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Buying 100 Percent Egyptian Cotton Sheets

Sep 4, 2008
100 percent Egyptian cotton fabrics have long been known for durability, softness and quality. For a number of years, bed sheets, and other linen goods made from Egyptian cotton were not widely available. The scarcity of Egyptian cotton linens certainly had the effect of adding to an aura of mystique and to the price. Once found only in fine linen shops, 100 percent Egyptian cotton sheets and linens have surged both in popularity and availability.

Cotton is grown all over the world and the cultivation of Egyptian cotton has expanded well the borders of Egypt. Characterized by strands longer than other varieties of cotton, Egyptian cotton fibers are extremely soft. Cotton remains a prime agricultural export for Egypt, though the species can be found growing from the Americas to Central Asia, principally Pakistan.

With qualities very similar to Egyptian cotton fabrics, bed sheets and other linens products made from Pima cotton fibers are also popular. SuPima cotton and Pima cotton plants are commercially grown in the American Southwest and throughout South America. Competing directly with Egyptian cotton, Pima cotton and Supima fibers are long stranded and very soft. The resulting fabrics are of high quality and command prices on a par with Egyptian cotton.

When buying products made from Egyptian cotton, consumers should take the time to learn the difference between other varieties of cotton fabrics and Egyptian cotton. Since Egyptian and Pima cotton are very similar, growers of both cotton varieties have attempted to educate consumers about their respective products. Since the advent of the internet and the expansion of global trading, producers are also aware of the practice of mislabeling and counterfeiting. Consumer education has been shown to be a very effective deterrent to unscrupulous sellers.

In 2001, producers of Egyptian cotton products agreed on a labeling and certification program. This program adds a layer of protection for consumers that is fortified by regulations issued by agencies like the U.S. Federal Trade commission or FTC. Agencies like the FTC issue very stringent regulations which require content labeling. Content labeling helps to protect consumers and producers from counterfeit products. The logo which represents 100 percent Egyptian cotton features a pyramid shape, which symbolizes Great Pyramid of Giza. In the center of the pyramid is the figure of a cotton boll. The boll is the fiber blossom of any cotton plant.

While labeling alone does not fully address the problem mislabeling and product counterfeiting, imagine a world market without such regulations. Most any attempt at labeling and creating a brand identity, brings with it the risk of unauthorized duplication. Consumers should not rely entirely on content labeling when buying 100 percent Egyptian cotton products. Consumers must take into account several other factors when making a purchase decision.

Consumers should be aware that even though a content label may say 100 percent Egyptian cotton, other varieties of cotton or other fabric type may have been used. For example, a cotton terry cloth towel may be labeled 100 percent Egyptian cotton loops. The towel is not 100 percent Egyptian cotton. The ground or inner layer of the towel could be made from polyester or other variety of cotton.

Price is another indicator that a product may not be the genuine article. All consumers like to get a bargain, but a bargain basement price for 100 percent Egyptian cotton sheets may indicate a problem. As with most anything, a price that seems too good to be true probably is and the rule is always buyer beware.

Lastly, always look for a reputable seller. Consumers should look to sellers who display the 100 percent Egyptian cotton logo and are recognized by organizations like the Better Business Bureau.
About the Author
Mitch Endick is a staff writer for the quality internet shopping site 100PercentEgyptianCottonSheets.com. 100PercentEgyptianCottonSheets.com offers a great selection of fine Egyptian Cotton sheets and bed linens.
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