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Definition of Egyptian Cotton

Egyptian cotton is known as the one of the finest grades of cotton in the world. Known for its durability, strength and softness, Egyptian cotton is a sign of quality.


Define

Cotton fabric

Egyptian cotton is a brownish variety grown only in Egypt.  This type of cotton has the longest fiber staple in the world, which means the fibers can be made into longer, stronger yarn for making all kinds of cotton products from clothing to bedding.


History

Although people all over the world have grown and used cotton for thousands of years, it is believed that the type now known as Egyptian cotton wasn't established in the country until the early 1800s.  The ruler of Egypt at the time, Mohammed Ali, was convinced to try growing a type of long-staple cotton from Ethiopia that might have been derived from sea island cotton or from a hybridization with Peruvian cotton.

Hoping to have found a crop that would prove valuable to Egyptian agriculture, Ali agreed to allow one crop to be planted.  The cotton produced was of a high quality and has become a valuable part of the country's agricultural economy ever since.


Benefits

The reason for the superiority of Egyptian cotton goes back to the long fiber length.  Not only does this mean yarn made from the cotton can be spun into more continuous, stronger thread, but the cloth the cotton produces is also more durable.

Egyptian cotton is less likely to produce lint or pilling, and the more it is used and washed, the softer it will get. 


Growth

Egyptian cotton is grown in the Nile River Delta, which is an extremely fertile area with a moderate climate.  The delta provides an ideal spot for growing the long-staple cotton.


Production

Egyptian cotton is still hand-picked.  Such delicate treatment puts less stress on the fibers, which leaves them unbroken and therefore stronger.

The cotton is also processed with roller cotton gins to prevent damage to the precious fibers.  All of this delicate treatment results in cotton of the highest quality.

About the Author

Caroline Shurr began writing professionally in 2002 as a freelance writer for "Acadiana LifeStyles." She later joined the staff of several newspapers as a reporter, including "The Daily Sun" in Florida. She has has written on a variety of lifestyle topics, including health, home and garden, religion and the arts. Shurr holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Louisiana State University.

Photo Credits

  • Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Sherrie Thai