What Is Organic Pima Cotton & Why Is It A Big Deal?

There is organic cotton, and then there is organic Pima cotton - the world’s finest type of cotton, making up a tiny 0.0005% of the world’s total supply of cotton fibers.
Along with organic pure silk, most of our bra, briefs, and lingerie at Julie May are made from certified organic Pima cotton, sourced from Peru. If you’re wondering why we go all out for the Pima type of cotton, this blog explains everything you’ve always wanted to know about what is arguably the world’s best type of cotton.
What is organic Pima cotton?
The big deal about organic Pima cotton has to be the extraordinary length of its fibers which account for most of its endearing properties.
To start with, there are three (3) main types of cotton classified based on the length of their fibers because this tends to impact both the quality and durability of cotton. There is short-staple cotton, long-staple, and an extra-long-staple type - Pima belongs in the extra-long-staple class of cotton.
While most other cotton fibers have lengths ranging from ½” to ¾”, Pima cotton comes in twice as long at around 1-⅜”. This basic property accounts for all of the great things about Pima cotton that includes;
  • Incredible luster and softness that rivals silk fabric.
  • Natural hypoallergenic properties make it suitable for use in allergy-friendly bras and for making lingerie and apparel for women with sensitive skin.
  • Greater breathability and moisture absorption properties help to cool the skin and keep sweat and moisture under control.
  • Exceptional smoothness on the skin and an incredible level of resistance to wrinkles, tears, and fraying make this cotton ultra-durable.
The properties above, among others, are some of the reasons why this rare type of fiber is often referred to as the “cashmere of cotton.”
Organically grown in Peru
The organic cotton we use is high-quality, sustainable, and organically grown in the northern coastal valleys of Peru. The perfect soil, climate, and seasonal rainfalls here make it ideal for this variation of cotton that was developed from crossing with Egyptian cotton in the early 1900s. This is perhaps why this organic Pima cotton stands shoulder-to-shoulder with high-quality Egyptian cotton.
The cultivation process here is also devoid of toxic pesticides and other harsh chemicals that could be harmful to farmers and the environment. Main practices include crop rotation, intercropping, mulching, as well as hand and mechanical weeding. This combination of both an eco-friendly and organic cultivation process is why organic Pima cotton has been a fabric of choice for us at Julie May as well as for other forward-looking brands in the natural lingerie and ethical fashion sectors.
Organic cotton makes up 2% of the total global cotton supply. Organic Pima makes up an even rarer 0.0005% of the total cotton supply.
This rare variation of cotton boasts excellent qualities from being super soft and lustrous to being naturally hypoallergenic and extremely durable.
Here at Julie May, this fabric fits into our goal of producing the highest-quality allergy-friendly bras that are both breathable and comfortable and doesn’t induce allergies and skin irritations.
And because they’re grown organically, they fit perfectly into our business model and brand philosophy as an environmentally-conscious ethical fashion brand.
So, what’s in these for you as the end consumer?
Well, our use of certified organic Pima cotton means you also get high-quality, durable, comfortable, and allergy-friendly bras, briefs, and lingerie, rest assured there was no harm to people, animals, and the environment in producing them. It’s a win-win for everyone and everything involved, from every angle.