Cotton is the most common material in the light industry, and cotton fabrics occupy the first place in the world by production volume among all fabrics.
Cotton was originally called cotton paper. In many classic literary works you can find the expression “paper cap”. And this is not a headdress made of the now familiar to us paper, but just a closet item made of cotton fabric. Therefore, the terms “cotton” and “cotton” are identical.
Where does the cotton come from?
It is taken from cotton. It is a shrub, reaching a height of 0.5 to 3 meters depending on the species. It has a spiral arrangement of leaves and a stem root system. There are about 40 types of cotton known, but only a few of them are cultivated.
The bud blossoms into a flower, then there is self-pollination, the flower turns into a box, which begins to mature and open. Fibers germinated from the seeds, are selected for light.
Each fiber is a dead tubular cell. Its length is several thousand times wider. It consists mainly of cellulose, but also contains some resins and waxes in the raw form.
Cotton is thermophilic. The ideal temperature for him is around 30 ° C. Loves the sun, moisture. It grows badly in cool or hot weather.
Cotton picking and processing
Cotton plantations are so vast (Hlopkovoe pole) that cotton is collected mechanized way. However, this method has a disadvantage of getting into the crop unnecessary parts of the plant. Manual assembly is much more accurate, but tens of times less productive.
The harvested cotton is cleaned. It happens so. Cotton bales come from assembly points to the manufacturer. There they are opened and aged for the so-called “flowering” day. After that, the cotton is loaded on special machines, where it is loosened and cleaned of unnecessary impurities and seeds. The cotton then undergoes a final cleaning procedure.
The resulting cotton fibers are curled and pressed. The seeds are not discarded: some of them will be sown again, some will go to oil, and the remaining cake will become cattle fodder.
Manufacture of cotton fabric
Threads are spun from cotton fibers. They are glued with solutions based on resins, fats and starch in order to successfully resist mechanical influences during further processing.
Further bleaching occurs. Previously, sunlight served as a bleaching agent, but now more modern technologies are used – solutions, which include substances based on chlorine or hydrogen peroxide.
At the next stage, the previously used glue is washed off.
Sometimes, the fabric is made from already dyed threads. In other cases, the bleached fabric, which in the process of treatment becomes completely hydrophilic (with appetite absorbing water), is dyed with special synthetic substances, of which there are more than one thousand in industry.
During the production process, cotton can also be subjected to the so-called “appetite”, which is worth mentioning in detail.
Appretouring – a series of operations that give the fabric the necessary consumer properties. There are mechanical varieties such as shaving and lint, but most are produced using chemicals.
Podding, for example, enhances the effect of whiteness. The name of an indelible application, which uses formaldehyde resins, speaks for itself. And, of course, mercerization – soaking of fibers, threads or finished cloth in caustic soda at zero temperature. This operation makes the cotton silky, strong and able to keep its shape.
Cotton or cotton, the fabric is durable, attractive in appearance and resistant to wear. Products made of it are pleasant to the touch, well washed and have excellent hygroscopic properties (cotton can absorb moisture up to 15-20% of its own weight, without feeling wet). Cotton is the most popular material in the textile industry, and this probably says it all.