The quality of a fabric is linked with the quality of the material, the thread, and the weaving (or knitting).
All cottons do not have the same value. You possibly eared about the Egyptian cotton, though it weights less than 1% of the worldwide production. What makes its superiority is the length of the fiber (explanation in this article).
The quality of a cotton is not a matter of geography. Though, for information, the 4 biggest producers in the world are, in order, China, India, U.S. and Pakistan. Together, they weight cc. 70% of the total production.
Indeed, cotton quality is rather a matter of specie. The mostly used one is: Gossypium hirsutum, and weights cc. 80% of the total. After is another one: Gossypium barbadens, originally from Peru. This one only weights cc. 5% of the total, but it’s the best quality. It can be found under different names:
- Peruvian Pima,
- American Pima (with Supima brand)
- Egyptian Giza,
- Indian Suvin,
- Chinese Xiniang or XinJiang,
- Sudanese Barakat.
If you type those names in your favorite search engine, you will find brands or manufacturers the use them. Especially in the Denim / Jeans sector.
There are 2 other high quality cotton, that you can ear about: from Zimbabwe, and Uzbekistan. The originality of the first one is to be hand cropped. The 2nd one is also a long staple variety (called tonkovoloknistyi / тонковолокнистый хлопок). This said, the situation of those 2 countries, and the condition of the harvest raise moral and ethical questions.
Finally, do those cottons make a difference in the final product? Yes! In terms of touch feel, no debate, it’s obvious for anybody. Soft like a caresse or a baby skin. It’s even obvious for simple Jeans, T-shirts, or linens (re. the fabrics from Liberty London).
Further, this superiority doesn’t only concern the touch feel, mais also the drape and durability. The latter one, for instance, helped to build the solidity reputation of Lacoste’s polos. Of course, the price is significantly higher. Especially when it is proposed by a preium or luxury brand. Nevertheless, among small or local manufacturers, it’s possible to find very beautiful items at a very interesting price. Namely for basics, like T-shirts.