Buying new sheets may seem like a tedious activity, but when you’re resting on your bed amidst the comfort of new bedding items, it seems like you’re floating on a cloud, doesn’t it? However, buying new sheets shouldn’t be just about choosing a new pattern and a color that matches the rest of the bedroom decor.
Investing in a pair of good sheets requires some general knowledge, and there’s a lot of terminologies which can get really confusing if you haven’t researched the information beforehand. By now, you might have heard about these expensive, but high-quality types of sheets, made from Supima cotton. But what does this mean, exactly?
What Is Supima Cotton?
You might have also heard about Pima cotton. This is a material that’s characterized by durable and extra-long fibers. This type of cotton is only grown in Australia, Peru, and a few regions in the United States, and it’s one of the most qualitative types of cotton out there.
What most of you may not know is that “Supima” actually stands for “superior Pima”, meaning it’s the next level in cotton fiber quality, and also one of the most expensive types of fabrics out there. These fibers are actually longer and stronger compared to those of Pima cotton, and it’s used to make luxury sheets, towels, clothing, and more.
The concept of Supima cotton goes back about 100 years ago when farmers saw the quality and potential that Pima cotton could deliver. Slowly, but surely, Supima cotton has risen to become probably the best type of cotton in the world, with less than one percent of the world’s cotton being of Supima variety.
So, we can’t really talk about Supima’s history without giving credit to Pima cotton:
- In 1991, in Arizona, a USDA farm discovers the potential of extra-long staple fibers and names it after the Pima Indians.
- Five years later, Goodyear purchases about 16.000 acres of Arizona land, so that it can plant Pima cotton, expanding the production. Their main goal was to use it in their airplane, car, and bicycle tires.
- Fast forward to 1954, when Pima cotton was in really high demand: the Supima Organization was born, led by a group of farmers that wanted to add more value and recognition to the Pima cotton born solely on US land. They combined the words “superior” and “Pima”, and ended up with “Supima”.
- In 1956, the first ad campaign for Supima cotton was launched, staring Suzy Parker, a supermodel known for her Coco Chanel advertisements. From that moment on, Supima cotton positioned itself as a leading luxury fiber on the American market.
- In 1988, Supima cotton began to export, being recognized internationally as a superior fabric. It first spread to Switzerland and Italy, where it was purchased by shirting mills and high-end spinners.
- In 1990, brands became more and more interested in using Supima cotton as a fabric to manufacture their product. The Supima Organization launched a licensing program.
- Supima cotton officially celebrated its 50th birthday, registering about 750.000 bales of cotton harvested up to that point. The national media talked about this “Cinderella story”, the heritage of a fabric that had already sold its license to 200 companies in 41 different countries.
- 2010 was the year when the Supima Fashion Collection debuted, creating shirts and tops that were meant to showcase the comfort and luxury of the Supima cotton fabric. The items were sold in Bloomingdale’s stores.
- Supima won the AAFA Premium Fiber of the Year Award in 2014. This was an honorable recognition that once again underlined the superior fibers that were extracted from this type of cotton.
- Today, Supima cotton has 600 farmers that work to deliver the best cotton bales in the world.
Behind the End Product
The entire process of caring and harvesting Supima cotton is absolutely fascinating, as it integrates technology to ensure crop quality. The tractors used are GPS navigated through the entire planting process. Thanks to satellite images of the fields, Supima cotton is supervised up to a point where people can monitor the growth rate of the plants, and think of new and more efficient ways to plant and harvest it.
If the satellite images show plants growing at a slower rate, samples are taken in order to identify if there is a lack of nutrients, or if there are any pest issues that must be addressed. Any information can be communicated in real-time to the tractors that are on the field so that they can treat the affected areas accordingly.
The soil is permanently monitored to make sure it meets the standards required to grow fine cotton, and everything is done while making sure the processes have as little impact on the environment as possible.
One of the first and most important things about growing Supima cotton is making sure that water is used with maximum efficiency. This requires analyzing the soil and the topography of the land to make sure that the best irrigation systems are installed.
Through a process known as “crop rotation”, farmers are making sure that the soil is kept healthy from one year to another. Crop rotation ensures that the soil has a balanced level of nutrients. Soil compaction is kept to a minimum because of techniques that involve using the same planting footprint.
Supima Cotton Sheets Characteristics
Supima cotton is Pima all dressed up for the big wedding day. If Pima cotton is characterized by strong, durable, yet soft fibers, Supima cotton threads are even better than that. The scarcity factor is another element that makes this type of cotton one of the most sought-out fabrics in the world.
It is amongst the most luxurious materials ever used to make bedding, bath, and clothing accessories. What’s more important is that not just anyone can make a cotton product, and sell it as Supima. Supima is a trademark name that’s giving license only to brands that actually used this type of cotton to manufacture their products.
What really sets apart Pima and Supima cotton is the fact that Supima is actually a fluffier version of Pima. Every fiber that’s used to make bed sheets from Supima cotton measures at least 1.5 inches in length, which results in a more durable and soft weave.
The smooth surface of the fiber prevents wear and tear, making Supima cotton sheet bedding items that actually get better and more comfortable the more times you wash them.
But that’s not all. Supima cotton has twice the durability of regular cotton, making it a very good investment for people who aren’t just looking for a quality set of sheets, but also for those who don’t want to buy a new set of sheets every year.
Because it is longer and stronger compared to average cotton, it can also absorb dyes with greater efficiency. That means that the dye penetrates the cotton fiber and sticks to it, and won’t just come off as soon as you first through the fabric in the washing machine.
This also means that your Supima bedding sheets will have vibrant colors that last longer, which will make you feel like the product is always just a few weeks into use, even if you’ve had the sheets from years.
But probably the most surprising fact about Supima cotton bed sheets is that fabric this luxurious isn’t pretentious at all. When you buy luxury sheets that are made from a fabric such as silk, you know that they require special care in order to prolong their lifespan. With Supima cotton sheets, things aren’t as nearly as complicated.
In fact, Supima cotton sheets follow pretty much the same cleaning and care rules as regular cotton bedding products. Supima cotton sheets are generally washed in warm water, you can tumble dry them on low heat, and you don’t have to iron them unless you’re very specific about your bed sheets not having any wrinkles.
Getting the Supima Licence
As we keep mentioning, in order to sell a product that’s labeled “Supima”, you need to have the legal right to use the license. To better understand the rarity and value of the Supima brand, let’s go over the requirements that a brand needs to become a Supima partner:
- There is an online application form that you have to submit in order to become a Supima partner. You will be required to give information about the company’s profile. This includes factory locations and subsidiaries, and full contact information for the legal representative as well as the company itself.
- You will have to make proof of the fact that you work with a licenced Supima supplier. For that, you will need recent invoices for your supplier, so that the Supima Organization can verify the authenticity of the cotton used. The invoices submitted can’t be older than 12 months, and must be in English. The information that absolutely must be mentioned on the invoice is the names and contact information of the buyer and the seller, as well as details of the Supima cotton being sold.
- You will also need to fill out the Supima Product Sample Requirements form. In this form, you have to provide detailed information on the products that you want to license, with yarn specification and fabric composition. You will also have to provide actual fabric samples or all the products you want to label with the Supima trademark.
Note that it takes about two to four weeks for your application to be reviewed. If your application is approved, you will be given a licensed certificate. You will be required to renew your license at the end of each year if you want to continue using the Supima trademark.
Purchasing Supima Cotton Sheets
Supima cotton is used to manufacture everything from bedsheets to fluffy and quality towels. For those of you interested in buying Supima cotton bedding sheets, we’ve put together a list of authorized brands that have partnered with the Supima Organization and are licensed to manufacture and sell Supima cotton-based sheets.
Keep in mind that you can also find some of these brands for sale with other third-party retailers, such as Amazon, Wayfair, Bed, Bath & Beyond, US-Mattress, or Walmart. The names we are about to show you in this section include US manufacturer names which create their own Supima cotton sheets.
Remember that the Supima cotton license in also given to manufacturers from other continents, so you can buy your own quality sheets from the representatives in Europe, Asia, or Australia.
Casper is a brand that promises to deliver quality bedding items because they believe in the immense power of a good night’s sleep. They started off by creating a mattress-in-a-box, a tiny package that unveils great sleeping comfort potential.
Today, the Casper mattress has found its way into thousands of homes in North America, while reaching more than 70.000 mattress donations to people who need them the most.
Known as one of the best and most respectable mattress manufacturers, Casper has extended its line of products to include pillows, dog bed, duvets, quilts, and even bed sheets. Their Cool Supima product is a set of crisp and breathable sheets that includes flat and fitted sheets, pillowcases, but also duvet covers.
The sheets are created by using a delicate Percale weave that’s known for its durability. The Supima cotton used to make them is of Californian origin. The sheets are designed in the USA, but the rest of the manufacturing process takes place on Indian land. The sheets feature a thread count of 400 and are certified and safe for babies and children use.
What started off as a department store in America back in 1858 is now one of the go-to locations of millions of people looking to make their purchases. In their wide selection of products, they also offer Supima cotton sheets of the best quality, with prices suitable for every pocket.
Browsing through their selection, you can find sheets in different colors that match every type of bedroom decor, with thread counts starting from 550 and up. For example, they offer the Charter Club Damask sheet set, made with soft Supima cotton that almost imitated the feel of silk.
— Authenticity 50
As a brand started by a husband and wife couple, Authenticity 50 has slowly positioned itself as one of the top providers of quality bedding items. The main mission of this company was to show people that whatever authentic goods they want, they can get them from the US’ 50 states.
Their Signature sheets consist of a set which includes flat and fitted sheets, plus pillowcases, in all sizes from Twin to Cal King. They are made with a thread count of 250, and feature a Percale weave that feel very smooth, while also offering that crispness you’re used to getting from sheets like these.
The fitted sheet of the set if perfect for mattresses that are up to 14 inches deep. The Supima cotton used in manufacturing the sheets is also California-provided, meeting all the standards that this type of cotton usually does.
#3. Peacock Alley
Peacock Alley was founded by Mary Ella Gabler, an entrepreneur who was set to deliver luxury linens before the market even knew what an entrepreneur was. The company is specialized in selling a wide variety of bedding items.
They can provide your home with the best-looking shams, throw pillows, mattress enhancers, duvets, sleeping pillows, and some of the finest Supima cotton sheets you’ll ever see.
Let’s take the Supima Semplice sateen sheet set, for instance. They have a thread count of 550, which indicates the smoothness of the fabric, as well as the durability. The Sateen weave gave the sheets that smooth and silky feel, quite different from Percale, and very similar to the touch to silk. Available in Queen, King, and Cal King size, the set includes a fitted and a flat sheet, plus two pillowcases.
Another great place to shop for some amazing Supima cotton sheets is Dillard’s. Their Noble Excellence set is available in four different light color options, and it includes a flat and fitted sheet, plus two pillowcases.
Each of the items in the set is made with a Sateen weave that results in a thread count of 600, representing products of the finest quality. The fitted sheet is perfect for just about any mattress that maximum 18 inches deep. The set also features embroidered Barratta-stitched hems, for a touch of extra elegance (as if the quality of the sheets itself wasn’t enough).
#5. Tuft & Needle
What started out as a mattress manufacturer is now also known as one of the best Supima cotton sheets provides. Tuft & Needle has its very own collection of bedding items that are manufactured using this gem of the cotton industry that is Supima.
With a variety of colors available, their sheet sets are based on America’s signature quality cotton, with the rest of the manufacturing process being moved to India. Their sheets have a thread count of 215, and lack any of the chemicals that are found in sheets for anti-wrinkling purposes.
Their sets offer pretty much the standard items that are found in a pack like this, which is a fitted and a flat sheet, plus two pillowcases. The fitted sheet is best used for mattresses that are up to 14 inches in height, despite the fact that the pocket measures 16 inches in depth.
#6. The Company Store
Ever since it was established back in 1911, The Company Store was known as a brand devoted to bringing quality items to people’s homes, so that they can enjoy the maximum comfort and peace of mind knowing that they have the very best products.
Amongst their many products which include rugs, furniture, and down comforters, you can also find a variety of Supima cotton sheets that are meant to dazzle even the most pretentious sleeper.
One of their best-selling sets is Warwick, a 300 thread count sheet sets with tonal embroidery that adds even more class and finesse to the look and feel of the products. Each of the sets includes a flat and a fitted sheet and, depending on the size chosen, one or two pillowcases.
There is no doubt that Supima cotton is the best one out there. It makes up for about one percent of all the cotton that’s grown on an international level, meeting rigorous standards. The Supima Organization that was established decades ago is responsible for the regulation of all Supima cotton, which is 100 percent grown on American soil.
Because it’s so scarce and qualitative, only a limited number of bed sheet manufacturers are allowed to label their products using the Supima trademark. Aside from the brands mentioned above, there is a selection of others who are participants in this program. Before making a purchase, make sure that you consult with the Supima Organization partner list, to make sure that you’re spending the money to buy an authentic cotton experience.