Supima: Complete Guide

This is a complete guide to Supima Cotton and Supima organization. So, if you are planning to sell or manufacture Supima clothes, you’ll enjoy this Supima complete guide.

Let’s dive right in.


  • What is Supima cotton?
  • Supima License Tags
  • How Traceability works:
  • Brands using Supima cotton
  • Supima vs Egyptian

What is Supima?

According to Wikipedia, Supima is a non-profit organization in the United States whose main objective is to promote the use of U.S. grown American Pima cotton around the world and is involved in quality assurance and research programs.

The difference between Supima and Pima is Supima is an organization that promotes USA grown Pima which is a cotton variety. Pima cotton is grown in multiple areas of the world whereas Supima cotton is the Pima cotton grown only in the USA. Some of the major Supima cultivation areas in the USA are California, Arizona, Texas and New Mexico.

Now, let’s look at the properties of Supima cotton:

Property #1: Strength

Supima cotton is one of the strongest cotton available in the world. It has twice stronger as the normal cotton available in the market. Clothes that are made using Supima cotton will be extra-ordinarily resilient.

Property #2: Extra Strong Staple Cotton:

Supima has a fibre length of about 1.5″. Because of this long fibre, the Supima clothes will be of great strength and as well as softer too. In Varthagam International, we manufacture Supima cotton t-shirts and other cotton variety t-shirts like organic, bamboo, and Tencel for years. But till today, we haven’t seen a single fabric that has both strength and softness together. Because of this factor, Supima cotton resists pilings.

Property #3: Softness:

Because of the extra-long fibre, Supima clothes have a very smooth surface and softer fabric. Wash after wash, Supima clothes tend to get extra smoothness!

Property #4: Color Retension

Supima cotton has the property to absorb dyes deep and better. This is the reason wh Supima clothes can be identified easily among a group of other cotton varieties. It absorbs brilliant rich long-lasting colour. Wash after wash, just like softness, colour vibrancy also tends to increase.

Some of the other properties of Supima cotton:

  • Comfort
  • Stretchable
  • Rare cotton
  • Durable
  • Sustainable

What are Supima License Tags:

Supima Tags offer consumer guarantee that the branded textile product they are buying contains U.S.- Grown Pima Cotton. It is an official tag provided by the Supima organization.

Manufacturers need to get certified by the Supima organization before using Supima cotton. If products are developed without procuring a license from the organization, then it is illegal to promote the products as Supima.

Only manufacturers need to get the license. Brands and consumers do not have to apply for a license.

Why Supima created license:

Supima issues licenses to promote and protect the Supima brand. They use these licenses to promote awareness about the US-grown extra-long-staple cotton. From the consumer perspective, they will know that the clothes that contain the Supima tags are original Supima grown in the USA.

All the cloth manufacturers need to get a license to produce Supima clothes. Textile Mills, Spinners, Weavers, Knitters, and Manufacturers have to apply for licenses.

You can apply for a license using this link:

Regarding the tags, you can not manufacture custom tags. If you need a custom design, you need to get approval from the Supima organization. Supima has standards for tags and you need to get those tags only from Sokol Packaging.

Details needed to apply for licenses:

  • Company Name
  • Company Licensee Number
  • Quantity Requested
  • Products to be labelled
  • Hangtag style requested

The price of a hangtag is ₹4.50 per tag.

How Traceability works:

Supima has joined hands with an Internationally recognized forensic science laboratory Oritain to find the originality of Supima cotton.

When cotton grows, from place to place, the chemical and isotope absorption usually varies. As Supima is a variety of Pima cotton which is grown only in the USA, Supima collects the sample of all the cultivated cotton varieties. The sample master data will be stored in their database. 

When someone sends the fabric for testing, Oritain will match the fingerprints of both the original master sample and the given test sample. If the result is positive, the given fabric will be certified as Supima. Whereas if the result is negative, further investigation will be carried out by the Supima organization.

Some of the brands using Supima are:

  • Levi’s
  • Stance
  • Everlane
  • Banana Republic
  • Casper

You can find all the brands which make Supima clothes here:

Which is better – Supima or Egyptian Cotton?

Frankly, both have their pros and cons. Before deciding, let’s look at them.

Let’s look into Supima Cotton…

  1. Supima is a superior version of Pima cotton (Supima = Superior + Pima)
  2. It is the longest and strongest cotton available in the market
  3. Supima fibres are stronger, Softer and durable than Pima cotton
  4. It is manufactured only in the United States.
  5. Supima is a brand name trademarked by the Supima Association, so all Supima is higher level Pima.
  6. Supima cotton also feels like silk.
  7. Branded t-shirts use Supima cotton for manufacturing
  8. Supima is costlier than Pima cotton which is costlier than other cotton varieties.
  9. Supima cotton is verified at every level of the manufacturing process by the American Supima association, who also requires that all companies get a license to use Supima in their products.

Let’s look at Egyptian cotton…

  1. Egyptian cotton refers to cotton materials that are grown in Egypt.
  2. Only 20% of the total cotton grown in Egypt is Pima.

According to a recent survey, there are two facts to be noticed.

  1. Most of the Egyptian cotton is not grown in Egypt. They are grown in India and China.
  2. 90% of the total cotton labelled as Egyptian cotton in the market are fake.
  3. Sea Island cotton (Egypt cotton) is long-staple cotton.


That’s it for my guide to Supima cotton.

What do you think? Are you planning to use Supima cotton for your business? Or maybe you have a question about something.

Either way, let me know by leaving a quick comment below.

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