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Thread selection for any specific application is based on many parameters, thread size is the primary consideration in achieving the functional and aesthetics requirements of the finished product.

Thread sizes are communicated through various numbers and numbering systems which are derived by relating its unit length and weight. It is important to know various numbering systems and their relationships in understanding thread size specifications; this Bulletin Post will serve as your quick reference guide.

Common Yarn Numbering Systems

Fixed Weight and Fixed Length Numbering Systems

All numbering systems used to indicate thread size are either ‘fixed weight’ or ‘fixed length’ systems.

Fixed Weight Systems Fixed Length Systems
In this system, unit weight is taken as fixed and its length is measured. In this system, unit length is taken as fixed and its weight is measured.
Systems under fixed weight:

  • English Count (Ne) = Number of hanks of 840 yards/lb
  • Metric Count (Nm) = Number of hanks of 1000 metres/kg
Systems under fixed length:

  • Denier = Weight in grams of 9,000 metres
  • Tex = Weight in grams of 1,000 metres
  • Decitex = Weight in grams of 10,000 metres

  • Ne 1 – In one pound of yarn weight, there are 840 yards of yarn length
  • Ne 5 – In one pound of yarn weight, there are 4200 (840×5) yards of yarn length

  • Tex 40 – A length of 1,000 metres gives 40 Grams of weight
  • Tex 100 – A length of 1,000 metres gives 100 Grams of weight
In fixed weight systems, the yarn becomes finer as the count number increases In fixed length systems, the yarn becomes coarser / heavier as the count number increases

Generally, Metric count is used to describe synthetic, spun and corespun thread while English count is used to specify cotton thread. Filament threads are normally expressed with Decitex or Denier.

Resultant Thread Size

When more than one ply of yarn is twisted into a thread, finding the resultant size of the thread by considering all the plies becomes necessary.

  • In fixed weight systems: Resultant size = Individual yarn count / Number of plies
  • In fixed length systems: Resultant size = Individual yarn count x Number of plies

A particular resultant size can be made with any number of plies.

Count Conversions

Using the table below will enable you to perform a simple conversion from one system to another.

System Tex dTex Den Nm Nec
Tex dTex10 Den9 1000Nm 590.54Nec
dTex Tex × 10 Den0.9 10000Nm 5905.4Nec
Den Tex × 9 dTex × 0.9 9000Nm 5314.9Nec
Nm 1000Tex 10000dTex 9000Den Nec × 1.6934
Nec 590.54Tex 5905.4dTex 5314.9Den Nm × 0.5905

Ticket Numbering

Ticket numbering is a commercial numbering system. Ticket numbers are merely the manufacturer’s reference numbers for the size of a given thread.

The Metric Count, Cotton Count and Denier Systems use ticket numbering system to give an easy approximation of the specific size of the finished thread.

A ticket number in one type of thread will not be the same as in another. For example, Ticket 40 Cotton is not the same as Ticket 40 Corespun.

Ticket numbers resemble the fixed weight system.

They can simply denote:

  • Higher the ticket number, finer the thread
  • Lower the ticket number, thicker the thread

Converting sizes for synthetic products.

Arriving at a Ticket Number

Tex dTex × Ply
(When 2-Ply)
dTex × Ply
(When 3-Ply)
Total Decitex
Ticket No. Calculation for
Ticket No.
40 200 × 2 133 × 3 dTex 400 75 (100040 × 3)
60 300 × 2 200 × 3 dTex 600 50 (100060 × 3)
80 400 × 2 267 × 3 dTex 800 38 (100080 × 3)
100 500 × 2 333 × 3 dTex 1000 30 (1000100 × 3)


  • To convert any Tex Number to a Ticket Number value: divide 1,000 by the Tex number and multiply by 3.
  • To establish the Tex of a particular Ticket number, please contact your nearest Coats office.

Cotton threads are rarely used today, so ticket numbers for cotton threads are not discussed here.

Communicating Thread Size with Ticket Numbers

In the thread industry, different countries follow different ticket numbers. Knowing different ticket number conventions for a certain thread size and the corresponding Tex size will aid you in thread selection.