Cotton is a very versatile material and is a soft, fluffy fibre that grows in a protective case. Cotton is native to tropical and subtropical areas around the world, including the Americas, India and Africa. The biggest variety of wild cotton species can be found in Australia, Africa and Mexico. Cotton fibres are spun into yarn or thread to create a soft and airy material that is very popular to wear and has an incredible number of uses.
Cotton has been used by man since prehistoric times and fragments have been found dating back to 5000 BC in Mexico. Cotton has been worn in Egypt and India for over 5000 years and Native Americans grew cotton as early as 1500. China is the world’s largest producer of cotton but this is mostly for domestic use. The United States is the biggest exporter. Cotton is used to make many textile products. Terry cloth is a highly absorbent material used for bath towels and robes. Denim is a type of cotton used for making jeans and jackets. Socks, underwear and t-shirts are also made from cotton due to the comfort and breathability factor. Cotton is also used to make yarn for crochet and knitting.
Cotton is also used in the textile industry for things like fishing nets, tents and coffee filters. Chinese paper was made of cotton and it is still used in bookbinding. Leftover cottonseed oil can be used like vegetable oil and is also used in the cosmetic industry. Cottonseed meal is used to feed livestock on farms. For Cotton Fabric Online, visit https://www.higgsandhiggs.com/fabrics/plain-cotton-fabric.html.
We use more cotton than any other fibre. It is a material that we use on a daily basis, from the towels we use in the morning to the cotton sheets on our beds when we get in at night. Cotton comes in many varieties and qualities, each suitable for different purposes. Smaller cotton fibres, known as linters, are taken from the seed and used as stuffing for furniture and also the components of plastics, insulation and lino.
Amazingly, one bale of cotton can make the following things:
- 1,217 t-shirts
- 215 jeans
- 249 bed sheets
- 765 men’s dress shirts
- 21,960 handkerchiefs
- 3,085 nappies
- 690 bath towels
- 4,321 socks
- 1,256 pillowcases
Cotton was first spun by machinery in England in 1730 and it was the Industrial Revolution here and the invention of the cotton gin in the U.S that paved the way for how important cotton is to us today. The gin, ‘short for engine’ was a machine capable of spinning cotton ten times faster than do it by hand. It meant that huge quantities could be supplied to the textile industry and in just a decade, the value of cotton in the U.S grew from $150,000 to more than $8 million. The Industrial Revolution in England saw the building of the world’s first proper cotton factory. Cotton factories became a dominant force due to an ever expanding population and the demands of the British Empire.