Thread count refers to the number of horizontal and vertical threads present in one square inch of woven fabric.
Despite popular belief, there is no intrinsic value to a higher thread-count number. Instead, the feel of the fabric depends on the integrity of the yarn used, the weave selected and the quality of the finished product. Thread count is but one element in determining how a finished piece of fabric will feel.
As humans, we love numbers and quick, easy ways of quantifying value, so this little fact still plays a large role (too large in our opinion) in determining supposed fabric quality.