11/02/2013

Pickin' Cotton

On a monotonous three-hour drive up the I-10 this week, most of the scenery is desert, and I mean desert. Not much is going on between Tucson and Phoenix in the way of visual entertainment except for the amazing fields of cotton. Most people think that cotton comes out of the South, which is true, but there's also a lot of cotton in Arizona. It's not your run-of-the-mill cotton, but top of the line, long fiber cotton. Arizona cotton is right up there with the coveted Egyptian cotton.

It all started with the Goodyear Tire Company purchasing 16,000 acres of desert to grow Pima cotton for vehicle tire threads. This was in 1917 when the automobile was starting to get a real foothold on American transportation. A boll weevil infestation that was decimating Egyptian cotton fields made Goodyear executives search for a similar climate to grow the essential fiber. Now Goodyear, Arizona is a growing city which blends in with city limits of Phoenix. But the fields of white dot the landscape still in that area, as well as the I-10.

Pima is a variety which is an extra-long staple (ELS) cotton grown in Peru, the American Southwest, and Australia. It's extremely durable and absorbent. It was ideal for Goodyear's purposes, but it's also sought after for fine linens today.

The plant is named after a tribe of Indians indigenous to the American Southwest since they first cultivated it. However, the plant's origins are from Peru. The fabric woven from the fibers wears 50% better than many other cotton fabrics. Shirts, sweaters, towels, and sheets are the products most often made from the white fluffy stuff. There's nothing like high thread count Pima cotton sheets for a good night's sleep.

In the bad old days, cotton was picked by hand, but it's been automated for a long time now. John Deere cotton pickers eat through the rows and huge white bales are loaded onto waiting trucks. We got a glimpse of some the harvest as we whizzed by at 80 mph.

So the next time you're looking at buying new towels or sheets, consider buying American Pima cotton straight from those old cotton fields of Arizona. I can hear my Dad strumming his guitar and singing, "When I was little bitty baby, my Mama used rock me in that cradle. In them old cotton fields back home..."


1 comment:

Marsha Edwards said...

I'm from Lubbock, TX where there is lots of cotton! Sometimes when we go back for a visit we'll stop and pick a little. =)

Positively encouraging

11/02/2013

Pickin' Cotton

On a monotonous three-hour drive up the I-10 this week, most of the scenery is desert, and I mean desert. Not much is going on between Tucson and Phoenix in the way of visual entertainment except for the amazing fields of cotton. Most people think that cotton comes out of the South, which is true, but there's also a lot of cotton in Arizona. It's not your run-of-the-mill cotton, but top of the line, long fiber cotton. Arizona cotton is right up there with the coveted Egyptian cotton.

It all started with the Goodyear Tire Company purchasing 16,000 acres of desert to grow Pima cotton for vehicle tire threads. This was in 1917 when the automobile was starting to get a real foothold on American transportation. A boll weevil infestation that was decimating Egyptian cotton fields made Goodyear executives search for a similar climate to grow the essential fiber. Now Goodyear, Arizona is a growing city which blends in with city limits of Phoenix. But the fields of white dot the landscape still in that area, as well as the I-10.

Pima is a variety which is an extra-long staple (ELS) cotton grown in Peru, the American Southwest, and Australia. It's extremely durable and absorbent. It was ideal for Goodyear's purposes, but it's also sought after for fine linens today.

The plant is named after a tribe of Indians indigenous to the American Southwest since they first cultivated it. However, the plant's origins are from Peru. The fabric woven from the fibers wears 50% better than many other cotton fabrics. Shirts, sweaters, towels, and sheets are the products most often made from the white fluffy stuff. There's nothing like high thread count Pima cotton sheets for a good night's sleep.

In the bad old days, cotton was picked by hand, but it's been automated for a long time now. John Deere cotton pickers eat through the rows and huge white bales are loaded onto waiting trucks. We got a glimpse of some the harvest as we whizzed by at 80 mph.

So the next time you're looking at buying new towels or sheets, consider buying American Pima cotton straight from those old cotton fields of Arizona. I can hear my Dad strumming his guitar and singing, "When I was little bitty baby, my Mama used rock me in that cradle. In them old cotton fields back home..."


1 comment:

Marsha Edwards said...

I'm from Lubbock, TX where there is lots of cotton! Sometimes when we go back for a visit we'll stop and pick a little. =)