A proposed class action alleges American Textile Company has significantly misrepresented the thread count of its Sealy-brand 1250 thread count bed sheets.
The 15-page case says the bedding manufacturer’s calculation of the Sealy sheets’ thread count is “scientifically wrong” based on the definition of fiber and yarn structures.
In particular, the lawsuit claims American Textile Co. calculated the 1250 thread count by multiplying the number of warp yarns, 57, by the filaments in each warp warn, 19, to reach 1083, and then adding 166 weft yarns, for a total of 1249.
By counting the plied yarns individually, the complaint says, the Sealy sheets’ thread count is “inflated several times over” what it would be had American Textile Co. relied upon standard industry methods. In turn, consumers have paid for Sealy sheets that are of lower quality, softness, comfort, durability and longevity than they were led to believe, the suit relays.
“Defendant sold more of the Product and at higher prices than it would have in the absence of this misconduct, resulting in additional profits at the expense of consumers,” the complaint alleges. “Had Plaintiff known the truth, he would not have bought the Product or would have paid less for it.”
According to the lawsuit, it is common practice in the U.S. bedding industry to count the number of threads in the warp (vertical direction) and filling (horizontal direction). Per the suit, standard practice counts each yarn as one thread, regardless of whether the yarn is single-ply or multi-ply. Moreover, when two yards are laid-in together and parallel, the case says, each yarn is required to be counted separately, as a single unit, regardless of whether it is comprised of single or plied components.
The foregoing testing method for calculating thread count was developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the lawsuit continues. However, not all manufacturers and sellers of sheets use the ASTM method, the case says, noting that the National Textiles Association and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have warned that counting plies in plied yarns individually serves to “inflate the threat count several times what it would be if the traditional, industry standard method were used.”
“The FTC provided an example of a non-deceptive way to inform consumers of the thread count and the yarn ply, such as ‘300 thread count, 2 ply yarn,’ instead of ‘600 thread count,’ which ‘would likely mislead consumers about the quality of the product being purchased.’”
By labeling a product based on counting each individual yarn in plies, a company may influence a consumer’s purchasing decision based on “false and misleading information,” the suit relays.
According to the complaint, laboratory analysis pursuant to ASTM methodology shows that the Sealy-brand sheets at issue have 57 warp yarns and 166 weft yarns per inch, for a total thread count of 223. The suit alleges that to reach a 1250 thread count, the defendant counted separately each of the 19 individual filaments in each warp yarn, which the lawsuit argues is “scientifically wrong.”
The case looks to cover consumers in Illinois, Montana, Kansas, Maine, Wyoming, Idaho, Kentucky, West Virginia, Kansas, Iowa, Mississippi and Utah who bought “1250 thread count” Sealy-brand bed sheets within the applicable statute of limitations period.
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