Let us know all about cotton. We all have heard of it. Cotton is the softest and the gentlest fabric we have used since our birth! Agreed? We’re sure you’d.
Our parents buy cotton clothes for us in summers as the fabric is lightweight and most comfortable. Cotton outfits are a delight to wear in every season. Not only in clothing but also in other categories, this fabric is everyone’s favorite. We all love using cotton bed sheets and comforters as they are super cool and soothing to sleep with and on. Home furnishings are generally made from different cotton fabrics as it’s natural and sturdy. It can hold prints and bold colors very well.
It is a great material to experiment with design and prints.
Cotton is a versatile material, it is a soft and fluffy fiber that grows around the seeds of the cotton plant. But do we know about its history?
The word cotton is derived from an Arabic word (qutn or qutun) which was used in Medieval Arabic.
Where was cotton first grown in the world?
It was first discovered in Peru, America, dated to about 6000 BCE. It is assumed that the first-ever cotton was cultivated here. The oldest traces of it have been found in a cave in Tehuacán Valley, Mexico. Dating to approximately 5500 BCE. By 3600 BCE, Mexico started growing and processing cotton.
In India, the cultivation and use of it were found in Mehrgarh, Pakistan, 5000 BCE. The cotton fibre threads are said to be preserved in copper beads. By 3000 BCE, Indus Valley Civilisation also started cultivating cotton.
When Alexander the Great invaded India, his troops started wearing cotton clothes that were more comfortable than their previous woollen ones.
How is it grown?
It needs warm climatic conditions and black clayey soil to grow. In India, it is mostly grown in the states of Punjab, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. When a cotton plant is grown it gives yellowish-white flowers which turn red in a few days.
The first step in the cultivation of cotton is ginning. When a pod is plucked, it contains a seed. The process of separating the seed from the its pod manually or by the use of a machine is called ginning.
The next step is to convert the fiber into yarn, this process is known as spinning. It is the process of drawing out fibers from a mass and twisting them together to form a continuous thread or yarn. This is either done by a hand with the aid of a spindle and distaff or a spinning wheel.
The final steps are weaving and knitting the yarns. The process of weaving involves arranging various yarns together to form a fabric. It is done by interlacing two sets of yarns so that they cross each other, mostly accomplished with a hand loom or a power-operated loom. The process of knitting involves arranging two yarns together, which can be done manually as well as by machines. Knitting creates stitches, loops of yarn in a row, either flat or in the round. There are usually many active stitches on the knitting needle at one time.
What are the uses of cotton fabrics?
- Cotton fabrics are used for creating various garments, like shirts, dresses, Kurtis, saris, trousers etc.
- At home, various furnishing items like bed sheets, cushion covers, curtains, etc, are made from it.
- It is also largely used by the medical sector for various types of bandages and other medical utilities.
- The seeds that are separated in the process of ginning are used to prepare cottonseed oil. This oil is used in the food and cosmetic industries.
What are the different types of cotton fabrics?
There is a variety of cotton fabrics available in the market. To name a few, denim, canvas, poplin, satin, cambric, crepe, chino, damask, etc.
Where can you buy cotton clothing?
If you are looking for authentic cotton clothing like dresses, kurtis, saris etc. then you can visit our website and see our collection of pure cotton garments. All our clothing are in-house designed in high quality cotton fabric. You can click here to have a look at them.
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Written by: Simran Sood