Cotton fiber quality at the bale level is a composite of all the constitutive fibers in the bale. Bales contain fibers from both mature seeds and motes (developmentally arrested seeds). The degree of variability shown in the fiber properties of seeds and motes serves as an indicator of the amount of variability in a bale. Cotton ( Gossyium hirsutum L.) has been collected from machine harvested fields, and fibers have been removed by hand or ginned with a small laboratory saw gin and analyzed with the Zellweger-Uster advanced fiber information system (AFIS). Distribution of ginned mote and seed weights are similar for three cotton varieties, but composite fiber properties are different. Early termination of embryo growth results in short-fiber motes. The degree of secondary wall deposition for short-fiber motes shows that the capacity for cell wall synthesis is not terminated with the termination of embryo growth. Cotton samples are categorized by ginned mote and seed weights. The cotton varieties with the most mature fibers also have the most mature mote fibers. As ginned seed weight increases, fiber maturity increases. Fiber perimeter values fluctuate for motes but remain constant once a ginned seed weight of 56 mg is reached.