Sea Island Cotton v. Egyptian Cotton

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Kuro, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. Kuro

    Kuro Senior member

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    Would anyone explain what are the differences and benefits of one over the other (for shirt)? M. Colban is coming to BG next month and I'm thinking of an order. Thanks.
     


  2. Teacher

    Teacher Senior member

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    Others with far more knowledge of shirtings will chime in with details, but just to tide you over until then:

    Sea Island is a trademarked cotton of supposedly very high and consistent quality. This has not always been the case, but it supposedly is now. I don't have any, so I can't comment on it myself. Egyptian, on the other hand, is just the country of origin. Some of it is great, some is not. I don't believe there is a variety called "Egyptian."
     


  3. breakfasteatre

    breakfasteatre Senior member

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    I was reading a little about this online and i dont even think "egyptian" refers to the origin being egypt. I think it refers to a type of cotton which is grown in many places, including the united states.
     


  4. Opermann

    Opermann Senior member

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    Sea island cotton is harvested from the sea, while Egyptian cotton is made in Egypt. Duh [​IMG] Seriously I thought it was just a difference in thread counts.
     


  5. speedster.8

    speedster.8 Senior member

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    afaik .. Sea island is exclusively produced in small quanteties on the west indies (Barbados) it is the longest fiber around 52mm long. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Island_Cotton Egyptian is just a slightly longer breed than average, 3-4cm vs 2-2,5 for reg. Apparently there are variations on egyptian ... there is a "200 A2" that is spun from Giza45 (as in Giza Egypt) and is priced as SeaIsland ... Se http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotton And we all know the longer the fiber the smother & softer it will be, be it cotton or cashmere [​IMG] For the sake of argument I have included a link to a reference to Mercerized http://fiberarts.org/design/articles/mercerized.html I have some cotton knit in Mercerized, witch I enjoy. But have yet to se it beeing used in shirts/shirtings. Speed
     


  6. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior member

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    I have some Sea Island sweaters but no shirts. I'm sure they're very nice.
     


  7. Wicky

    Wicky Senior member

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    I have one Kiton Sea Island coton shirt and several Finamore Sea Islands. The Sea Island coton is much lighter and more pleasant to wear then any other coton shirts I have (including Egyptian coton). Its a comfort thing. As to durabiity I have not noticed any significant difference yet.
     


  8. rando

    rando Senior member

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    I just purchased a white sea island cotton shirt from jantzen and it seems this shirt is nearly see thru compared to my other shirts. Is this just the nature of sea island cotton?
     


  9. speedster.8

    speedster.8 Senior member

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    I just purchased a white sea island cotton shirt from jantzen and it seems this shirt is nearly see thru compared to my other shirts. Is this just the nature of sea island cotton?
    NOPE That is determined by weave, not by cotton type ... a Zephyr weave might give you a light and airy fabric. What you describe might be Jantzens way of saving?
     


  10. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

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    Sea Island cotton is a pretty amorphous term. Many shirtmakers sell a Sea Island quality which is a shirt with a high yarn number. There is a Sea Island brand of cotton made from cotton grown in the West Indies. I am fairly certain that good quality cotton from other sources -- including Egypt -- can equal or surpass it.

    I own plenty of John Smedley sea island cotton sweaters and pull overs. Some are fantastic, others are awful. I've had some shirts in SIQ (sea island quality); one shirt that may be real sea island but even the shirtmaker shrugged as to whether it really was.
     


  11. rando

    rando Senior member

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  12. Teacher

    Teacher Senior member

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    Sea Island cotton is a pretty amorphous term. Many shirtmakers sell a Sea Island quality which is a shirt with a high yarn number. There is a Sea Island brand of cotton made from cotton grown in the West Indies. I am fairly certain that good quality cotton from other sources -- including Egypt -- can equal or surpass it.

    I own plenty of John Smedley sea island cotton sweaters and pull overs. Some are fantastic, others are awful. I've had some shirts in SIQ (sea island quality); one shirt that may be real sea island but even the shirtmaker shrugged as to whether it really was.


    This is an important distinction: "Sea Island Quality" is just a generalization for what a mill/factory establishes as their top quality cotton. On the other hand, "Sea Island Cotton" is the trademarked stuff.
     


  13. FidelCashflow

    FidelCashflow Senior member

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    Lots of non-sea island cotton is labelled "sea island" or "sea island quality" as a marketing ploy. I have a sea island shirt, it's nice but it wrinkles like hell, so I don't bother with sea island anything anymore.

    Egyptian comes in many varieties from junk to fantastic. I have a pair of Baldessarini pants that are promimently labelled "Egyptian Cotton" on the inside. The fabric has an incredible lustre, and softness like sea island, but is not as wrinkly as sea island.

    That said, its pretty damn hard to make a decision based on buzzwords that people are throwing around. See and feel the fabrics, then decide.
     


  14. Sam Hober

    Sam Hober Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    True Sea Island cotton may no longer exist. http://supimacotton.blogspot.com/200...hy-it-was.html With that said extra long staple (ELS) cotton is grown in more than one region. The best Egyptian Ginza type cotton is not available in large amounts and is much more expensive than standard Egyptian Ginza cotton.
     


  15. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

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    True Sea Island cotton may no longer exist.

    http://supimacotton.blogspot.com/200...hy-it-was.html


    With that said extra long staple (ELS) cotton is grown in more than one region.

    The best Egyptian Ginza type cotton is not available in large amounts and is much more expensive than standard Egyptian Ginza cotton.


    Surely you mean Giza rather than Nantucket Red?
     


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