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Why Egypt is famous for cotton

15 October 2020 08:35

An Egyptian cotton field

An Egyptian cotton field

What is it about Egyptian cotton that makes it the go-to for five-star hotel bedrooms? That makes it the good bed linen, only emerging from the laundry cupboard to welcome the most special of guests? Why is Egypt so famous for its cotton? Let's find out.

What is Egyptian cotton?

Egyptian cotton is known as the world's best-quality cotton. Despite being super-soft and ultra-fine, these hand-picked fibres also possess serious strength, and on top of all of that, it's extremely absorbent of colourful dyes, gaining it a reputation as the world's finest choice for clothing, bed linen and other soft furnishings.

When did Egypt's history with cotton begin?

It's largely considered that the founder of modern Egypt, Mohammed Ali (not that one), introduced the commercial production of cotton to the country in 1822. That's three whole centuries ago - though in cotton's timescale as a manufacturing product, this is relatively young. The Indus Valley in Pakistan has been used for cotton production since around 3,000BC, and scientists in Mexico have actually discovered cotton over 7,000 years old!

How important is cotton in Egypt today?

Cotton production has become a huge part of Egypt's economy since its humble beginnings. Having developed a reputation as the world's most luxurious cotton, Egyptian cotton is coveted the globe over, and in the last 30 years alone, manufacturing has gone from strength to strength. Factories continue to pop up around the country to help meet the high demand, particularly in Mahla, a Delta city south of Cairo.

Where can you buy Egypt's most famed product?

Luckily for us in the UK, you don't need to head to Egypt to get your hands on some of its divine cotton. Egyptian cotton can be bought very easily online or in most good high street linen stores. In fact, it's even said that the best Egyptian cotton is exported from the country, so if you do opt for some authentic textiles at one of Cairo's markets, for example, you may discover some little imperfections in the finish.

What else is Egypt famous for?

You can't head to Cairo without gazing up at the great pyramids of Giza, and though you can search them online pretty easily, no Google picture will accurately reflect the overwhelming grandness of these centuries'-old masterpieces. Similarly, you can often find mummies in our museums at home, but the original burial place of Tutankhamun, and all the treasures that went with it, can only be seen in Egypt.

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