Staple fibres must be spun or twisted together to make a long, continuous strand of yarn.
Each cotton bail contains around 250,00 individual cotton fibres, or staples. The staple length varies from species to species. Generally speaking, the longer the staple length, the higher the quality. A longer fibre length results in a smoother surface with fewer exposed fibre ends. Items made with long staple cotton pill less and suffer significantly less from abrasion. Long staple cotton is much more durable, which is why certain processes, where fibres undergo strong mechanical stress, can only be pursued with long-staple cotton. Such processes include ring compact spinning and mercerization.