Simplifying matters significantly, you can use staple length as a grading criteria for cotton. In the world of staple length, there are essentially 3 grades of cotton:
Short staple cotton (fiber length 1 1/8″)
Long staple cotton (fiber length 1 1/8″ – 1 1/4″)
Extra long staple cotton (fiber length 1 3/8″ – 2″)
About 80% of the world’s cotton is Short staple and you can be sure that any product labeled just “cotton” is made from short staple.
The basic advantages of a longer staple are that it makes a much stronger thread with less lint.
All the Belisari cotton bed linens (Italia, Catena, Corinto, Riga, Imperial, Sateen600 & Sateen1000) are made from Extra long staple cotton, country of origin: Egypt.
The pique fabric used in our bedcovers (Corinto Pique and Catena Pique) is made from Long staple cotton, sourced from Egypt and the USA.
Rather than go into a comparison of linen vs. cotton, here is a link to a wonderfully thorough discussion:
The Linen used in the production of our 100% Linen is long fiber; region of origin is Flanders, Belgium.