Not all cotton is equal. That’s a fact. You’ve probably heard of ‘Egyptian Cotton’; it’s forever quoted as synonymous with luxury. But what exactly is it, and is it really superior to other types?
Egyptian cotton originates from a plant called Gossypium barbadense, and is named as such when it grows along the River Nile in Egypt. The land here has a inherent chemical composition that works well for growing cotton.
These optimum growing conditions mean the plant produces long staple fibres (the fine little strands that make up a raw piece of cotton). Long staple cotton fibres produces the softest, smoothest and most durable bedding.
So far, so good.
Back in the day, Egypt rightly became known as the premier source of cotton. Unfortunately, once retailers and manufacturers latched on to the fact that customers were on the lookout for ‘Egyptian Cotton’, they looked for ways to stretch the definition, translating it as:
Any sub-par, shorter staple cotton grown in Egypt.
Egyptian cotton blended with cotton from other countries.
These loose definitions have led to an infiltration of lower quality cotton labelled as ‘Egyptian Cotton’. Given the worldwide supply of so-called ‘Egyptian Cotton’ far outstrips the physical production of the premium variety, it’s easy to see why this misinformation works for both manufacturers and retailers.
What to look for instead.
With modern day farming knowledge and techniques it’s possible to grow long staple cotton in other cotton producing countries of the world, so the exact origin is less important. And with all the funny business we’ve just told you about, even if you buy Egyptian, there’s no guarantee that it’s the real deal. (If it is the real deal, it'll have a very high price tag to reflect this!)
Instead of looking for Egyptian Cotton, it makes sense to look for the quality of true Egyptian Cotton; long staple fibres. This is the single most important factor when determining the softness, smoothness and durability of your bedding. We keep coming back to it, but it’s just so important.
There's more to quality bedding than just the raw materials.
Bedding seems like a simple product, but in reality, producing high quality bedding is a complicated process requiring the very best raw materials, precision engineering, state of the art machinery, and skilled finishing. Every process along the way, from picking to combing to spinning and weaving, requires a high level of skill, care and attention.
At Bedfolk, we partner with a third-generation family run mill in Portugal. Our 100% long staple cotton sheets are woven and finished by master weavers, with exacting standards and unrivalled expertise.