Everyone knows what cotton is. Cotton is a staple fabric used by everyone in the entire world. Open any closet, and you’ll see more cotton items than you can count. 

But there are several things that we do not know about this crop. Find out and learn some of these interesting and essential facts about cotton.

Where did cotton originate?

The word cotton comes from the Arabic term “quton.” History shows that the earliest production occurred in India. It dates back to the 5th millennium BC.

Cotton is being manufactured in about 130 countries. But the US, China, Brazil, India, and Uzbekistan make up 80% of that.

Which tree gives us cotton?

Cotton is derived from the seed of the genus Gossypium, which hails from the mallow family Malvaceae. Cotton plantations are the most common and abundant plantations in the Southern United States. But there are other places outside the country that grow it.

What is cotton made of?

Cotton grows in a boll. Then, when picked, makers spun cotton into yarn. This yarn is then woven into a soft, durable fiber.

How is cotton made?

Before, cotton production only involves two processes: planting the cotton seeds and picking the harvest. But the production of cotton has improved through the use of the mechanical cotton gin. This tool separates the cotton fluff from the seeds. 

American Eli Whitney invented this tool, initially called the cotton engine, to cut down the hours needed for manual labor. Before, it took about 600 hours to produce a bale of cotton. The cotton gin reduced labor time to only 12 hours.

The cotton gin is a great innovation because it resulted in faster and easier ways to manufacture cotton. This machine paved the way for cotton to become a widely-used textile.

Types of cotton

There are several types of cotton. The most common ones are the following:

1. Pima cotton

Experts say that Pima cotton is the most refined type of its kind in the world. Many customers prefer this kind because the fabrics are extra-long and soft. Also, it rarely fades, tears, and wrinkles. Pima cotton is primarily found in South America and the American Southwest.

2. Upland cotton

This crop is native to Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. In the US, it is made in southern California.

3. Egyptian cotton

Like Pima, it is resistant to fading, tearing, and wrinkling. It’s grown in the Nile River Valley.

4. Organic cotton

What makes this type different from all the rest is it is grown without chemicals. It comes from plants that are not genetically engineered.

What is cotton known for?

Cotton is known as both a food and fiber crop. Cotton is more popularly known as a means to make clothes, homeware, and other industrial products. However, cotton seeds are also used as stock feed.

Cotton to make clothing 

One of the primary purposes of cotton is to make clothes. Cotton jeans, cotton shirt, cotton underwear, you name it, you got it. This fabric has been used to make any kind of body apparel for hundreds of years. 

Most consumers prefer the cotton fabric. They feel that compared to other fabrics, such as polyester and nylon, cotton is better and more suitable.

Why is cotton better than others?

The majority of consumers prefer materials made up of cotton because they consider it better than other fabrics. Here are some of the reasons:

1. Cotton is natural. This means that it comes from natural resources (plants). There’s nothing synthetic about it.

2. Cotton is more breathable compared to other fabrics. What makes it so is its absorbent properties. These properties push moisture away, allowing air to circulate properly through the weaves.

3. Cotton is more comfortable to wear (and even make). It’s soft to the touch; it feels lovely against the skin.

4. Cotton is strong and durable. You are assured of long-lasting usage.

5. Cotton is sustainable. Sustainable cotton means it is grown and made with minimal environmental impact.

Why is it sustainable?

Sustainability is a significant factor when it comes to choosing materials nowadays. With all the hype on climate change, environmental hazards, and the like, people are now keener on finding more renewable methods and products.

In general, sustainability is essential. Clean air, natural resources, and a non-toxic environment contribute to good health for the planet and the people living in it.

Many consumers have become more intelligent and more discerning with their choices. Cotton, as a sustainable fabric, is the perfect choice for many. 

Cotton is sustainable because it is a versatile product; it can be made into different items. It also holds its own with other fibers. Moreover, it comes from natural resources.

Is Cotton renewable?

Apart from being sustainable, cotton is renewable and biodegradable, making it the most widely-used, environmentally-friendly product.

Cotton products

Several day-to-day products are made from cotton. Here are some of them:

1. Diapers

The myth has been debunked. Disposable diapers are not harmful to kids. You only need to choose wisely. Choose diapers that are reusable, ethical, and safe for babies.

One of the best ones on the market is Happy Little Camper. The company’s diaper products are all made from 100% premium natural cotton. Super absorbent, the material features aloe vera and Vitamin E that adds a soothing and moisturizing feel to our babies’ bottoms. You don’t need to worry about any allergic reactions.

The myth has been debunked. Disposable diapers are not harmful to kids. You only need to choose wisely. Choose diapers that are reusable, ethical, and safe for babies.

One of the best ones on the market is Happy Little Camper. The company’s diaper products are all made from 100% premium natural cotton. Super absorbent, the material features aloe vera and Vitamin E that adds a soothing and moisturizing feel to our babies’ bottoms. You don’t need to worry about any allergic reactions.

You may check https://happylittlecamperbaby.com/products for more information. You may also check other related products, such as baby wipes.

2. Towels

Whether bath, hand, or any kind of towel, those made from pure cotton would be ideal for our skin. Most online reviews indicate that Pottery Barn sells the best ones.

The towels are 100% organic cotton. The Hydrocotton Organic Quick-Dry Towel is one of the bestsellers. One user describes it as “super soft” and “ultra-absorbent.” Its quick-drying feature is also a hit.

If you are on the lookout for bath products for ultimate usage, check out this brand. Click this link: https://www.potterybarn.com/shop/bath/bath-linens/.

3. Underwear

Most experts suggest that we use cotton underwear. This is because cotton effectively absorbs moisture and eliminates any build-up of heat in our intimate areas. Women who are prone to yeast and other vaginal infections should opt for cotton undergarments.

Azura Bay aligns itself to the ethical and ecological values of the modern consumer. The brand has a host of sustainable items, including cotton underwear.

The Azura Bay line is 95% GOTS-certified organic cotton. Azura Bay even ships them using recycled boxes. Feel free to browse and shop through this link: https://www.azurabay.com/.

4. Beddings

The current practice for the modern-day consumer is not just to look for style, comfort, and price. Each purchase is well-thought-out to consider the aspect of sustainability. Searching for bed items is no exception.

Cotton mattresses, pillows, sheets, and other bed essentials are most preferred because they never go out of style, they provide feelings of comfort and solace, and they are conscious-manufactured products.

One of the most sought-after brands for cotton beddings is Brooklinen. The brand’s current bestseller is the Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle. It includes 1 Core Sheet Set, 1 Duvet Cover, and two extra Pillowcases, the ultimate bedding combo.

The products are 100% Long-Staple Cotton and OEKO-TEX® Certified. Check out the items and what the entire brand has to offer. Shop here: https://www.brooklinen.com.

5. Shirts

For more fun and “teerific” experience, cotton shirts are your best bet. Since cotton can withstand hot temperatures, it is the best material for tees and shirts, which are our go-to apparel during summer. Many swear by the comfort such clothing accords.

Organic Basics is one of the best t-shirt brands around. The Organic Cotton Tee is a crew neck shirt that is made with 100% organic cotton. It’s both soft and cool to wear and pleasing to the eyes.

You may browse and buy this item and other organic products in just one click. Access https://us.organicbasics.com/products/womens-organic-cotton-tee.

All these details are pretty overwhelming. Who would have thought that something as basic as cotton could have all this exciting information? 

But there’s more!

What are 5 fun and surprising facts about cotton?

1. Did you know that cotton t-shirts are trendy not just for regular wear but also for custom printing? Because of the fabric’s strength and durability, its surface is excellent for printing letters and images.

2. Did you know that cotton is more potent when wet? The theory is that when water gets into the fiber, the hydrogen level bonds with the cellulose content. Therefore, the strength of cotton is magnified. Hence, we use wet cotton balls to clean our faces.

3. Did you know that cotton contains natural antimicrobial properties that can eliminate odor? Thus, it is the go-to fabric for underwear.

4. Did you know cotton can be grown in a variety of colors? The normal one is off-white. But at times, there are brown, rust, and light purple ones that are harvested.

5. Did you know that cotton bears fruit? Cotton fibers come out of mature dried pods. Just before the pods dry and pop, these are technically fruits that are called “bolls.”

Please choose cotton

Yes, we have been using cotton products all these years, that we tend to take the crop for granted. But this article serves one purpose: to make everyone consciously choose cotton. 

Cotton is the ethical choice. Cotton is a healthy choice.

References:

https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-is-cotton#4-different-types-of-cotton

https://www.bharatsthali.com/blogs/blog/different-types-of-cotton-fabrics-available-across-the-world

https://cottonaustralia.com.au/uses-of-cotton

https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/renewable-resources/

https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/best-cotton-underwear-for-women

About The Author

May can usually be found reading an eco magazine absorbed in the latest gripping articles on all things eco! May is passionate about the environment. May believes in looking and feeling good whilst living an eco friendly lifestyle. In her spare time she loves cooking, playing her guitar and going for country walks. May lives in the UK and enjoys spending time with friends, family and her two adorable cats.

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