter, but still are light and transparent.

Tags: Thread-count-linen

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