Men’s Sea Island Cotton Shirts - Apposta

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How to Create Your Custom-Made Shirt
Elements of Your Custom Shirt
The Fabric Suppliers
How to Create Your Custom-Made Shirt
Elements of Your Custom Shirt
The Fabric Suppliers


Accounting for less than 0.006% of the world's long staple cotton production, Sea Island cotton is the rarest cotton type in the world. But why is this type of cotton considered to be at the pinnacle of luxury shirtmaking fabrics? This guide takes an in-depth look at why this Sea Island cotton shirt fabric is so special.

What Is Sea Island Cotton?

Sea Island cotton is a type of extra-long staple cotton renowned for its exceptional properties. Its fibres come from the gossypium barbadense plant which is grown in Barbados, Jamaica and Antigua. It is an extremely rare type of cotton. Of the 110,000,000 bales of cotton produced each year globally, only 150 bales are Sea Island cotton.

Sea Island cotton fibres are 35mm or longer. In contrast, regular cotton fibres are an average of 20mm long. This length creates a woven fabric that is exceptionally soft, smooth, fine and strong. It is this combination of unique characteristics that makes Sea Island cotton the gold standard for men’s luxury shirts.

Where Does Apposta’s Sea Island Cotton Come From?

The Sea Island cotton we use to create custom shirts is from the supplier David and John Anderson. This supplier is a sub-brand of Albini. The Ablini group has exclusive rights to 100% of the Sea Island cotton grown in Barbados and 90% of the Sea Island cotton grown in Jamaica.


What Are the Benefits of a Sea Island Cotton Shirt?


Due to the length of the fibres used to make the woven material, Sea Island fabric is exceptionally soft.


The length of the fibres used to create Sea Island cotton creates an extremely strong, damage-resistant fabric.


Sea Island cotton shirts are known for their outstanding brightness.


Sea Island cotton retains its quality and brightness over time. It becomes softer with multiple washes but does not degrade.


The fineness of Sea Island cotton fibres results in very fine, lightweight shirts.

Limited Neps

This type of cotton contains fewer neps (small knots or tangles in the fibres) than other varieties. The result is a very smooth, uniform fabric.


Sea Island cotton is highly breathable. This makes it ideal for warm climates and all-day comfort.


How Is Sea Island Cotton Made?

The cultivation of Sea Island cotton is a highly-specialised process. The Sea Island cotton plant requires extremely specific growing conditions. Such growing conditions are present in Barbados, Antigua and Jamaica. These islands have a climate with alternating wet and dry seasons and consistent humidity.

The process begins with careful seed selection and precise sowing. Growing in a climate that has minimal temperature fluctuations between day and night ensures the plants mature predictably. This is important for the fibre quality. Harvesting is performed by hand. Only the finest mature cotton bolls are selected. The cotton is then cleaned and ginned to separate the fibres from the seeds. Sea Island cotton bales are packaged with less pressure than regular cotton. This allows for better aeration and prevents damage. Lastly, the cotton fibres are spun into ultra-fine yarn. This is then woven into Sea Island cotton fabric.

Where Is Sea Island Cotton Grown?

Sea Island cotton is primarily grown on the Caribbean islands of Barbados, Jamaica and Antigua.

When Should I Wear a Sea Island Cotton Shirt?


Sea Island cotton shirts are extremely luxurious, here’s how you can add this luxury to your wardrobe:

For Formal Occasions

For a special event (such as a black-tie gala or a sophisticated wedding) a Sea Island cotton shirt is a refined choice. A bright white Sea Island cotton shirt can be used alongside any colour tailoring. The quality which is inherent to this fabric will ensure that you look your very best.

For the Office

Elevate your professional wardrobe with the quiet elegance of a Sea Island cotton shirt. Choose a solid colour such as white, blue, or pale pink in a twill or poplin weave. Such a choice will discreetly add quality and refinement to your outfits.

For Casual Luxury

A Sea Island cotton shirt fabric with an informal weave such as Oxford will add understated luxury to your everyday wardrobe. Choose this style of Sea Island cotton shirt if you want a luxurious look even when dressing down.

How to Take Care of a Sea Island Cotton Shirt

  • Wash gently at up to 30 degrees.
  • Air dry hanging or flat.
  • Iron inside out on low heat while damp.

Did You Know?

  • Sea Island cotton is also referred to as “gossypium barbadense” or “black seed’.
  • The plant species which creates Sea Island cotton was discovered in the British West Indies in the 18th century.
  • The annual production of Sea Island Cotton is just 130 bales, whereas total cotton production is 110,000,000 bales.
  • Sea Island Cotton is primarily grown in Barbados, Antigua and Jamaica.

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