Superior Education

Is Egyptian-grown Cotton Real?

  • Cotton Quality
  • Egyptian Cotton

How much cotton is grown in Egypt?

Q. I've noticed a growing trend of Egyptian cotton booming in the past several years. Towels, bed sheets, and now threads claim to be "Egyptian Cotton" and by name association alone, there is a correlation between quality and Egyptian cotton. Just how much cotton does Egypt grow? Is all thread labeled as Egyptian cotton really from Egypt?

King Tut cotton thread
King Tut Egyptian-grown cotton quilting thread
King Tut
Egyptian-grown cotton has excellent color qualities

A. In short, no. Recently, Egypt ranked #20 in cotton growing countries by volume. It is often said that 10 times as much "Egyptian Cotton" is sold as what is actually 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 manufacturer in Germany labels their thread as Egyptian cotton even though the cotton crop used to make the thread is grown in and imported from Romania and surrounding countries. They define Egyptian cotton as any long staple cotton due to the common use of the generic term.

So how can we tell true Egyptian cotton and does it really matter? Unless you have reliable information directly from the source, there really is no way to know the origin of a thread (unless you have a lot of lab equipment in your sewing studio). What matters is the integrity of the company and the quality of the final product. Egyptian-grown extra-long staple cotton threads will have strength qualities that other cotton threads won't have. For the record, our King Tut and MasterPiece threads are made from authentic Egyptian-grown extra-long staple cotton fibers.

View our infographic on cotton threads.

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