Is Pima Cotton Good? Pima Cotton vs Combed Cotton vs Percale

There are many different types of cotton fabric and each one has its own unique place in the fabric lineup. While unique in some ways those cotton varieties also share a lot in common with each other.

Is Pima cotton good? Yes, Pima cotton is good and it is one of the top cotton varieties you can find. As for competing with combed cotton and percale, this is not a competition as Pima cotton is combed during manufacturing and its fibers can be woven in a percale weave method.

To learn more about Pima cotton and how it relates to combed cotton and percale, just keep reading our article. It has the information you want to know about so you never get confused when you go to the fabric store

Is Pima Cotton Good Quality?


The answer to this question is also positive. Yes, it is a very fine and top-quality cotton fabric. Its cost per yard will definitely let you know that as well. Its rivals are Egyptian and Supima cotton and both are at the top of the cotton chain.

Then when you look at the thread count in the fabrics made from Pima cotton fibers, you will notice one thing-- the minimum thread count is listed as 200 to 300 per square inch. That many threads make for a very high-quality material. As well as a very durable one.

On top of that, the long fibers that the Gossypium barbadense tree produces make this material a very popular fabric to use in many cotton sewing projects. Those long fibers make many positive contributions to the overall fabric that it is a hard material to beat unless you are buying real silk or Egyptian cotton.

Let’s just say that you could do a lot worse than Pima cotton but it is very difficult to do a lot better. Take some fabric for your own test drive to see why it is so popular.

What Does Pima Cotton Feel like?

One of the most difficult things to do is describe something as good as Pima cotton in words on a piece of paper or computer screen. It is very hard to find the right tone, the right inflection, and the right adjective to describe something as fine as Pima cotton.

One could say that it is almost as good as silk and even those words only partially describe the richness and softness of this material. There is a silky softness that is hard for most fabrics to top but to put it into words may diminish the actual feeling you get when you use Pima cotton on your bed.

Exquisite comes to mind, but sophisticated doe snot quite cut it. There is just something about those long fibers that make the feel of this fabric indescribable when you get it in its best quality.

The feel is so good that the majority of the time, this material is used in high-end clothing that will make you feel like a movie star when you put them on. Part of that exquisite feel is due to the high thread count which makes the fabric very soft and comfortable.

Is Pima Cotton Breathable?


Clothing is more than just how it looks on a person. These days looks may take a secondary position to breathability as people are more concerned about staying cool these days than they are how they look. Well almost more concerned. Men are a different breed.

Yes, Pima cotton is quite breathable which makes wearing this fabric all the better. Not only do you get an excellent feel to your fashion outfit, look good in the clothing made from this material, you also stay nice a cool.

The fabric is not only very breathable it is also very good at moisture wicking. That means you should stay dryer as well when embarrassing situations or uncomfortable encounters come across your path.

Once you don clothing made from Pima fabric you should be able to go about your day with confidence knowing that you should not overheat at the wrong time. Hot weather should not be an issue for you as Pima fabric has got you covered.

It may be a bit expensive to buy but you are worth the extra cost to look good and maintain your cool all day long.

Is Pima Cotton Cool?

Again we have to answer in the positive as this material lets your body heat escape very easily. The breathability of this material ensures that the fabric is nice and cool and this material doesn't retain heat very well.

That what makes it a good late Spring, all of Summer, and the early fall clothing option. You can stay cooler because your body heat has a way out to the outside air. Then it disappears so it cannot bother you anymore.

The moisture-wicking property should also keep you cooler as well as drier as you won’t be feeling any hot perspiration next to your skin. Those characteristics are what you want in a top-quality fabric that costs more than you would like to pay for material.

The key is to try the material out for yourselves and see the Pima cotton difference. Some may feel it while others may not. It is not everyone’s cup of tea but it will make everyone look better. That is half the battle when you are competing with other good-looking women for that cute guy’s attention.

Does Pima cotton pill?


There is good news here as well. Pilling usually takes place when the weave is loose and the fibers are of a low quality. Most top-quality fabrics resist pilling to some extent and Pima fabric is no exception.

Depending on the weave style, this fabric’s high thread count makes it hard to pill. The material does resist that laundry ill but it may not be 100% pill-free. Even top-quality fabrics will have issues with pilling at some point in time.

The tight weave given to this fabric also helps the fight against pilling. With 200 to 300 threads per square inch, there is not a lot of room for pills to form. Of course, this doesn't mean you don't launder the fabric properly or put it in an overstuffed washing machine or dryer.

You still want to wash and dry this material very carefully as it is an investment, not only in price but also in how you look when you wear it. Some Pima cotton materials may be dry clean only so watch that care label closely and do not ignore it.

Is Pima Cotton Soft?

Yes, it is a very soft material that rivals Egyptian cotton. The reason for its softness is one, the long fibers the Gossypium barbadense produces. This fiber is called Extra Long Staple and it is much better for softness than the shorter regular cotton fibers.

Two, the thread count also contributes to the softness of this material. With a minimum of 200 to 300 threads per square inch, it is not hard for the fabric to be soft. Those two combine to provide Pima cotton with a richness that is hard to beat by its competitors.

Also, those long fibers give the material a nice silky finish that feels extra soft next to your skin. This material may rival silk as to being silky soft. That richness that comes with this material adds to the softness factor making sure your outings will be comfortable.

Pima cotton is made to be soft and it is made to be as good as Egyptian cotton. Whether one is better than the other remains to be seen. That comparison is coming up shortly.

Is Pima Cotton the Best?

This is a subjective question and everyone will base their opinions on their experience with the fabric as well as their preferences. Our opinion is that it is one of the better cotton fabrics you can buy and it is a very close competition between it, Egyptian and Supima cotton.

As you can see by our content here, we think very highly of this fabric but it is hard to gauge which top cotton material is the best. Some people will say Supima is better while others will side with Egyptian cotton.

To decide for yourselves which is better, you may have to treat yourselves to each of the fabrics, make them into the same outfit, and wear them under the same conditions. Then you may be able to determine which is the best for you.

That is what it is all about. Which fabric is best for you and you do not have to feel bad if you do not like any of the top three. Each person has their own standards and criteria but when it comes to softness and durability, these three are hard to beat.

Why Pima Cotton is Better?

Those people who place Pima cotton in the top category do so for a variety of reasons. it is a very soft material that is easy to work with. Plus, its long fibers keep you nice and comfortable while keeping the fabric very strong.

The manufacturing process ensures that you are not getting any harmful chemicals next to your skin or the skin of your family so that is another plus in this material’s favor. Also, the fabric has some stretch to it so it will give you some freedom of movement without worrying if you are going to rip the outfit in the wrong places.

On top of that, you can’t forget that it does not pill that easily and can be washed in cool or warm water. It does not need a lot of special attention when it comes time to wash this material.

Also, the moisture-wicking ability and the breathability of this fabric make it ideal to wear under the hottest of conditions. All these positives are great reasons why some people select this fabric over any other cotton material including the other two in the top three categories.

Pima Cotton or Supima Cotton?


The word Supima is a combination of the words superior and Pima. If you are to take those two words at their literal meaning, you would consider Supima to be superior to Pima. It wouldn’t be called superior if it wasn’t but that determination is very subjective as well.

According to one analysis, Supima is supposed to have excellent durability and breathability. Pima is said to be great for durability and excellent for breathability. Then Pima has more water temperatures it can be washed at than Supima so that is a win for that fabric.

Supima is only made in America while Pima has been grown in tropical regions around the world including South America, the West Indies, and some Asian countries.

When it comes to softness, Supima is supposed to be extremely soft while Pima is said to be a little bit lower than that category. It is very soft so it may be up to individuals to decide how soft each fabric is.

Cost-wise, Supima is supposed to cost more than Pima. Cost does influence a person’s reaction to certain fabrics.

Is Pima Cotton Better than Egyptian Cotton?

Both fabrics will have their strong supporters and no matter how well or bad the comparison goes, they will not change their support of a given material. With that said, it is hard to say which is better because the two fabrics are very close when it comes to positive characteristics.

For durability, Egyptian cotton is supposed to be excellent and better than Pima cotton. Although the latter is not that far behind. Those terms do not do justice to the closeness of the competitors.

Cost-wise, Egyptian cotton is more expensive than Pima although there may not be too much of a difference since these fabrics can and do go on sale from time to time. Pima may be easier to care than Egyptian cotton but one thing is for sure, that when cared for properly both fabrics will live up to their reputations.

In the end, it will be up to your preference as both materials are in the top three of all cotton fabrics and they are all very close in quality with each other. Both are great at breathing and keeping you cool as well as making you look good when you are out and about.

Pima Cotton vs Regular Cotton

Some people may say that cotton is cotton. They would be wrong as regular cotton is not as good as the Pima version on its worst day. There is a difference between these cotton types and Pima is one of the best of the best you can buy.

One reason for this is the thread count. Pima cotton usually has a higher count than regular cotton. Plus, the regular cotton is not as fine as Pima even though it may go through much the same processing.

Then the quality of regular cotton is often dictated by the attempt to keep fabric costs low. There is no such attempt with Pima cotton. The breathable factor may be similar to all cotton materials, for the most part, breath fairly well.

As for durability, that category is won by Pima as regular cotton may not be as durable as Pima. In fact, some types are very far from being durable or top-quality fabric. It is a certain fact that the long fibers of Pima make its cotton version far softer than the shorter fibers that are found in regular cotton materials.

Pima Cotton vs Combed Cotton

This is not a good comparison to make as Pima cotton is also combed cotton. Combing is a part of the process that Pima cotton has to go through in order to reach its luxurious final state.

Then it would not be fair to compare Pima to carded cotton as this material goes through that process just before it goes through the combing process. What this tells you is that Pima cotton is given very thorough processing so it is one of the best cotton types you can buy.

Of course, that extra processing raises the cost of manufacturing so the cost to you will be higher than if the cotton fabric only received one of those two processing options.

If the combed cotton doesn't receive the carded part of the processing then Pima will be superior to it because it did have that extra work done on it. And if the carded cotton did not receive combing, then Pima would be better than that material because it did.

Pima cotton is going to be hard to beat unless the material or fibers are top-notch and run through the exact same processes Pima goes through

Pima Cotton vs Percale

The term percale comes from the Persian word ‘pargalah’. The meaning of that word is rag but when a fiber is sent through the percale weave process it is anything but a rag.

Also, percale refers to a particular weave style and is not referring to a specific fabric. What that means is that if you have Pima percale sheets, towels, etc., and regular cotton percale sheets, etc., then the Pima version would be better simply because those fibers are better than the regular cotton fibers.

Just about any fiber can be woven in the percale weave style so basically there is nothing to compare here, except the quality of the fibers used in the weaving process. As you know, Pima is one of the best cotton fibers so its bed sheets, towels, etc., will be superior to just about any other cotton percale bed sheet except for Egyptian and Supima.

Then to qualify as percale the sheet has to have at least 180 thread count or above. There may be some blending of cotton fibers with synthetic ones but only to help resist wrinkling.

Pima Cotton vs Sateen

Sateen is usually made from cotton fibers and it too, like percale, is a weave style and not a name for a specific fabric. That means that it is possible to get Pima fibbers woven in the sateen weave method and you end up with a very top-quality bed sheet.

The texture of sateen would only be improved when using Pima cotton fibers. Already soft, smooth and luxurious, the use of Pima cotton would only elevate those positive characteristics and make the bed sheet even more elegant.

If rayon is used to make those bedsheets, etc., then those products would not even be in the same ballpark or even the same league as Pima-made sateen sheets. Rayon would bring the cost of those sheets down but it would also lower the quality of the sheets.

Also, Pima comes with a higher thread count which would make its version of sateen more comfortable, softer, and more durable than those lesser fibers that can be used to make the same products.

Overall, Pima cotton even when not spun into those different weave patterns is still superior to those fibers that are unless Egyptian cotton fibers were used.

Some Final Words

Pima cotton is one of the best cotton fabrics you could work with. Its texture is beyond description and its feel may have you thinking you are next to royalty. The durability is very good as well, which means investing in this fabric pays off through the longevity of the outfit you make with this material.

When you want to look your best, you go with the best material possible.

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