The contrast of the white, fluffy Cotton bolls against the background of the arid coast has formed part of the Peruvian landscape for over 5000 years. In Peru, cultivation of the indigenous Cotton species (gossypium barbadense) was the backbone of the development of the pre-Columbian coastal cultures of the Norte Chicho, Moche and the Nazca. Cotton was grown upriver, made into nets and traded with fishing villages along the coast for large supplies of fish. The Incas also harvested Cotton and used it both for practical reasons and artistic purposes. Their Cotton weaving techniques and the quality of their textiles impressed even the Spanish Conquistadores.
Today, the name Pima Cotton is used after the Pima Indians who first harvested this type of Cotton in the United States. But make no mistake; the historical origins of this plant are distinctly South American. Peruvian Pima Cotton is still cultivated in the Northern coastal valleys of Piura and Chira, as it has been for thousands of years. The climate and soil conditions there are perfect, with ideal seasonal rainfall, long days of Peruvian sunshine and high temperatures.
Peruvian Pima Cotton is particularly sought for because of its extraordinary fiber length of up to 42mm. Pima Cotton fibers can be more than double the length of standard Cottons, a fact that gives Pima Cotton some distinct and very desirable qualities:
Longer fibers produce stronger and finer yarns by allowing fibers to twist around each other more times. Peruvian Pima Cotton is thus known for its silky softness, its durability and resistance to pilling. Furthermore, in Peru, Cotton is still handpicked resulting in a brilliant white shade that can be easily dyed. Wearing genuine Peruvian Pima Cotton is a very unique experience.