The Yellow Bloom of Pima

PimaSong

What? You haven’t heard that song? Well, maybe because we haven’t recorded it yet. And the way we sing, we’re not likely to.

But it’s our way of saying, Pima cotton is pretty special. It has that distinctive yellow flower. (Blink and you’ll miss it, because it only lasts a few days.) And it’s the only American cotton classified as “extremely long staple” – an inch and 3/8 or longer. The longer the staple, the stronger, softer and silkier the finished cotton garment will be.

supimainyellow

At Lands’ End®, we go even one step further with Pima, and offer garments that are Supima® (short for “superior Pima”), meaning they are 100% pure American Pima cotton, and not mixed with any lesser cottons. You’ll feel the difference from ordinary cotton when you button into one of our Supima Pinpoint oxfords, polo shirts or fine-gauge sweaters. You might say “Ooooo!” or “Ahhhh!” if you’re the emotional type. And from a purely practical point of view, you’ll find they’ll outlast your other cotton garments as well. Even colors are richer, truer in Supima cotton.

Pima didn’t just sprout up from the ground one fine day – it has a long and convoluted history. Don’t worry; we’ll give you the nutshell version.

Sherman, set the wayback machine for 1790. That’s when the first successful crop of Sea Island cotton was produced on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina – the first “extremely long staple” cotton we know of.

In 1825, this Sea Island was taken to Egypt and crossed with a cotton called jumel. That produced ashmouni, which eventually got fine enough to compete with Sea Island for supremacy.

In 1908, a cotton called Yuma was introduced in Arizona – a hybrid of ashmouni and Sea Island. It got a boost in development during World War I, when it was used for tire cords and airplane fuselage. When a marauding army of nasty boll weevils wiped out Sea Island cotton in 1920, Yuma became America’s premier cotton. Eventually, it evolved into Pima, named for the Native American Pimas who helped raise it.

We’ve met our share of cottons over the years, and our share of cotton people. But we’ve never run across any cotton like Supima. It’s amazing.

The fact is, Supima is the finest 3% of all cotton grown in America. That’s a pretty select club, but not a snooty one. Anybody can join – especially if you shop Lands’ End, where it’s affordable.

Check out a brief video starring Supima, and see what soft looks like…

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