What are the different types of cotton?
Around the world, different species of cotton are grown. The quality and properties of cotton differ from region to region. Few of the countries producing cotton are the USA: Central America, South America, India and Pakistan, southern Africa, and the Arabian Peninsula. Let’s see what are the different cotton varieties:
• Upland cotton or Gossypium Hirsutum
Around 9 percent of the world’s cotton production consists of gossypium hirsutum, commonly known as upland cotton. Compared to other species of cotton upland cotton is characterized by its relatively short cotton fibers. This cotton species is very common in the US and makes up around 95 percent of the total American cotton production. Upland cotton is widely used in a variety of consumer products like feminine hygiene and baby care categories.
• Pima cotton or Gossypium Barbadense
After upland cotton, the second largest production consists of gossypium barbadense, commonly known as pima cotton. It consists of around 8 percent of the global cotton production. Pima cotton is considered the finest cotton on earth and is used in making luxuriously smooth fabrics. They are characterized by extra-long staple cotton fibers that are resistant to fraying, tearing, pilling, wrinkling, and fading. They are mostly used in apparel and bedding applications. Pima cotton is native to tropical South America.
• Tree cotton or Gossypium Arboretum
Another species of cotton is gossypium arboretum commonly known as tree cotton. This species comprises less than 2 percent of global cotton production. This type of cotton is mainly grown in regions of India and Pakistan for the manufacturing of muslin fabric. This muslin fabric is not only used as filter in cooking but are also used in making gauze in the medical equipments.
• Egyptian cotton or Gossypium Barbadense
Egyptian cotton has similar properties just like Pima cotton. The fibers of Egyptian cotton are extra long in nature and hence have exceptional softness, vibrancy, and performance. The only difference between Pima cotton and Egyptian cotton is that, Egyptian cotton is grown in the hot, dry climate of the Nile River Valley in Egypt.
• Acala cotton or Gossypium Hirsutum
Another special variety of cotton which is grown in California is called San Joaquin Valley Acala. Acla acotton is known to be among the highest quality Upland cottons in the world. The main advantage of San Joaquin Valley is its longer growing season and the ideal climate. Due to these geographical factors, the Acala cotton has fine fibers and has higher yields. But, Acala cotton tends to be more expensive than other American-grown Upland cottons because of irrigation requirements.
• Levant cotton or Gossypium Herbaceum
Gossypium Herbaceum which is also known as Levant cotton, is native to southern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Levant cotton also comprises less than 2 percent of the global cotton production. This variety of cotton is used to make a variety of fabrics. Apart from its use in manufacturing fabrics, this perennial shrub is used for a wide range of medicinal purposes, including the treatment of nausea, headaches, fevers, hemorrhages, and diarrhea.