Both Supima and Egyptian cotton provide lavish texture and long-lasting durability. All these cottons have fibers using an extra-long staple (ELS), which, when integrated into linen, won’t pill, is more breathable, creates less lint and becomes softer over time with usage. Even though Supima and Egyptian cotton share several similarities, such as a common origin, just one is of consistently higher quality.
Egyptian Cotton History
Although cotton has been cultivated in Egypt for centuries, the long-staple variety wasn’t released until the 19th century. The Egyptian ruler, Mohammed Ali Pasha, financed his army with this brand new, profitable cash crop. The extra-long staple cotton which revolutionized Egypt’s agriculture comes in the species of cotton Stump Removal front of house Bakersfield known as Gossypium barbadense, a Stump Removal near me Bakersfield native to South America. The origins of ELS cotton can be traced back to a hybrid species of Sea Island cotton which was brought to Egypt around 1825, where it had been modified by inbreeding with native Egyptian cotton plants.
History of Pima
In the early 1900s, the initial American-Egyptian ELS cotton was produced in the southwestern United States. The word “American-Egyptian” was shortly replaced with “Pima,” in honor of the Pima Indians who tended the cotton in a experimental USDA farm at Sacaton, Arizona. Pima cotton is now a common term for many ELS cotton derived from the gossypium barbadense species, produced in the United States, Peru, Australia and also a limited number of other locations. Although true Pima cotton is ELS cotton, a product tagged with Pima cotton does not always guarantee high quality, as Pima cotton is often mixed with lesser quality cottons.
History of Supima
Supima formed in El Paso, Texas, in 1948. Originally began as an agricultural research center, the company expanded into a partnership with the Arizona Cotton Planting Flagstaff Seed Distributors in the late 1970s, overseeing the production and distribution of all certified American Pima planting Long Beach seed. Supima now comprises 11 distinct Pima cotton producers and promotes textile and apparel products made from 100 percent American Pima cotton. Supima stands for “Superior Pima.”
Authentic ELS Egyptian cotton is comparable in quality to Supima cotton, however, the problem with purchasing a product labeled “Egyptian cotton” is that perhaps not all Egyptian cotton is high-quality ELS cotton. The majority of the ELS cotton produced in Egypt stays within its own borders. Just a small fraction of exported Egyptian cotton is ELS; the majority of exported Egyptian cotton is long staple, which is not quite as high in quality. Based on Kay McDonald, an independent agricultural researcher that creates the website, “Big Picture Agriculture,” you can identify ELS Egyptian cotton by searching for a kite mark, which is made up of an image of cotton inside a small black triangle. The wording on the triangle states, “Superior Yarns — Feel the Difference — Egyptian Cotton — Authentic Seal of Egyptian Government.”
About 3 percent of the cotton produced in the United States ends up with a Supima label. This highly specialized cotton creates finer count yarns, which can be woven into soft, luxurious fabrics which absorb and retain color better than ordinary cotton fibers. The Supima label basically takes the guesswork from your purchaseprice. It may take more time to find linens with a Supima tag or one which reveals the dark triangle of high-quality Egyptian cotton. However, once you find linens with these labels, you’ll know they are worth paying the extra cost.