What Is Ringspun Cotton?

Ringspun cotton is fabric made from the seedpod of the cotton plant which is continuously twisted together to make very fine cotton rope. The twisting action makes short cotton hairs stronger and softer. Ringspun cotton is a lighter weight than regular cotton, but the fabric is softer and more durable.

The number of times the cotton is spun determines how strong the fibers in the fabric are. Sometimes a fabric is designated by a number and the word "singles." When the number is smaller, the yarn is thicker. The number also designates the diameter of ringspun fabrics. The more times the cotton has been spun, the softer the fabric.

The same amount of cotton is used to make a 6.1-ounce t-shirt and a 4.3-ounce t-shirt of the same size, but the ringspun cotton shirt is lighter because of tighter yarn threads. Ringspun cotton compacts the fabric, so a better knit is made from less cotton.

Ringspun cotton denim was used in jeans until the 1970s, when end yarn became the norm because it was cheaper. Ringspun denim takes five times longer to make than open end denim, but it is thicker and more durable. Open end cotton denim wears faster when compared to ringspun denim jeans after just a few months of regular use.