What is Egyptian Cotton?
If you’ve never used an Egyptian cotton towel before, you may be under the false impression that the term is just a marketing ploy, another spin on regular cotton. But you’ll understand the true difference Egyptian cotton makes once you feel its incomparable softness.
We focus on quality—in design, in materials, in manufacturing—when developing Elegant Strand products. When it came to creating our Riviera Towel Collection, we knew we wanted to use Egyptian cotton. This type of cotton looks and feels beautiful, of course, but it also offers unparalleled durability. It’s the reason why we like to say that you wrap yourself in luxury when using one of our impeccably crafted Egyptian cotton bath towels.
The Benefits of Egyptian Cotton
You get premium quality and performance from 100% Egyptian cotton towels. Here are some of the important benefits offered by this amazing fiber:
- Absorbency. Egyptian cotton is ideal for soaking up moisture. At the same time, the fibers achieve the neat trick of not feeling heavy when wet—these towels caress your skin instead of weighing you down.
- Color fastness. Egyptian cotton takes to color beautifully, which gives manufacturers a rainbow of hues to work with. Our Elegant Strand towels boast a rich range of brilliant blue tones inspired by the sea—lagoon, turquoise, aqua and more. We also have a classic, brilliant white and a curated selection of timeless neutrals.
- Sumptuous feel. Egyptian cotton towels are renowned for a cloud-like softness. The distinctive feel is due to the type of fiber and how it's harvested (more on that in a minute).
- Long-lasting quality. Egyptian cotton is a strong fiber to begin with. We enhance this durability with stitching and finishing techniques that help our towels hold up to frequent use over time. In fact, you’ll find that they age well and retain their signature soft touchability.
- Comfort. The texture of Egyptian cotton towels is free from pilling and scratchiness. This is especially beneficial for anyone who has sensitive, dry skin or issues such as psoriasis and eczema.
Egyptian Cotton vs. Cotton
So what sets Egyptian cotton apart from regular cotton? After all, cotton on its own is a miracle material—it’s breathable, versatile, durable and easy to care for. But Egyptian cotton has many of the same attributes. The difference between the two starts with the fiber (or staple) itself.
These cottons come from two different plants: regular cotton grows from Gossypium hirsutum, while the Egyptian plant is the Gossypium barbadense. Another clue that the two varieties aren’t the same? The name “Egyptian cotton” indicates the location where it was grown. Egypt’s arid climate, it turns out, is ideal for nurturing the Gossypium barbadense. Regular cotton is grown in various locations throughout the world, including, of course, the United States.
The harvesting method used to extract these fibers from the plants’ cotton bolls also plays a significant role. Typically, regular cotton bolls are mechanically removed from the plant, and then the staples are separated from the bolls and their seeds with the use of a sharp-bladed machine. While this may offer greater efficiency in the harvesting process, this rough handling of the fibers can break them. Egyptian cotton, on the other hand, is usually harvested by hand to preserve the extra-long length of the staples—they can measure up to 4.4 cm long.
This is important because the quality of the fiber determines the quality of your towel. Extra-long staples are strong and supple, so they make a smoother, most luxurious product that holds up well over time. (Some manufacturers use a cotton blend of short, large or extra-large fibers, so it’s important to read product labels to determine the fiber content of your towels.)
Customers also often ask about the difference between Pima cotton vs. Egyptian cotton. Pima comes from the same plant type as Egyptian cotton, but it grows in countries such as Australia and America. Pima cotton, like its Egyptian counterpart, has extra-long fibers, but it oftentimes is milled by a machine, which affects the quality of the staples. The fiber content is just one factor to consider when buying towels, but when you feel the silkiness of Egyptian cotton, you’ll realize it’s an important one.
Investing in Egyptian Cotton
We’ve created the best Egyptian cotton towels on the market. Stock your linen closets with our complete collection of washcloths, hand and bath towels, bath sheets and bath mats.
Following the proper care instructions ensures your bath linens will stay soft and fluffy, even with frequent use. We recommend washing Egyptian cotton towels in a separate load of their own, using a gentle liquid detergent and cool to warm water. Give the towels a shake before putting them in the dryer on a normal setting. And avoid dryer sheets—your towels will feel delightfully soft without them.
Shop Egyptian Cotton Towels at Elegant Strand
Treat yourself to the luxury of Egyptian cotton. Shop our towel collection today.