Learn About Pima Cotton
Peruvian Pima Cotton the finest cotton in the world
Grown in ideal conditions in the coastal valleys of northern Peru, Pima cotton is believed by experts to be the finest cotton in the world, highly prized for its superb softness, brilliant lustre and exceptional durability.
Pima Cotton History
Scientifically known as Gossypium barbadense, Pima cotton gained its name from the Pima Indians, who were the first to harvest the fibres in the United States. But this beautiful cotton had a long history before the Pima Indians. Pima cotton has been cultivated in Peru, for centuries. To Peruvians, the fibre was known as “gamuza,” which is Spanish for “suede.” Archaeologists have found Pima cotton fragments in Peru that date as far back as 3100 B.C.
It’s as Peruvian as Alpaca
Historically, as Pima Cotton was grown in coastal areas, and fisherman used it to make their fishing nets. In fact, this ancient cotton grows naturally in coffee, avocado and cream colours, and is one of the oldest types of cotton in the world. The long history and cultural significance of Pima Cotton make it as important to Peruvians as their other prized natural resource, Alpaca.
Incredible fibres need incredible growing conditions, and the northern coastal valleys of Peru are Pima Cotton’s ideal home. This is due to the region’s rich soil and perfect temperatures, which results in the cotton having an unbelievably soft hand and beautiful lustre. In the light, this cotton appears silky and shiny.
Pima Cotton Facts
Cotton is the world’s most important non-food agricultural product, accounting for half of the global demand for fibre. Conventional cotton requires the use of a significant amount of pesticides and water, posing significant health risks to those in the fields, factories and surrounding communities. Organic Pima Cotton is much safer for the environment and for the workers.
Environmentally friendly hand-harvesting
Most commercial cotton is harvested by machines, but these machines often lead to scratchy impurities, disturbing the fibre’s smoothness and creating an unattractive yellow cast. Peruvian Pima Cotton is picked entirely by hand, which leads to fewer imperfections and a smoother finish and is also more environmentally friendly. Handpicking also results in a pure white shade that takes dye beautifully.
Soft and Durable
Pima Cotton is classified as an “extra-long staple cotton,” a term that refers to the length of the individual cotton fibres. It’s considered to have extremely long fibres (1-3/8" staple length), while ordinary cotton fibres measure between 1/2" to 3/4". These longer, silkier fibres produce a luxuriously soft fabric that is also incredibly strong. It’s resistant to fraying, tearing, and wrinkling and is very absorbent.
Long life span
Pima Cotton is claimed to have a 50% increased longevity in lifespan compared to regular cotton. Why? One reason is its resistance to pilling. With most types of cotton, pills (the tiny balls of tangled fibre ‘bobbles’) start to appear on clothing after around 10 washes. In contrast, pima cotton, due to its long fibres, hardly ever pills, which means that garments made from this textile stay wearable for years and years to come. It’s hypoallergenic and sensitive to the body’s temperature Like Alpaca, Pima Cotton is hypoallergenic. It’s also a fantastic way to regulate the body’s temperature. If you want something to cool you down during the daytime and keep you cosy at night, Pima Cotton is your go-to fibre.
Why buy Pima Cotton from us?
Our Pima Cotton styles are designed and created by skilled artisans in Peru. Exclusive to us – you won’t find these designs anywhere else.
We are extremely passionate about working with only the most responsible suppliers. We work hard with them to ensure they only use Pima Cotton from respectable suppliers and that those suppliers only collect cotton from farmers who they know take the care of the land extremely seriously and who work harmoniously with nature and the environment. We have written agreements in place with all our overseas suppliers to ensure their employees are fairly treated, and are paid a reasonable wage.
We also visit our factories regularly to ensure our high standards are adhered to.