What Is Cotton and Where Does It Comes From?
What Is Cotton and Where Does It Comes From?
Do you know that? In a survey done by Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor state, that 81% of the consumer in the USA prefer their bed sheets could make of cotton and cotton blend. But where does all-cotton come from?
Almost worlds all-cotton come from a tropical and subtropical region. Out of that, around 50% of the world’s cotton comes from the USA, Uzbekistan, China, India, Brazil, Pakistan, and Turkey.
Texas is the largest cotton producer in the United States. However, the south plains region in the northern part of the state is the largest contiguous cotton-growing area in the world.
What Is Cotton?
Cotton is the soft, fluffy staple fiber, which simply means it is composed of multiple lengths of fibers. It is nearly pure cellulose fiber and the most abundant natural polymer on earth. These natural fibers are spun into yarn or thread and made into fibers, yielding soft, breathable textiles.
The most recognized fiber in the apparel market is cotton. It used in either pure form or blended with other materials. Today, in clothing people are widely using this natural fiber.
In fact: “Consumers are willing to pay a premium to keep their sheets cotton rich. The majority of consumers are bothered by fiber substitution away from cotton in their sheets” found in a survey.
Before getting dive into more detail first take a look at the plant where cotton grows.
Cotton plant :-
Cotton is a natural fiber that grows on a plant. It is both a food and fiber crop, why food? Cottonseed is using for extracting oil. Basically, the plant is a leafy, green shrub related to the hibiscus species of plants. The ideal temperature required for cotton plant growth and development lies between 20 and 32°C.
Where Did Cotton Originate?
The word “Cotton” originates from the Arabic word “qutn or qutun”. India is the earliest cotton producer in the world, where the material dates back to the 5000 B.C.
The first cotton gin invented in India in the 13th century. The gin is a tool that separates the cotton fluff from the plant seeds. This made the production of cotton a lot easier and faster.
Britain became one of the leading cotton producers during the industrial revolution, with the invention of new technologies like the spinning jenny, spinning frame, and spinning mule. All these spinning machines allowed manufacturers to spin cotton at an increased rate.
However, it was the invention of the mechanical cotton gin by the American Eli Whitney that led to increased production of the material in the USA and Europe. This new tool quickly and efficiently separated the seeds from the cotton using machine power. This reduced the working time for the production of a cotton ball from 600 to only 12 hours.
Around the same time America, especially the southern states, began to produce more high-quality cotton. Their fibers were a little longer and stronger.
With a few occasions, production falls, for example during the civil war. The United States remains one of the world's leading cotton producers, just behind China and India.
How Is Cotton Processed?
Cotton production a very long and time-consuming process, from planting cotton seeds to picking the cotton crop to process it in a cotton gin. On average, cotton plants take 5 to 6 months (from planting) to fully produce the fibers.
In the early days, cotton was hand-picked and separated. While most cotton production today begins with the cotton picker (which plucks the entire plant) or a cotton stripper, where the boll is pulled off the plant.
After the cotton picked from the plant, it baled and stored in the fields before it sent to the gins. The cotton bales cleaned and fluffed at the gins to separate the material from dirt, seeds, and lint.
After the cotton has gone through the gins and completely separated from the seeds, then it compressed and stored. Now ready to ship off to textile mills for further production.
Put the cleaned and fluffy cotton in the carding machine. This further cleanse the material and forms the short fibers into a long, untwisted rope that is then ready for spinning and weaving.
Different Types of Cotton
From the sheets you sleep to the clothes you wear. There are four main types of cotton that are commercially available. Learn the differences between cotton fabric types and how to choose the best one for you (and your money).
1. Pima Cotton
The finest cotton in the world is Pima. As ESL cotton (Extra Long Staple) it is particularly soft and particularly strong due to its long fibers. The result? Luxuriously soft fabric that is resistant to tearing, fraying, wrinkling, pilling, and fading. No surprise that so many fabrics claim to be pure Pima. However, a recent test found that 89% is not pure at all.
2. Upland Cotton
Upland is characterized by its relatively short cotton fibers and is perfect for making high-quality everyday products that everyone can afford. It is also the most popular type of cotton in the United States, delivering up 95% of the cotton planted on American soil. For more refined upland cotton, such as homegrown cotton. Homegrown Cotton verifies that its cotton products contain pure highlands grown by hardworking family farmers on American soil.
3. Egyptian Cotton
Egyptian cotton, like Pima cotton, is extra-long staple cotton, which makes it exceptional in terms of softness, liveliness and performance in equal measure. They even share a scientific name! The only difference between the two? Egyptian cotton is grown in the hot and dry climate of the Nile Valley in Egypt. It is exceptional quality cotton if it can be verified to have real Egyptian origins. Unfortunately, many of the cottons sold as "Egyptian" are not Egyptian at all.
4. Acala Cotton
A special type of cotton called the San Joaquin Valley Acala is only made in California. This is one of the highest quality upland cotton varieties in the world. Acala cotton benefits from the ideal San Joaquin Valley climate and a longer growing season that increases yields and results in a finer product. However, because of the irrigation requirements, Acala tends to be more expensive than other upland cotton grown in the United States.
Uses of Cotton
Cotton has many uses in different industries
Woven fabrics :-
The cotton used to make a variety of woven fabrics, including canvas, denim, damask, flannel, and more.
Cotton is a fixture in the textile industry as a result of its mass production, soft feel, durability, and absorbency. It is frequently used for t-shirts, jeans, dresses, sweatshirts, and much more.
Bedsheets and towels :-
Since it was extremely soft and absorbent, cotton becomes an ideal fabric for bedroom linens and towels needed to sop up the moisture.
For the same reasons, cotton makes underwear comfortable and durable.
Home décor :-
It also used throughout the home for upholstery, curtains, rugs, pillows.
Cottonseed oil :-
Cottonseed the byproduct of the cotton production process used to manufacture cottonseed oil, which used for salad dressing and margarine. It can also use in makeup, soap, candles, and more.
How Do You Care for Cotton?
✓ Cotton can be machine-washed or dry cleaned. Instructions vary depending on the color of the fabric and its composition (like a cotton blend). Be assured to check the tag for washing instructions.
✓ Pretreat any stains before washing.
✓ Wash like colors together to prevent any bleeding. Darker colors should wash in cold water, while lighter colors can wash on a warm or cool cycle.
✓ Bleach can be used on cotton.
✓ Cotton tends to shrink, so if you're sewing with cotton, be sure to pre-wash the fabrics.
✓ Cotton can be hung to dry or tumble dry. Be conscious that cotton creases easily and shrinks. So, if you want to prevent it from shrinking, air dry and remove it from the dryer quickly to avoid excessive wrinkles.
We hope you understand clearly about, what is Cotton and where Does Cotton Come From and what is it used for.