Pima Cotton, also known as Extra Long Staple (ELS), is a particular kind of cotton that is grown chiefly in a number of countries, most prominently in the southwestern region of the United States, Peru, and Australia. Pima cotton is considered as one of the best cotton blends and is known for its high durability and absorbency. Pima cotton got its name from the Pima Native Americans who were the first people to cultivate this type of cotton in the United States. But Pima cotton's origins can actually be traced back to Peru. The common upland cotton comes from the plant species Gossypium hirsutum while Pima cotton is from the plant species Gossypium barbadense.
Pima cotton actually has many similarities to Egyptian cotton and its many different forms (it is often used in making towels and bed sheets). Egyptian cotton is known for having an extensive weave and because of this, products made from it are softer and can absorb water more quickly.
Because of the desirability of Egyptian cotton, the US tried to grow a type of Egyptian cotton in the southwest. The cotton that came from this planting possessed a mix of both Egyptian and othercotton types. Pima cotton has a slightly shorter fiber than Egyptian cotton but it still produces a thread that can be successfully woven countless times in order to create a very dense but plush fabric.
Pima cotton's similarity to Egyptian cotton has made it an especially favorable kind of cotton for commercial development. By the 20th century, this became quite popular for cultivation.
Pima cotton isusedformany different kinds of products. Among its uses include sheets, towels, and clothing. It is used for making shirts for both men and women. Sweaters made from pima cotton are also popular since it is quite light yet gives good warmth.