What is Kona® Cotton?

Every now and again, we get questions from our customers and consumers about what exactly Kona® is and how it is manufactured. It is the opinion of the Robert Kaufman company to be as transparent as possible when dealing with these types of questions or concers. Back in January of 2010, we were informed of a posting on a message board that brought into question our manufacturing process and quality level. As we watched the thread continue to gain steam we were quite surprised to see so much misinformation form from rumor and assumption. So, we decided to offer an official response to the message board with some facts about Kona® in order to dispell any further rumor. Here is the post that started it all:


What follows below is our official company response:

Kona® Cotton Construction

Kona® Cotton is based on a standard cotton sheeting construction of 20 x 20 (20 singles) yarns and 60 x 60 thread count. However, this standard construction doesn’t provide the weight or bulk that Kona® is known for. To achieve this, we add extra yarn for a custom construction, which creates a higher thread count and adds to the overall bulk of the finished product. Our Kona® Cotton will therefore weigh more than standard cotton sheeting.


All Kona® cotton is dyed using reactive dyes and is processed and tested according to Oeko-Tex® Standard 100, satisfying the requirements of its product class. Click here to learn more about this testing http://www.oeko-tex.com/OekoTex100_PUBLIC/index.asp?cls=02

Country of Origin

Country of origin does not reflect upon quality whatsoever. We seek the highest quality for our Kona® Cotton brand, using only FIRST QUALITY goods, regardless of country. All of the countries we deal with are capable of producing the highest quality that we demand for our Kona® Cotton brand.

Not to be confused with Kona Cotton, Kona Premium Muslin is a high thread count muslin exclusively produced in Pakistan. Kona Cotton Solids, on the other hand, have never been produced in Pakistan, and are currently being woven and dyed in Indonesia and Thailand at mills that are capable of achieving the Oeko-Tex Standard 100. While we have discontinued production in China and Korea, some bolts may still bare those Countries of Origin on the label.

Greige Goods and the Production Process

“Greige” (pronounced “grey”) or “Greige goods” are simply terms to refer to fabric in the raw state, before bleaching, dyeing or finishing processes.

First quality goods can have variations in look and weaving pattern due to the different types of weaving machines that are used in weaving the greige goods. This difference in weave look in no way suggests a lesser quality, but only a difference in weaving style.

The first step in the dyeing process is called lab dipping. Lab dipping entails dipping a small swatch of fabric in dye to match a specific color standard. Sometimes many dips are necessary before a color is approved. Once approved, a bulk dye formulation is made. Bulk dyeing is done in lots. Lot sizes can be 2000 yards or more. This lab dipping process uses “prepared for dye” greige of the same quality that will ultimately be used for bulk production.

Robert Kaufman uses the same quality greige and dyes for all customers purchasing Kona Cotton Solids - all customers receive the same product. We have never produced a lesser grade of Kona for any customer. All seconds are rejected prior to leaving the mill.

Here are some examples of defects that would result in rejected goods:

Excessive slubs, knots, zippers, mis-weaves, contamination, holes, and color shading.

Millions of yards of Kona Cotton are produced and shipped throughout the U.S. and internationally. We are always striving to maintain the highest level of quality and provide the best product. We therefore ask you to bring to our attention any Kona Cotton that you feel does not live up to your expectations. Please send in a 3” square swatch of the quality you feel does not meet Kona® standards. We will provide you with a detailed analysis report – the results of our testing process.

Please send your swatch to:

Robert Kaufman Co., Inc.

Attn: Quality Control (re: Kona test)

129 W. 132nd St.

Los Angeles, CA 90061

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