Our Cotton


Extraordinarily fine cottons

English Fine Cottons works only with the finest ELS cotton varieties.  Combining our traditional skills, the very latest technology and the finest raw materials, we produce some of the most luxurious cotton yarns money can buy.

Sea Island

The original ELS variety – gossypium barbadense – is grown in the Caribbean Islands, where the tropical climate produces what are considered the most luxurious fibres in the world, known as Sea Island cotton.

Sea Island cotton has been grown in Barbados for more than 300 years. In the 1800s, it was so prized, it was used to make Queen Victoria’s handkerchiefs.

Today, Sea Island cotton is coveted as one of the world’s most sought-after materials. Its unique qualities – including very long fibres up to 60mm, silky lustre and unrivalled softness, as well as high-tensile strength – allow it to be woven into cloths of the very highest yarn count.

The rarest type of cotton, it makes up less than 0.0004 per cent of the world’s cotton production.

Indian Suvin

Suvin cotton is the jewel in the Indian cotton crown. Alongside Sea Island and Egyptian Giza 45, Indian Suvin is considered one of the best cottons in the world.

Suvin is a hybrid of Sea Island cotton from St Vincent in the Caribbean and an indigenous Indian variety called Sujata. Often called ‘White Gold’, only a few thousand bales of this superfine cotton are grown each year in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Egyptian Giza 45

Giza 45 is the most highly prized cotton fibre of all the Egyptian cottons. It is the same variety of plant as Sea Island cotton. Harvested by hand, the raw cotton is considerably more expensive than other Egyptian cottons.

American Pima

Pima is the generic name for ELS cotton grown in the US. It was named after the Pima Indians, who tended the cotton fields in Arizona in the early 20th century.

Supima cotton – superior American Pima – has been developed to improve its yield potential and enhance its fibre characteristics. This premium variety of ELS cotton is grown exclusively in the far west and southwest U.S.

See our videos and news stories about our visits to the Supima cotton farms in California.

• Supima is the licensed trade mark of Supima, a non-profit organisation whose main objective is to promote the use of American Pima cotton.

• Suvin is the  registered trade mark of the Cotton Association of India.