Q. I've noticed the growing trend of Egyptian cotton booming in the past several years. Towels, bed sheets, and now threads claim to be "Egyptian Cotton" Just how much cotton does Egypt grow? Is all thread labeled as Egyptian cotton really from Egypt?
A. No, it isn't. In 2012, Egypt ranked #20 in cotton growing countries by volume. It is often said that 10 times as much "Egyptian Cotton" is sold as grown. Many years ago, the term Egyptian cotton became a generic term for long staple cotton. Just as we use the word Kleenex for tissues or Xerox for copying, the term Egyptian cotton was used for any long staple cotton grown anywhere in the world. Egypt is now very strict in trying to protect this term but old habits die hard and I don't know if it will ever stop. A major thread factory in Germany labels their thread as Egyptian cotton even though it is grown in and imported from Romania and countries other than Egypt. They consider any long staple cotton to be Egyptian cotton due to the common use of the generic term. So how can we tell and does it really matter? Unless you have reliable information directly from the source, there really is no way to know the origin. What matters is the integrity of the company and the quality of the final product. Egyptian-grown extra-long staple cotton will have strength qualities that other cotton threads won't have. For the record, our King Tut cotton and MasterPiece cotton are made from authentic Egyptian-grown extra-long staple cotton.