There are many types of cotton available on the market. Egyptian, Combed, Pima, Supima, Suvin, Barakat, Sea Island, Giza… so which one is the best?
All these names are just carefully designed marketing brands to sell a similar product. There are four types of species that are grown for commercial cotton production.
Gossypium barbadense – Known as extra-long staple cotton. Native to tropical South America (8% of world production). This species grows as a small, bushy tree and yields cotton with unusually long, silky fibres. To grow, it requires full sun and high humidity and rainfall. This species is responsible for these familiar cotton types;
- Sea Island
- Giza 45 (the rarest, longest cotton fibre available in the world)
Gossypium hirsutum – Native to Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean and southern Florida (90% of world production). This species was specifically developed for the American market and produces two of the most cultivated varieties of cotton:
- Short Staple American Upland
- Long Staple American Upland
Gossypium arboreum – Tree cotton, native to India and Pakistan (less than 2%). This species of cottons produces shorter staple fibres. It is usually found in products of a lower quality.
Gossypium herbaceum – Levant cotton, native to southern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula (less than 2%).