What is Combed Cotton? We read about it on packaging and marketing materials, and you probably know it’s a good thing but do you know what it is and why it’s better?
Cotton is made from the cotton plant’s seedpods and it grows all over the world, in fact, cotton is probably the most common material we come into contact with daily. Clothing, towels, and bed linens are mostly made with cotton, and as with everything on the market, the quality of cotton varies and with it, the price. Combed cotton is superior to regular cotton because the fibers undergo an extra step before they are made into yarn, resulting in a softer, stronger, more luxurious fabric that is typically more expensive.
How is Combed Cotton made?
Combed cotton is derived from the same cotton plant as other types of cotton. After the cotton is harvested, it is carded, a time-consuming process that separates fibers and runs them all in the same direction. By the end of the carding process, over 15 percent of the raw material volume is discarded. This explains why the production and material costs are higher. After carding, fine brushes then comb the fibers in a process that pulls out shorter fibers and impurities, resulting in cotton fibers that are stronger, longer and straighter and an end product that has vastly superior and desirable properties than regular cotton.
Combed Cotton Vs. Regular Cotton
In a nutshell, combed cotton is softer than regular cotton because it doesn’t have impurities or protruding threads, and it is stronger than regular cotton because the combining process removes short fibers that are prone to fraying and breaking.
How To Take Care of Combed Cotton
Regular and combed cotton are resilient fabrics that withstand years of normal machine washing and drying, however, it is recommended to take a little extra care with high-quality items like combed cotton so that you get the most out of your purchase by helping preserve it and last longer. Choose a lukewarm wash cycle for your sheets and use only gentle detergents. If your machine offers a second rinse cycle, use it to rinse excess soap and never use chlorine bleach.
Refrain from using fabric softeners as they chemically react with the cellulose fibers, shortening the life of your textile. Fabric softeners also inhibit the functioning of your textile by coating the yarns with a chemical that artificially softens it but prevents the fabric from absorbing moisture or “breathing.”
Tumble dry on low or “perma-press” as high heat “cooks” the yarn and causes it to lose its natural softness.
Elegant Strand’s Twice Combed Cotton Sheets
At Elegant Strand, we searched the globe looking for the finest cotton in the world and we found what we were looking for in India. Our sheets are made from Indian cotton which starts out with ultra-fine, long-staple fibers which are TWICE combed and ring spun into silk-like fine yarns that result in a smooth, strong, supple weave.