Pima Cotton and Egyptian Cotton
Egyptian cotton is very popular in the world; however, what most people don’t know is that the name itself “Egyptian Cotton” only represents the country’s origin but not the quality of the material. In reality, the quality of the cotton correlates with the fibers length (or staples). The longer the fiber, the higher the quality of the cotton. Pima is the generic name for the high-quality cotton (extra-long staples cotton). There are many varieties of cotton and some are made of short, long and extra-long staples.
In the market today, you’ll find Egyptian cotton made of different fiber length - short, long or extra-long staples (ELS). In fact, most of the Egyptian cotton production is made of short and long staples, just a very small amount is made with extra-long staples.
In conclusion the high-quality Egyptian cotton that we all have heard about is Egyptian Pima Cotton (or ELS cotton). The bad news is that the vast majority of Egyptian cotton in the market is not Pima Cotton.