SS19 Trend: Long Staple Cotton
Today I want to talk about a more technical aspect of the textile industry: Long Staple Cotton. I know the “nerdier” aspects of the textiles is a little dry, but this has changed the cotton industry drastically. This is probably something you have actually known about for a long time but never realized what the difference was – I’m sure the following types and brands will sound familiar: Giza, Supima, Pima, Egyption, and Suvin (There are more but these are the most common). By using Long Staple Cotton, we can achieve a look and feel that has never been associated with Cotton before; and we can do so without the use of any chemical finishes! Something as simple as using a longer cotton fibre in spinning has totally revolutionized the way cotton can be used in the textile industry and allowed us to create something new while still only using natural plant fibres.
What Exactly Am I Talking About?
When I talk about the more intricate aspects of textiles, especially yarns and fibres, the easiest way to explain it is actually with hair! Cotton Fibres general come in staple length (around 1 in long) but some species of cotton can yield longer staples. Think about hair with split ends. The ends that are split are very dry, course feeling, and looks matte. This is similar to a short staple. The area of the hair from your scalp to before the split ends is smooth, silky, shiny and soft. This is because it is a longer continuous strand. This is basically a long staple. With Cotton, it usually has a dry and rougher hand feel because these short staples are spun together and create a hairier yarn. With long staple cotton, you get a smoother yarn and a softer, more luxurious hand. It actually almost feels like a cotton blended with a synthetic, but without using any actual synthetics or chemical finishes!
Why am I Forecasting This Trend?
The Spring/Summer seasons generally lean more towards natural fibres and the US Market has definitely put a high importance on comfort. Short staple cottons are in no way uncomfortable, but long staple cotton feels so much better against your skin. You have the benefit of using only natural fibres while having a garment that looks, drapes, and feels like a blend. The final product is smoother, shinier, and more luxurious feeling; it even lasts longer because the yarn is stronger! Long staple cottons are a beautiful alternative to synthetics and semi-synthetics. So keep an eye out for the names I mentioned above and I promise you that once you try long staple cotton, your life will forever be changed.