In the cotton family, there is one which stands out for its rarity, the length of its fibres and the quality of the resulting products. We are talking about Sea Island, or “West Indies Sea Island”, cotton. The cotton is grown all over the world, but certain varieties produce longer fibres than others and, the longer the fibre, the better the quality!
- Limited global production
Out of all the cottons in existence, 0.004% produced is Sea Island cotton: this shows how rare the product is. Rarer than Egyptian cotton, the tiny proportion of Sea Island cotton makes this a product in high demand. A high-quality product, Sea Island originates from a combination of highly specific geographic and climatic conditions.
- A framework in which to flourish
Particularly sensitive climatic conditions are needed for cotton flowers to produce what we know as “Sea Island” cotton. This designation comes from the geographic area in which we find these cotton plants. Sea Island cotton, from its scientific name Gossypium barbadense, is an elite kind of American cotton. It grows in the unique climate of the islands situated off the south-eastern coast of the United States and on islands in the West Indies, such as Barbados.
- Extra long fibres
The cocktail of sun and humidity makes the Sea Island cotton plant produce cotton fibres. These threads are a cluster of extra-long fibres, 40 millimetres in comparison with 26 millimetres for more ordinary cotton. The best cotton thread is made from extra-long fibres. The longer and finer the fibre, the rarer it is. So these are the finest, silkiest and shiniest qualities.
Harvested by hand, this cotton’s fibres are among the longest cotton fibres. The exceptional length means they make fine and soft threads. This fineness gives the fabrics their softness and that incomparable silky look.
- Quality control
To guarantee Sea Island cotton’s impeccable quality, quality control is put in place. It starts when the cotton ball harvest takes place by hand. This is the WISICA (“West London Sea Island Cotton Association”) label of authenticity. This group of textiles experts vouches for the origin and quality of the raw material, but also checks that the production stages are consistent with the different processes, from cotton planting to harvest.
Sea Island cotton: an exceptional material for high-end products.
- A well-known product, or how Sea Island appeals to connoisseurs
A well-known product, or how Sea Island appeals to connoisseurs
Queen Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom, demanded Sea Island handkerchiefs. With support from such a well-known figure, Sea Island surely won’t disappoint even the most demanding among us.
More recently, it was the famous secret agent James Bond, the ultimate gentleman, who appeared with clothes and underwear made in the Caribbean cotton. In his novels, Ian Fleming had already made it clear that the materials used by 007 were made from Sea Island. For flawless dressers, Sea Island has become a basic wardrobe item
Already prized by tailors, particularly in shirt making, Sea Island cotton is now being used to make knee-length socks.
- The cashmere of cotton
Cashmere is to wool as Sea Island is to cotton. Slipping on Sea Island knee-high socks secures you peerless comfort, extreme softness and unparalleled fineness. This rare kind of cotton combines the softness of cashmere with the strength of wool.
- An easy product to look after
Sea Island knee-high socks can easily withstand machine washing at 30°C. A high-end product which lasts like a pair of lisle socks.
- The art of choosing noble materials, or how to wear Sea Island cotton
Remaining faithful to quality and to the items you can now create from Sea Island cotton, Bresciani is making knee-high socks in 100% Sea Island cotton. As they are comparatively slim, these socks will go perfectly with formal shoes. Silky and soft, they will bring an extra touch of refinement to your outfit.