Cotton News Directory

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It is not news to anyone that cotton is hugely important to the clothing and textile industry.  The majority of fashion worn on the planet is made from cotton or cotton blended fabrics.

Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus Gossypium in the family of Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cellulose.  The fiber is most often spun into yarn or thread and used to make a soft, breathable textile.

Genetically modified (GM) cotton was developed to reduce the heavy reliance on pesticides. Organic cotton is generally understood as cotton from plants not genetically modified and that is certified to be grown without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals, such as fertilizers or pesticides.  The cotton industry relies heavily on chemicals, such as herbicides, fertilizers and insecticides, although a very small number of farmers are moving toward an organic model of production, and organic cotton products are now available for purchase at limited locations. These are popular for baby clothes and diapers. Under most definitions, organic products do not use genetic engineering.

Don't forget the latest and greatest news about cotton.  The news is that you should recycle as much and as often as possible.  Cotton recycling prevents unneeded wastage and can be a more sustainable alternative to disposal.  Let's try not to waste our resources.

Textile News Directory

National Cotton Council News (Cotton.org): The National Cotton Council of America's mission is to ensure the ability of all U.S. cotton industry segments to compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and U.S.-manufactured product markets at home and abroad.

Cotton Futures News: Cotton Futures and commodity market news. Breaking financial news is brought to you Courtesy of TFC Commodity Charts. News headlines from around the world.

Farms.com Cotton News: Cotton - Find the latest cotton news and information, including cotton futures, cotton crop information, cotton commentaries, cotton discussion boards, videos and more.

Plains Cotton Grower News: "Cotton News", a weekly service of Plains Cotton Growers to the cotton industry and news media in the 41-county High Plains area

UGA Cotton News: UGA Cotton News; UGA Cotton Pest Management; Home; Cotton Team; Links; About Us; This website is supported by the Georgia Cotton Commission

Additional information and resources to help you learn more about this subject:

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You may want to also visit the Fashion News Articles website to see the Textile News Articles section so that you can look for additional resources.

Cultivation of Cotton:

Successful cultivation of cotton requires a long frost-free period, plenty of sunshine, and a moderate rainfall, usually from 60 to 120 cm (24 to 47 in). Soils usually need to be fairly heavy, although the level of nutrients does not need to be exceptional. In general, these conditions are met within the seasonally dry tropics and subtropics in the Northern and Southern hemispheres, but a large proportion of the cotton grown today is cultivated in areas with less rainfall that obtain the water from irrigation. Production of the crop for a given year usually starts soon after harvesting the preceding autumn. Cotton is naturally a perennial but is grown as an annual to help control pests.  Planting time in spring in the Northern hemisphere varies from the beginning of February to the beginning of June. The area of the United States known as the South Plains is the largest contiguous cotton-growing region in the world.

How to harvest cotton:

Most cotton in the United States, Europe and Australia is harvested mechanically, either by a cotton picker, a machine that removes the cotton from the boll without damaging the cotton plant, or by a cotton stripper, which strips the entire boll off the plant.

Some of the many uses of cotton:

Cotton is used to make a number of textile products. These include terrycloth for highly absorbent bath towels and robes; denim for blue jeans; cambric, popularly used in the manufacture of blue work shirts (from which we get the term "blue-collar"); and corduroy, seersucker, and cotton twill. Socks, underwear, and most T-shirts are made from cotton. Bed sheets often are made from cotton. Cotton also is used to make yarn used in crochet and knitting. Fabric also can be made from recycled or recovered cotton that otherwise would be thrown away during the spinning, weaving, or cutting process. While many fabrics are made completely of cotton, some materials blend cotton with other fibers, including rayon and synthetic fibers such as polyester. It can either be used in knitted or woven fabrics, as it can be blended with elastine to make a stretchier thread for knitted fabrics, and apparel such as stretch jeans. Cotton can be blended also with linen as Linen-cotton blends which give benefit of both plant materials which wrinkle resistant, lightweight, breathable and can keep heat more effectively than only linen. These blends are thinner and lighter, but stronger than only cotton.

What is Egyptian Cotton?

The name Egyptian cotton is broadly associated with quality products, however only a small percentage of "Egyptian cotton" products are actually of superior quality. Most products bearing the name are not made with cotton from Egypt.

What is Pima Cotton?

Pima cotton is often compared to Egyptian cotton, as both are used in high quality bed sheets and other cotton products. It is considered the next best quality after high quality Egyptian cotton by some authorities. Pima cotton is grown in the American southwest. Not all products bearing the Pima name are made with the finest cotton. The Pima name is now used by cotton-producing nations such as Peru, Australia and Israel.

What is Cotton Lisle?

Cotton lisle is a finely-spun, tightly twisted type of cotton that is noted for being strong and durable. Lisle is composed of two strands that have each been twisted an extra twist per inch than ordinary yarns and combined to create a single thread. The yarn is spun so that it is compact and solid. This cotton is used mainly for underwear, stockings, and gloves. Colors applied to this yarn are noted for being more brilliant than colors applied to softer yarn. This type of thread was first made in the city of Lisle, France (now Lille), hence its name.

What is mercerised cotton?

Mercerisation is a treatment for cellulosic material, typically cotton threads, that strengthens them and gives them a lustrous appearance. The process is less frequently used for linen and hemp threads.  The process was devised in 1844 by John Mercer of Great Harwood, Lancashire, England, who treated cotton fibrers with sodium hydroxide. The treatment caused the fibers to swell, which in Mercer's version of the process shrank the overall fabric size and made it stronger and easier to dye. The process did not become popular until H. A. Lowe improved it into its modern form in 1890. By holding the cotton during treatment to prevent it from shrinking, Lowe found that the fiber gained a lustrous appearance.  Mercerisation alters the chemical structure of the cotton fiber. The structure of the fiber inter-converts from an alpha- and beta-cellulose mixture to a thermodynamically favorable cellulose II polymorph. The modern production method for mercerised cotton, also known as "pearl" or "pearle" cotton, gives cotton thread (or cotton-covered thread with a polyester core) a sodium hydroxide bath that is then neutralized with an acid bath. This treatment increases lustre, strength, affinity to dye, and resistance to mildew. On the other hand, it also increases its affinity to lint.

What is a cotton gin?

A cotton gin is a machine that quickly and easily separates cotton fibers from their seeds, allowing for much greater productivity than manual cotton separation.  The fibers are then processed into various cotton goods such as linens, while any undamaged cotton is used largely for textiles including clothing. Seeds may be used to grow more cotton or to produce cottonseed oil. Although simple handheld roller gins had been used in India and other countries since at earliest 500 AD, the first modern mechanical cotton gin was created by American inventor Eli Whitney in 1793 and patented in 1794.

What is calendering?  You may want to read the textile news article about calendering cotton and other textile fibers.


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