Sometimes it is necessary to figure out what the thread count of a fabric is, as you may not know what the thread count for the fabric is, or you may not trust the reported thread count. Thread count is the number of threads per inch, and could differ between the warp (down the length of the fabric) and weft (across the fabric, from side to side).
An evenweave fabric is said to have a constant thread count across the fabric. Most fabrics are not made with an evenweave thread count, as there just isn’t any need for it. It doesn’t worry me if my new dress has the same number of threads across and down, over the same distance. However, for embroidery such as counted work, it can be necessary to know that the fabric is evenweave, and what the thread count is.
So how can you work it out?
Insert a pin *anywhere* in the fabric.
Using a ruler or tape measure, measure 1 inch from the pin, in line with the threads of the fabric. At the end of the 1 inch measurement, insert another pin into the fabric. Do this along both the warp and the weft from the original pin.
Count the threads between the original pin and the second pin. If there are 36 threads, then it has a thread count of 36. If there are 25 threads, then the fabric is 25 count.
Count the threads between the original pin and the third pin. You will learn the thread count for that dimension of the fabric.
Hopefully the two numbers are the same! If they are, then you will know exactly what the thread count is. If they are not the same, then probably they are close, and it will give you an idea of the thread count.
Usually thread count is measured across an inch of fabric, even in places like Australia where we don’t make measurements in inches, but sometimes it is measured across a centimetre. If it is, it will be noted. e.g. 10 threads per cm.