Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or
protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the
genus Gossipier in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is
almost pure cellulose. Under natural conditions, the cotton bolls
will increase the dispersal of the seeds. (Wikipedia)
Cotton has different kinds and different qualities, each suitable for
different purposes. The long lint fibers are used for yarn, thread,
and cotton fabric. Bedding and clothing items are common
Cotton is divided into four major groups (by quality):
1. Sea Island Cotton: This one is the best cotton in the world.
It has the longest staple (2- ¼”; the maximum length by
nature). It is found in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida
and many islands of these states.
2. Pima Cotton: The second longest staple (1- 3/4”). It’s found
in Peru and Egypt, and the Southwestern U.S.
3. U. S Cotton: Other than Sea Island cotton, this type of
cotton is found in the United States, too. The staple length
may reach 1- ½”.
4. Asian Cotton: It is in Asia, Japan, China, Pakistan, and
India. The staple isn’t longer than 1- 1/8”.
The thickness of cotton is important too, because the longest and
finest cotton is used to make high-quality fabrics