ZayZay is more than just a pretty face. Our luxury linens offer a full-body experience that can only happen in the loving embrace of 100% Egyptian cotton. In fact, we like to think we’re in the experience business.
So if you ask us, “Hey ZayZay, what makes 100% Egyptian cotton so special?” you’ll find us ready with answers that appeal to your head as well as your heart.
ZayZay’s luxury linen uses only the finest 100% Certified Giza Egyptian cotton. If you’re new to navigating the treasures of the Nile delta, here’s what that means: this cotton variety produces the finest and softest of long-staple fibres of all the cotton plants, worldwide. This superior cotton grows in the perfect climate of the fertile Nile delta, known for having just the right balance of sunlight, moisture, and nutrient-rich soil. From these optimal conditions grow unsurpassed cotton plants. Of all the cotton produced in the world, only 0.5% is this superb Giza Egyptian cotton. Held in the very highest regard, 100% Certified Giza Egyptian cotton is truly the cream of the crop.
Because our cotton is hand-picked, it does not require any chemical additives in its production. That’s right. Zero. These long fibres are durable, naturally soft and white. No bleach necessary. No softening agents. No formaldehyde. Hand-picked cotton means just the cotton is harvested. There are no intermediary steps before the fibres are spun.
Let’s compare this to the more common cotton harvest.
Lesser quality cotton issues shorter fibres (also known as ‘short-staple’ fibres) but that should be the least of your concerns because even if this cotton were hand-picked, the shorter fibres would produce fabric that would never be as soft as long-staple cotton. The fabric will be rougher, and not get softer with time.
Cotton is rarely hand-picked; 98% of all cotton is harvested by machines known, ominously, as ‘pickers’ and ‘strippers’. While these combines have been designed to do their best to minimize the harvesting detritus of leaves and stems, let’s face it: a lot goes in that shouldn’t.
Cotton harvested this way absolutely needs a lengthier production process called ‘ginning’ which serves to remove all the dirt, stems, and leaves which are the natural by-product of a mechanized process. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that the cotton fibres are damaged (and contaminated) in the process. Bleaching and softening agents will be required.
Before machine-harvested cotton fibres are spun and woven, they’ve already been damaged, bleached, and chemically processed. Ask yourself if you want to sleep on anything that’s been plucked free of seeds by a circular saw. You can Google that. In fact, we encourage you.
Let’s pause, for a moment, to consider where all that waste material and environmental sludge goes. Some is turned into feed, some goes into other industries (paper, plastics). In fact, one might say there’s a second industry going on to harvest cotton purposely for its by-products as well. Think about it.
Does your heart feel heavy yet? Ours did. So we decided to take another path.
100% Certified Giza Egyptian cotton is the only cotton we use in our luxury linens. Its long staple makes this cotton naturally soft, the growing conditions couldn’t be better, and only the cotton itself is picked so there is no need for processing. The magic of it is that it gets softer with every wash and it will last a lifetime.
We made this decision with our heads… and our hearts. So in answer to your question: what’s so special about Egyptian cotton? The answer, clearly, is everything.
Long-staple and short-staple may not be familiar terms. Longer fibres are the hallmark of what produces such exceptionally fine, soft, and strong fabric. Inferior cotton is made from short-staple or shorter fibres. These shorter fibres lend themselves to easier breakage. After just a few washes, short-staple cotton fabric grows coarser, pilling will occur, holes may appear, colours fade, and your sleep quality will be diminished.
Remarkably, long-staple cotton grows softer with each wash, and will maintain its durability and colourfastness for a lifetime.
by Tracey Gee