Yarn count refers to the numerical value to measure the yarn’s fineness. To define accurate fabric construction, the yarn count gets used in the garment industry. The yarn specification- weight per unit length has been made using the cotton staple fiber. Yarn count is the primary specification for cotton yarn.

What is Cotton Yarn Count?

Cotton yarn count is the unit for a measure of the yarn’s linear density. Indirectly, the measurement system consists of cotton yarns in the cotton count. The cotton count is 84 yards length of yarn in every pound. That means, the number of yarns 840 yards in length requires 1 pound.

Yarn Numbering System: Direct and Indirect

There are two ways in which yarn count occurs. One of which is known as the direct system, and another is the indirect system.

Yarn Numbering System

Direct System:

Here, the yarn length is fixed with the weight being variable. Here, the tex system and the denier system are the most widely used counting system. The cotton yarn count of this system for cotton yarn is the number of weight units in 1 length unit. It expresses, the higher the count the coarser the yarn gets. Mostly, the system goes for jute, synthetic fiber. Example of the direct yarn count is Denier, Tex, and pounds /- (per) spindle.

 Direct Yarn Count System

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General direct yarn count formula:

W X l

N = ——————–



N= Yarn

W= The sample weight

L= The sample length

I= The units of the length

6 system under the Direct System to Yarn Numbering

  1. Tex System
  2. Deci System
  3. Millitex
  4. Denier System
  5. Kilotex
  6. Jute counts

Tex System:

According to this system, the number of grams is per one thousand (1000) meters. The formula is,

W X l

N = ——————–

L# l = 1000 meters

Indirect System:

This cotton yarn count expresses the length number of units in 1 weight unit. So, If the count goes higher, the finer will be the yarn.  This yarn count system is for worsted, linen, and cotton yarn.

Indirect Yarn Count System

Under this system, the yarn length is variable and here, the weight is fixed.

Indirect yarn count formula:

L X w

N = ——————–

l X W


N= Yarn count

W= The Sample Weight

W= The units of weight

L= The sample length

l= The units of the length

The indirect system has 6 separate systems of yarn numbering. They are:

  1. English Cotton count, Ne
  2. Woolen Count
  3. Woolen Count, Dewsbury
  4. Metric Count, Nm
  5. Worsted Count
  6. Linen Count

Denier System:

Under this system, the number of grams is 9000 meters.

The formula is,

W X l

N = ——————–


 The Cotton Yarn Count Measurement

The cotton yarn count gets completed with the English system and the system called a metric. Here, the yarn with 1 lb weight and 840 yards length is counted as 1 count as a standard.

English Cotton Count: ‘Ne’ System

Under this system, the number of 840 yards is the length per pound

  • Unit of length, here is = (l)= 840 yards
  • Unit of weight= 1 pound (lb)
  • 1 yard= 0.9144 meter
  • 1 pound= 453.6 gram

The formula of English Cotton count, Ne System is,

L X w

N = ——————–

l X W

Metric System:

The metric system is the constant weight system where the yarn of 1 kg weight and 1 km length are considered as 1 count.

Worsted Count (NeK):

Here, the count defines as the number of 560 yards per 1 pound.

Woolen Count:

Under this system, yarn count defines as the number 256 yards per pound.

Name of the Count System 

The Unit of Length

The Unit of Mass

English Cotton Count

840 yards

1 pound

Metric Count

1000 meter

1 kilogram

Worsted Count

560 yards

1 lb

Woolen Count

256 yards

1 lb

Conversion of Yarn Count

 Conversion of Direct and Indirect count system

Spun Fiber Cotton Yarn Count 

The cotton count refers to the procedure of getting the size of spun fibers. For a spun yarn, the cotton count is the proper system to measure. In that case, Tex is a usual way of describing the yarn count- the yarn weight. For multi-filament yarn, denier is the commonly used term.

Tip of the Day: Using Cotton Count for Selected Yarn

  1. Always keep in mind, the small cotton counts are equal to larger yarns.
  2. For converting a cotton count to its equivalent, Denier size is required. The formula is, 1 denier = 5315/Count.
  3. To achieve the same cotton count, there can be the use of various piled material combinations.


It is undeniable that the cotton yarn count seems confusing to many of us. However, the cotton yarn count represents the even numbers- 20,32,40, 60, etc. Meanwhile, the cotton yarns of uneven numbers 21 and 65 are used for exceptional purposes. Every day, the cotton yarn thickness shifts towards the fine count every year with better improvement. The cotton count (NeC) measures as the 840-yard lengths in 1 pound.


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Mohammad Mahedi Hasan

Senior Author

Mahedi Hasan, a Textile Engineer, as well as a Top Rated content writer at Upwork, Level 02 Seller at Fiverr, Level 02 Publisher at Ezoic. A passionate textile ad fashion content writer, fashion SEO expert, and fashion web designer. Having a B.Sc. in Textile Engineering from Textile Engineering College, Noakhali (TECN). Department is Apparel Engineering. Highly Experienced fashion writer for the last 3+ yrs. Established Textile Details Website website to enhance professional Fashion Blogging skills.