Extra Long Staple and Long Staple Cotton Explained…And Why You Should Care

Extra Long Staple and Long Staple Cotton Explained…And Why You Should Care

Posted by John Daniel on

While all of our DreamFit sheet sets offer comfort and luxury, sometimes understanding the terminology can help determine how to choose which set is the perfect set for your needs.

Two of the phrases used quite a bit in the descriptions of sheets are Extra Long Staple and Long Staple cotton. Here’s a simple explanation of all things connected to these words to help with your decision.

A Staple is just another word for a fiber (a fiber is used to make yarn).

An Extra Long Staple is a term used to describe high end cotton based upon the length of the fiber pulled from the cotton plant. If the fiber is an inch and 3/8 or longer, it is considered extra long.

A Long Staple is another word for traditional cotton threads (from the traditional cotton plant).

  • In essence, when a cotton plant is given the surroundings it needs, the “happier,” sturdier, and more bloom producing the plant becomes.
  • The more durable the plant becomes, the more durable the fibers become attached to it.
  • Extra long fibers are more durable and result in luxurious and lush fabrics.


The scientific name of the Extra Long Staple plant is Gossypium Barbadense and is a beautiful “tropical, frost-sensitive perennial plant that produces yellow flowers and has black seeds. It grows as a small, bushy tree and yields cotton with unusually long, silky fibers. To grow, it requires full sun and high humidity and rainfall” (https://www.inaturalist.org).

And even in this abstract from an elaborate Nature.com scientific study, botanist Xia Liu recognizes that “of all he cultivated species of cotton, Gossypium barbadense (the Extra Long Staple Cotton Plant) produces… superior textiles.

There are many complicated scientific answers out there in regards to why fiber matters to fabric, but common sense (with a good imagination) applies as to the reasons.


Imagine the Spinning Wheel in Sleeping Beauty or Rumpelstiltskin.

In both of these, even if you have virtually no understanding of how fabric is made, the visuals that are almost always used with these stories involve long luxurious fine strands of sparkling gold. The longer the winding trail of gold, the more beautiful the threads appear. Neither one of our heroes are spinning little short snippets of thread into big piles of stubbly pieces; they are producing never ending, glowing mountains of richness.


Now Imagine a Huge Cotton Field Full of Rows and Rows of Budding Cotton Plants.

When a farmer picks the cotton from the extra long staple plant, the cotton balls of fluff that he picks are longer and more fine than that of the “normal” cotton plants.

Here’s one last imagination task that will seal the deal:


Imagine Watching the Carnival Worker Use the Sugary Wind Machine to Roll the Endless Sticky Cotton Candy Strand

Onto What Always Looked Like a Paper Towel Roll (at least to me).

Guess why it is called cotton candy? Ohhhh…. Exactly. Those long strands of sugar are very similar to what happens to extra long staple cotton when it is processed.

If you want to really impress the Carnies or your friends that are with you at the fair make sure to share that “Actually, cotton candy should really be called extra long staple candy if you want to be exact.”

On second thought, maybe just keep that to yourself.

But the connection is there, right? The difference between extra long staple and long staple is the difference between like and love, between “I’m ok” and “What a great day!” and a trophy for playing on the team and an Olympic Gold Medal.

And, if you need one more example:


It’s what makes DreamFit Sheets different from all the others.

Experience the durability, the softness, the luxury, the richness in color, and the guarantee of satisfaction with our sheet sets made with Extra Long Staple cotton.

And after many nights of peaceful dreams, you, Sleeping Beauty, can keep writing your own fairy tale.

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