Ariel Kaye is out to correct a very widespread misconception: that thread count is the be-all and end-all of soft, sumptuous sheets. We know, we know—we're used to brushing off anything below eight hundred, too. But, Kaye explains, when it comes to buying your bedding, look for quality, not quantity.
The L.A.-based entrepreneur has always had an interest in the intersection of interior design and making people happy. "I'm a home decor enthusiast, and I love entertaining," Kaye says, "which I think is what sparked my love for the home space and for building cool environments where people feel comfortable, cozy, and happy." After years of working in New York City's advertising world, Kaye felt an urge to go off and start her own company—so she did. But why bedding? "Companies like Warby Parker did a lot with educating people that you can have great products at an accessible price. So I started thinking about how bedding is the most intimate product in your home, what you spend a third of your life using, what touches your skin and enhances your health and happiness."
And thus Parachute was born. "I decided to just dive in, take a risk, and quit my job," Kaye explains. "The first thing I did was go to Europe and meet with 15 factories throughout Portugal and Italy, many of whom thought I was a total joke and was just chasing this young American girl's dream."
But when it came to the production and quality of fabric, Kaye was not messing around. She did a thorough review of the industry, and found out a few things that many people would find surprising. For starters? The truth about thread count. "When I found out that thread count wasn't actually any real measurement of quality, I was upset and angry—how dare these people!" Kaye exclaims. "But it was a real aha moment for me." Thread count is the amount of thread within a square inch, and anything over four hundred won't actually fit unless there is a manipulation of the fabric. "This can make the fabric coarser to the touch, which is compensated by using synthetic finishes to soften them, but can dissipate with a few washes," Kaye says. "Or they use finishes that don't dissipate but are really toxic and formaldehyde-based, which you don't want to be sleeping on."
OK, so now that we've learned our whole life has been a lie, what should we look for? "What actually matters is the caliber of the cotton," Kaye explains. "Parachute uses the highest grade fabric and long-staple Egyptian cotton: when you use that premium fabric, you don't need a higher thread count."
Quality of the cotton may make for a top-notch product, but another facet that truly sets Parachute apart is their commitment to content. You'd be hard-pressed to find another bedding company that also has an addictive blog. From breakfast-in-bed recipes to bedtime-routine interviews, Parachute covers everything bed-related with a distinctive voice and a unique angle. "We try to create content that isn't just decorating tips or how to sleep better at night, but also informative content, such as how our products are made or which pillow from our collection is best for you." Next time you're in need of some aspirational bedding imagery and words of wisdom, open up blog.parachutehome.com, then bookmark it.
"We're trying to be that brand that not only gives you a great product, but also gives you a great experience," Kaye concludes. "We want to give you the information you need to make the right choices, and then the tips and tricks to sleep better." Quality sheets, quality content, and quality care? Sounds like a dream.
To see more of Kaye's sumptuous bedding, check out parachutehome.com.