• Cotton is a natural fiber harvested from the cotton plant.
• Cotton is one of the oldest fibres with traces of cotton over 7,000 years old recovered from archaeological sites.
• Cotton is also one of the most used natural fibres in existence today, with consumers from all classes and nations wearing and using cotton in a variety of applications.
Cotton plant Cotton
• Thousands of acres globally are devoted to the production of cotton, whether it be new world cotton, with longer, smoother fibres, or the shorter and coarser old world varieties.
• Cotton fibres are up to 95 percent pure cellulose.
• The white, fluffy fibres grow around the plant's seed pod, or boll. Once mature, the bolls are picked and a cotton gin is used to separate the fibres from the seed.
• Depending on the variety, cotton fibres vary in staple length and softness, but all are relatively durable.
Way to cotton fabrics:
Production of cotton:
• The cotton plant is a shrub. It grows well in black soil and warm climate. It needs moderate rainfall.
• As shown in the picture above, the cotton plant has a small, green fruit called the cotton boll. The boll has seeds inside, which are surrounded by cotton fibres.
• Raw cotton and ginned cotton are obtained from cotton fibres. Ginning is done to separate the cotton fibres from seeds.
• When the cotton boll matures, it splits open, exposing the raw cotton fibres. The heat of the sun dries these fibres. After the fibres have dried, the crop is harvested.
• The fibres are spun using spinning machines to form cotton yarn. Yarn is then woven to make cotton fabrics.
• The fabric after finishing is made into clothes, bed sheets, towels, rugs etc.
• Mahatma Gandhi, who is fondly called 'Bapu' promoted the use of spinning 'charkha' throughout India.
• The 'charkha' came to be recognized as the Indian symbol of self-suffciency and independence all over the world.