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Peruvian Pima Cotton - The Best Material to Manufacture Your Clothing


Cotton is the world’s most important non-food agricultural product, accounting for half of the global demand for fiber. It takes up a lot of space worldwide, and its production makes up a large portion of the workforce in India, the US and China, where it is predominantly grown.


Regular cotton or conventional cotton is controversial from an ethical point of view, for both the impact on workers and the environment. Its farming and production requires the use of a significant amount of pesticides and water, posing significant health risks to those in the fields, factories and surrounding communities.1


Organic cotton is much much safer for the environment and for the workers, yet only 1% of cotton grown worldwide is organic, according to Patagonia.2 While brands like Eileen Fisher and Patagonia are making efforts to use organic cotton to produce their clothing, the fashion industry at large has a detrimental over dependence on this unsustainable conventional crop.


What is Peruvian Pima Cotton

Pima cotton strain is widely revered to be the finest of all cottons, thanks to ideal growing conditions in the northern coastal valleys of Peru, an extra-long staple length (measures between 38.10 to 41.27 mm. Other fibers only reach between 20 and 32 mm) that allows for the soft hand, and hand harvesting, making it also environmentally sounder.3 Unlike other cottons, Peruvian Pima is harvested by hand which means the fiber is less damaged and highly resistant to pilling, enabling a longer life of the fabric.


The combination of these factors enhance Pima cotton’s reputation as being softer and more absorbent than other cottons, especially soft, durable, highly resistant to pilling, and perfect for those who suffer from allergies or those with sensitive skin.


The longer the staple, the smoother the feel, and the higher the quality. It's no wonder why Peruvian Pima cotton is used in the fashion industry by many contemporary brands around the world. It is generally used for the manufacture of handkerchiefs and t-shirts. And Europe is precisely the main destination for this type of clothing. 


Five Facts About Peruvian Pima Cotton

Below is a list of five surprising facts about Peruvian Pima Cotton that you probably did not know about:


  • It Compares Favorably to Egyptian Cotton

In addition to Pima, Peru produces four other varieties of cotton: Supima, Tangüis, Del Cerro and Áspero–Pima. Another famous type of cotton that is produced abroad is Egyptian cotton, which is grown in the Nile Delta, where its climatic and humidity conditions encourage its cultivation. In addition, no pesticides or chemicals are used to clean the plant.


Their harvest is also done manually to avoid damages and contamination. It is very strong, bright and soft. There are few differences between both types of cotton, but the main one is that all fibers of Pima Cotton are extra-long, which allows a longer duration and resistance; not all Egyptian cotton fibers have this feature.


  • Major Global Brands Across the World Prefer Peruvian Pima Cotton

Important brands such as Armani Exchange, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Guess, and Lacoste prefer to work with Peruvian Pima Cotton as it allows a very fine and even spinning. Due to its attributes, clothes that are light as well as highly durable and resistant to washing can be produced. Also, since it’s white, it’s easy to dye and obtain garments with a great diversity of shades.


  • It’s Hypoallergenic and Sensitive to the Body’s Temperature

Like alpaca, cotton is hypoallergenic. It’s also a fantastic way to regulate the body’s temperature. Want something to cool you down during the daytime and keep you cozy at night? Cotton is your go-to fiber.4


  • Peru Has Optimal Growing Conditions for Pima Cotton

Incredible fibers need incredible growing conditions. The northern coastal valleys of Peru are pima cotton’s ideal home. This is due to the region’s rich soil and perfect temperatures, which results in the cotton having an unbelievably soft hand and beautiful luster. In the light, this cotton appears silky and shiny.5


  • Better for the Environment

Unlike much commercial cotton, Peruvian pima cotton is harvested entirely by hand. Not only is harvesting by hand more environmentally sound, it’s better for the cotton itself. Industrial harvesting tears the cotton fibers, giving it a yellowed hue and creating a scratchy texture that affect the smoothness of the final garment. The careful hand harvesting of Peruvian pima, however, results in a brilliant white shade of whole cotton, which dyes beautifully and feels soft and smooth against the skin.6



At Exporta, we support the development and manufacturing of clothing using Peruvian Pima Cotton. Pima cotton is resilient, strong and easy to care for – but most importantly, pima is a high-end cotton native to Peru. Our mission at Exporta is to support the manufacturing economy of Latin America by connecting suppliers with buyers in the U.S. We are very determined to recycle and repurpose preexisting cotton fibers, which have already taken a lot of resources to produce, and find it a new, happy home.


About Exporta Technologies

Exporta Wholesale is the largest marketplace connecting suppliers in Latin America with buyers in North America. Today, we have a network of over 5,000 Latin American suppliers serving a variety of consumer goods and product categories in the United States. 


Exporta’s marketplace offers buyers a full service experience in the origination, sourcing and managing of products. The platform was founded on the idea that curation and service are the most important elements in the buyer’s journey. Exporta’s marketplace is building technology that addresses the pains of sourcing products internationally at attractive prices.





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