There is no exact date to age to the cotton plant. Scientists have found cotton bolls and cotton cloth, almost identical to American cotton, inside caves in Mexico dating back to 7,000 years ago. Archaeologists also found cotton cloth in the Indus Valley of India, and they believe it is from around 3000 B.C. Cotton was believed to be first grown by American Indians in the 1500's, and by the Spaniards in Florida around 1556. The colonists first planted the cotton seed in North America in 1607 along the James River in Virginia. The industrial revolution in England led to the invention of the cotton gin in the U.S. by Eli Whitney. The cotton gin transformed the way lint was separated from the seed, for centuries this process had been done by hand. Because of the cotton gin, the separation of the cotton and seed was now 10 times faster and this made it possible to supply huge quantities to textile companies across the world, especially in England. By 1990 the demand for cotton clothes became huge, mostly because people knew that cotton was a natural fiber and super comfortable to the touch. Now cotton is grown in over 80 countries worldwide today.
Where is Cotton Grown?
Cotton is subtropical plant that grows in many warm areas of the world, for example in the southern United States, China, India, Brazil and Egypt but the most important cotton-growing countries are the USA, China, India, Pakistan and Australia. The biggest cotton producer in the United States is Texas. In order for cotton to flourish completely is needs a hot and sunny climate. The cotton plant also needs soil that contains a lot of nitrogen, so Farmers use chemical fertilizers to improve the soil life for the cotton.
What’s so Special About 100% Cotton?
Cotton is one of the most commonly utilized materials used for creating fabric. Why? Because cotton has distinct characteristics that make it stand out from all the other materials. Cotton is not only soft but it also has great strength to with hold stretching and pulling. It is very easy to handle meaning it’s a great candidate for sewing. Cotton is always unbeatable and the more comfortable choice. Cotton is breathable, making it great for clothing, and is super absorbent, making it great for towels. Cotton can be used in a millions of different ways!
What is Thread Count and Why Does it Matter?
A thread count is the number of threads that run vertically (wrap) and horizontally (weft) in a square inch of a fabric. A basic thread count for cotton fabric usually starts around 150. Having a higher thread count means the more luxurious and soft the fabric will be. Although thread count is important, knowing the quality of the yarn is just as important. Egyptian cotton, known for its thread count, has an 800-1500 thread count; this is known as ultimate luxury cotton. Egyptian cotton not only has a high thread count, it is also made with the finest yarn, making it silky and soft to the touch. Egyptian cotton last longest out of any other cotton in the world.
Different Uses of Cotton Plant
There’s more to the cotton plant then just the white lint that is removed, every part of the plant can be used in some way. The longer cotton lint is what is commonly known, it is used to created fabric. The shorter fibers are used in the paper industry, for example as currency paper in some countries. The seeds of a cotton plant can be used to make oil or margarine. Cottonseed is very commonly associated with a sunflower seed. Cottonseed oil can be used for salad oil or dressing, mayonnaise, etc. The leaves of a cotton plant can be plowed to help fertilize soil. Some parts of the cotton plant are even feed to animals on farms. The uses of the cotton plant are endless.
Caring for 100% Cotton
A main reason why everyone loves cotton so much is because of its durability but if cotton is not well taken of it may discolor. 100% cotton clothing or cloths can be washed in washing machine using either with warm or cold water and soap. DON’T FORGET that cotton is also loved because of how easy it takes on color so be careful when buying a brand new colored shirt and mixing it with white cotton, it may stain it. Cotton can also withstand hot temperatures; this is especially helpful when washing white cotton. If you’re ever in a hurry remember cotton clothing can be dry washed at the cleaners. For the first wash/dry, cotton may shrink slightly if it was not pre-shrunk but it can also be dried in dryer or hung on a clothesline. But for darker colors, be careful for over drying because the color may start to fade from the heat. Cotton does wrinkle but using an iron on cotton clothing will never harm it since it is fairly tough. Be cautious when ironing, if there is a stain on the clothing, ironing over it will set the set. Cotton clothing does require a little extra attention but if you invest a little time your favorite tee will be with you for a very long time.
- The cotton plant grows in warm climates, for example in the southern United States, China, India, Brazil and Egypt.
- Cotton grows in a round boll around the seeds of the cotton plant. The plant is thorny, which made picking painful for the picker until the cotton gin was invented
- Cotton is graded on three things: color of whiteness, amount of foreign or plant/ seed inside the cotton, and preparation of the material done by the gin.
- So many seamstresses favorite cotton because it is easy to handle and sew plus it drapes well.
"Cotton." Dictionary of American History. 2003. Encyclopedia.com. 21 Jul. 2015
"Cotton - A Natural Fiber." Cotton. English Online, n.d. Web. 22 July 2015.