Pima is an extra long staple cotton grown in the United States (Arizona, California, Texas, New Mexico), Peru, Australia and Israel. The length of its fibres can vary from 35 mm. (1 3/8 in.) up to 40-42 mm. Fabrics and garments made of Pima cotton can be very comfortable, soft and durable; they can have beautiful luster, and they’re less prone to pilling than fabrics made of cotton with shorter fibres. However, some brands use relatively cheap blends – for example, 30% Pima cotton + 70% much cheaper cotton or 60% Pima cotton + 40% Polyester.
Brooks Brothers shirt. 100% Supima cotton.
Supima (=Superior Pima) is a trademark which guarantees that a garment is made of 100% Pima cotton grown in the United States (or that a garment contents a specified share of American Pima cotton). The use of this label is regulated by Supima organization which was founded in 1954. The share of Supima in total American cotton production is about 3%, but garments made of this cotton are not necessarily expensive. You can find some affordable items with excellent price-quality ratio, though the best garments, of course, don’t cost cheap.
Please note that products made of Supima cotton are not necessarily fine and nice to touch. For example, I have a shirt from Brooks Brothers – it’s made of 100% Supima cotton, but it doesn’t have a soft feel. Moreover, some fabrics made of Pima and Supima cotton undergo chemical non-iron or easy iron treatment; I would recommend to avoid such fabrics because they often look cheap, and they’re not healthy.
- Some brands which offer socks made of Pima cotton: Blacksocks, Bresciani, Johnston & Murphy, Marcoliani, Tommy Hilfiger, Uniqlo. (Look for Bresciani and Marcoliani socks if you want to get top quality items).
- Some brands that sell shirts made of Pima cotton: Brooks Brothers, J.Press, Marks & Spencer, Patagonia, Uniqlo.
- Some brands which sell underwear and T-shirts made of Pima cotton: Brooks Brothers, Derek Rose, Handvaerk, John Lewis, L.L.Bean, Mack Weldon, Marks & Spencer, Uniqlo, Venroy, Zimmerli.
Learn more about Pima and Supima cotton at the website of Supima organization.