The Surprising World Of Cotton
Cotton is a natural material that has been used for a variety of uses for thousands of years. As the main product for items such as Mens designer shirts, Farah Shirts and also, a variety of cosmetic products it really is a plant that is incredibly versatile.
It is in fact thought that cotton has been around since 450 BC with seeds being found in Peru from this time period. Right from these early times it was evident that cotton was a plant that could be used in its entirety meaning that there was very little waste from harvesting the plant. The seeds would be used in animal feeds and even for human consumption in the form of cottonseed oil, the stalks were put back into the soil following the harvest to help add extra nutrients to the ground and the fibre part of the plant is where the biggest uses come from.
Although this fibre cannot be digested by humans it is a food source for animals with more sophisticated digestive systems such as cattle. Certain cotton plant produces fibres that can reach up to 1.7 inches in length. Longer fibres produce sifter yarns when the threads are spun. But these specialist plants can only thrive in very temperate climates which mean that they cannot be grown everywhere. The standard cotton plant that is grown produces fibres that are 1.3 inches in length and produces some incredible yarns.
In an attempt to try and make soft yarns from standard cotton plants a process whereby the shorter fibres are removed from the selection of fibres collected before they are spun into yarn is used. The small fibres are then used to create cotton balls and q-tips. As we have already mentioned it really is a plant where very little if nothing is wasted. In order to identify which of the yarns that you see in stores has the softer texture you should look at the yarn number. The higher the number the softer and finer the yarn will be. When you look at sheets you will often see the yarn count as something like 600 count. This actually refers to the number of yarns that are in one inch of the fabric.
Cotton is a great plant to grow as it is highly sustainable. The seeds are usually planted in the spring and are then harvested in the autumn time. The entire growth process for the plant takes between five and six months until they are ready to be harvested for use and then the planting begins all over again.