Everything you need to know about Pima Cotton

Everything you need to know about Pima Cotton

Pima cotton, also known as the king of the cottons. You might have heard the term ‘pima cotton’ before, but do you really know anything about it? What makes pima cotton different from any other cotton? What gives pima cotton that sheen and durability? Why is pima cotton so soft and smooth? We’ve done a mini PhD on pima cotton, and here is everything that you need to know.

What is pima cotton?

Pima cotton is an ELS cotton, ie an extra long staple cotton, which basically means that the individual fibers of threads which make the cotton fabric almost 2 inches in length each. Usually, pima cotton fibers are between 1.37 to 2 inches in length. Why do longer cotton fibers matter? The longer the fiber, the better the product – it will be stronger, softer, durable and longer lasting.

Where did pima cotton originate from?

Pima cotton originated from the Pima tribe of American Indians. Initially, the cross between Sea Islands cotton and Egyptian cotton produced this ELS cotton, and it got its name due to the Pima tribe which pioneered the cultivation of this cotton. Now, Pima cotton is grown is warm and dry climates – it is only grown in Peru, Australia and USA. Since this cotton is grown in exclusive places, it is rare and hence more expensive than regular cotton.

What makes pima cotton superior?

The length of the fibers and the strength of the cotton itself is what makes pima cotton stand apart. Regular cotton fibers measure between 1 to 1.25 inches each in length; whereas pima cotton is almost double that. Since the fibers are long, very few fibers are exposed to the surface during the spinning and weaving process. What does that mean? That means smoother, softer and silkier cotton.  Pima cotton is also more lustrous and stronger than regular cotton, which makes it durable and long lasting.

What are the benefits of pima cotton?

Pima cotton is very soft and smooth so it feels great against the skin. This makes it a great material for people who are prone to allergies or have sensitive skin. Pima cotton is also a very good absorbent. Pima cotton is hypo allergenic, which is why many doctors recommend it for infants, children and people with allergies. It is also resistant to pilling, which means it will look as good as new years down the line. Also, the long fibers of pima cotton allow it to retain colour and dyes very well ensuring that your clothes do not fade after a few washes. Since pima cotton is one of the strongest and most durable cottons, it can last you a lifetime – if cared for properly.

How to wash and care for pima cotton?

A natural fabric like pima cotton calls for natural care – it is best to hand wash it instead of throwing it into the washing machine. The best way to wash pima cotton is with cold water using a very mild soap. To dry pima cotton, it is best to dry it in the shade so that the sun does not affect or fade the colour.  While ironing, it is best to place a layer between the pima cotton fabric and iron to prevent burning.

What pima cotton items should I buy?

Pima cotton bed sheets and pillow covers are the best for adults and children alike. If you have sensitive skin or allergies, then you should definitely invest in pima cotton bed sheets. Pima cotton night suits and sleep wear items are also great to ensure a good night’s rest. These garments will be soft, silky and very comfortable. Pima cotton towels are also better than cotton towels since pima cotton is highly absorbent. For children and infants, it is best to buy pima cotton garments. In summer, pima cotton shirts, t-shirts and bottoms are a good idea – these garments are airy and help you stay cool.

How do I know I am buying authentic pima cotton?

A pima cotton product should feel softer than regular cotton. It should not start pilling when pulled. And most importantly, always buy pima cotton products from a trusted and genuine company.


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