Types and Usage

There are several species of cotton that grows wild but they are not economically feasible. There are five types of cotton that are being grown commercially around the world. Some are very common to our ears and we see them in stores everyday. These types are Egyptian, Sea Island, American Prima, Asiatic and American Upland. These various kinds have some resemblance but differ in color of flowers, fiber and time of blooming.

Cotton grows in warm climates. Almost half of the world’s cotton comes from China and the US. Other leading cotton producing countries are Brazil, Pakistan, China, Uzbekistan, India, Turkey, and Australia. The stretch of states in the US that produces cotton is called the “cotton belt”. These major cotton producing states are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Pima Cotton: Pima is considered the finest cotton on earth. As an extra-long staple (ESL) cotton, its long fibers make it extra soft and extra strong. The result? Luxuriously smooth fabric that is resistant to fraying, tearing, pilling, wrinkling, and fading. It’s no wonder so many fabrics claim to be pure pima. But a recent test revealed 89% aren’t pure at all. Only PimaCott verifies its fabrics contain pure pima cotton, for quality you can see, feel, and trust.

Upland Cotton: Characterized by its relatively short cotton fibers, Upland is perfect for producing quality everyday products that everyone can afford. It’s also the most common type of cotton in the US, making up 95% of the cotton planted on American soil. For the purest Upland cotton, choose HomeGrown Cotton. HomeGrown Cotton verifies its cotton products contain pure Upland grown by hard-working family farmers on American soil.

Egyptian Cotton: Like pima cotton, Egyptian is an extra-long staple cotton, making it equally exceptional in softness, vibrancy, and performance. They even share a scientific name! The only difference between the two? Egyptian cotton is grown in the hot, dry climate of the Nile River Valley in Egypt. It’s a cotton of exceptional quality — that is, if it can be verified with true Egyptian origins. Sadly, many of the cottons sold as “Egyptian” aren’t Egyptian at all.

Acala Cotton: Only California produces a special variety of cotton called San Joaquin Valley Acala, which is among the highest quality Upland cottons in the world. Acala cotton benefits from the ideal climate of the San Joaquin Valley and a longer growing season, which increases yield and results in a finer product. However, due to irrigation requirements, Acala tends to be more expensive than other American-grown Upland cottons.


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