Pima cotton (Gossypium barbadense) is a species of the cotton plant. This tropical perennial plant has a beautiful yellow flower with black seeds. It is a small bushy tree that provides long silky fibers and requires full sun, high humidity and rain. Pima cotton is very sensitive to frost. Other common names of Pima cotton are extra long staples, South American, Creole, Sea Island cotton, Egyptian, Algodon pais and West Indian cotton. The Pima cotton plant is unique in that it has an antimycotic property and contains the chemical gossypol. This cotton plant is less likely to sustain bug damage. It has also been used as an antifertility drug and the leaves of Gossypium barbadense have been used to treat hypertension and delayed or irregular menstruation.
The name Pima came from the Pima Indians who helped at the USDA trial farms in Arizona in the early 1900's. The first signs of domestication of the cotton plant came from a place on the Peruvian coast called Ancon, where cotton balls from 4200 BC. was found. In the year 1000 BC Peru's cotton balls were hard to distinguish from modern cultivations. Cotton growers were widespread in South America and spread to the West Indies where the cotton was found by Christopher Columbus. It was grown on commercial slave plantations in the West Indies. By 1650, Babados had become the first British West Indian colony to export cotton.
The name Egyptian cotton applies to the extra-long staple cotton grown in Egypt. The cotton grown in Egypt is used by luxury and up-market brands around the world. The cotton species that produces the extra-long staple "Egyptian" cotton is the Native American species called Gossypium barbadense introduced by Mohammad Ali Pasha in the 19th century.
Egyptian cotton is used by manufacturers to manufacture advanced colored sheets, satin sheets and other bedding for presidential suits and executive suites at 5-star hotels. Once you enjoy the wonderful silky feel of Egyptian cotton colored layers you will be spoiled for life.
The softness of Egyptian cotton-colored layers and satin sheets depends on the number of threads. The higher the thread count (we will discuss this in another article) in the fabric – the softer the sheets and satin sheets. One thing I noticed with my 600 thread counted colored sheets, they feel softer and silky at each wash. Can you imagine how 1500 thread count colored sheets would feel?
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