What is Long-Staple Cotton?

tree branch with cotton flowers

The number of different types of linens, materials, and fibers out there is not in short supply. Understanding the ins and outs of the variety of products that are available can become overwhelming and confusing very quickly. You could spend hours bouncing from one site to another and still not find the information you are looking for. At Southshore Fine Linens, we do all that legwork for you. We have assembled a well-organized and reader-friendly guide on some key information to help you avoid countless hours of scratching your head and feeling frustrated. 

Our blog provides you with all the information you need to make the most knowledgeable decision on products and quality that caters to your needs. Each blog post discusses a specific topic related to popular products in an effort to help put to rest some common misconceptions while providing you with accurate information. 

Browse our blog and equip yourself with the information necessary to ensure confidence when shopping for your next set of fine linens. 

Long-Staple Cotton: What is it? 

Most people think that cotton is cotton. However, we can assure you that there is a significant difference when it comes to this popular material. If you don’t know what long-staple cotton is, you are not alone. It’s not something that is always general knowledge. Long-staple cotton is simply a variety that produces stronger and more uniform fibers that are significantly longer. They are the ideal choice for weaving high-quality linens. 

When used for bed linens, the result is luxurious silky sheets that get softer with every wash. Usually, when we wash things, they wear out and fade, but this cotton actually gets better! When luxury bedding is what you’re after, long-staple cotton is the way to go. 

Southshore Fine Linens offers high-quality cotton sheets you’ll be dreaming about jumping into all day long. Don’t wait! Shop now for our high-quality cotton sheets today!

How does length affect quality? 

Staple length and uniformity affect the strength and evenness of the material as well as the efficiency of the spinning process. But why does that matter? Cotton with low length uniformity means high variance in fiber length, which can result in processing difficulties. This, in turn, yields low-quality yarn. By default, low-quality yarn produces low-quality linens. 

Cotton: long-staple vs. short-staple

Short-staple cotton is the most commonly grown cotton in the United States. Its primary use is for the production of denim and flannel. As staple length increases, so do softness and silkiness. Because of this correlation, long-staple cotton is favorable for the production of cotton bed sheet sets and other high-quality products. 

Another advantage long-staple cotton has over short-staple is that items produced with long-staple cotton do not pill or tear. This is because fewer fiber ends are exposed during the weaving and spinning process, and a smoother surface is achieved. 

The use of short-staple cotton produces increased fiber end exposure which generates bedding that will feel rough and degrade over time. To sum up, both types of staple length have their uses; however, long-staple cotton is far superior to short-staple cotton. This exceptional difference in quality is especially true regarding the production of fine bed sheets and other linens. 

Long-staple cotton: pros and cons

As we previously discussed, long-staple cotton is higher quality, softer, more uniform, and gets better with every wash. The only disadvantage to note when it comes to long-staple cotton lies in the cost. Because of their higher quality, the products manufactured using these fibers tend to be more expensive. This is where the expression “you get what you pay for” rings true. 

Cost is an important factor for many consumers. The advantages of long-staple cotton, however, outweigh this disadvantage. While products made with long-staple cotton may be more expensive up front, the longer life span and higher quality make the extra cost more than worth it in the long run. 

Southshore Fine Linens offers high-quality cotton products you can trust. When you shop our cotton collection, you can feel confident that you are getting the best quality products available. 

Long-staple cotton vs. Egyptian cotton

You may ask yourself what is Egyptian cotton? Well, once upon a time, Egyptian cotton reigned supreme in the bed linen industry. These deep pocket sheets can be very luxurious and high-quality. However, just like with any product, Egyptian cotton varies in quality as well. 

It’s important to know that products labeled as Egyptian cotton do not automatically guarantee quality. Some brands take advantage of our general naive sense that Egyptian cotton is naturally superior. The truth is, Egyptian cotton is simply cotton grown in Egypt. That is essentially the only significant difference between Egyptian cotton and long-staple cotton. 

This variety still ranges in staple length and quality. Some companies use this to their advantage by manufacturing products with lower-quality Egyptian cotton, using its notoriety to inflate the cost. In essence, that means people are paying top dollar for a cotton product that may be of low quality simply because it is labeled as Egyptian cotton. 

The essential element that determines quality is not where it is grown but how long the fibers are. Long-staple cotton can be of far better quality than Egyptian cotton if the fiber length is greater. Products of quality, resistance, and softness are produced not from their origin of growth but from their staple length. This is a key element to consider when shopping for high-quality cotton products. 

Cotton mixed/blended cotton: how to tell

If you want to determine if a product is pure cotton, the fastest, easiest way to do this is to look at the label. If a product consists solely of cotton, the label should explicitly state so. If it is missing the label that indicates composition, it is likely a blended product. If you don’t particularly trust the honesty of the label, you can conduct a feel test. 

Pure cotton products should always feel much softer with less texture than a blended product. However, this test is not guaranteed to be accurate. Manufacturers are working diligently to create synthetic products that feel and look just like cotton. So, keep in mind that the touch test can be difficult in yielding 100% accurate results. 

Another method to try when attempting to determine the purity of cotton material is to pinch a small section in half with your fingers and see if it forms a crease. Pure cotton products tend to crease and wrinkle more easily than blended fabrics. At the end of the day, determining the pureness of a cotton product can be tricky. Your best bet is going to be going by what the label indicates. 

Final thoughts

When it comes to cotton, there are a lot of factors to consider about the different types of products on the market. Don’t let mainstream ideas and media mislead you about what makes a good quality product. Things like thread count and where the cotton is produced should come second to staple length when establishing the quality of cotton products. Everyone has their personal preference on what they consider a quality product. It is important to remember that choosing the right product for you should not be an overwhelming task. 

Southshore Fine Linens’ solution to quality

cotton blankets on a bed

Southshore Fine Linens can help put you on the path to better quality linens without the guesswork. You will not have to question the quality of our wide range of products. Looking for some soft luxurious pillow cases to rest your head on for a good night's sleep? We’ve got you covered. How about a new plush and breathable cotton duvet cover? We’ve got that too. 

If you find yourself asking what a duvet cover is, we answer that question in a separate blog post: What’s a Duvet Cover?  Southshore Fine Linens is dedicated to arming you with as much knowledge as possible to help ensure satisfaction when making your final decision on a product. 

It is our mission to help as many as possible get their best night's sleep and purchase products that will make them feel content with their selections. That is why we dedicate the time and effort into securing the highest quality materials and products for our collections. 

If luxury and quality products are what you are after, you can feel confident that is what we provide. We supply a wide range of products and collections to choose from that we are more than confident you will love for a very long time. 

Shop for the BEST Luxury Cotton Sheets & Duvet Covers at Southshore Fine Linens. Shopping with us will have you well on your way to comfort and satisfaction in no time.