Cotton sheets are soft, natural, and breathable, but not all cotton is created equal. Do you know what to look for when you’re searching for luxury linens? Keep cotton in mind, but pay attention to those details that make all the difference.
Cotton Quality & Supima Cotton
Cotton quality is determined by the length of the cotton fiber, also referred to as the staple length. A longer cotton staple length means higher quality cotton. The longest staple length cotton--hence, the highest quality cotton--is known as extra long staple, or ELS cotton.
In 1951, the USDA developed a superior ELS cotton seed on a farm in Sacaton, Arizona. That ELS cotton variety was named Supima cotton in honor of the American Pima Indians who were working on the farm. This newly developed Pima cotton achieved incredible staple length, resulting in naturally increased strength, luster, and silkiness. Today, Supima cotton is grown in the southwestern United States, including Texas, California, Arizona, and New Mexico, and is sometimes marketed under the Supima brand name.
No Debate: Pima Cotton Makes the Best Sheets
Supima cotton is now widely recognized as the best cotton in the world. With a staple length that’s 35% longer than standard cotton, Supima cotton is also 45% stronger. Fabrics woven with Supima cotton, like Thomas Lee’s 100% Supima cotton, 500 thread count, Cotton Percale bed linens, possess a naturally luxurious hand feel. Not only are they stronger, softer, and silkier than products made with regular cotton, they also offer years of extraordinary luxury and comfort.
Know Your Cotton
Cotton is, of course, grown throughout the world, including Egypt. Egyptian cotton has long been promoted as an indicator of high-quality cotton, but cotton being sold under the Egyptian cotton tag may or may not actually be ELS cotton, where just a small percentage of the annual crop falls into that category. In fact, most of the cotton grown in Egypt is just standard cotton.
Keep in mind that a product made with Egyptian cotton doesn’t always indicate better quality, and it certainly won’t offer the uncompromising luxury of 100% Supima cotton. At Thomas Lee, we know luxury, and that’s why we use Supima cotton--the only cotton you’ll find in our Percale linens.