What is Cotton
What do you need to know about cotton
What is cotton
Mankind has been growing cotton for over 5000 years. In natural conditions, cotton is a perennial plant, which can reach ten meters in height and grow for over 10 years. Specially cultivated cotton trees are slightly different from wild ones. They grow only one year, and the shrub itself is only one meter high to facilitate the collection of boxes.
Each box contains about thirty seeds, distributed in 4-5 compartments. Each fiber is one plant cell made of seed peel 15-25 mm thick in the form of a hollow tube twisted around its axis. This, by the way, explains the poor thermal conductivity of cotton. As the fiber matures, it grows stronger and the cellulose content increases to 95%. It is the fiber that, increasing in volume, “explodes” the cotton boxes, after which the harvest begins.
Depending on the fiber length, the yarn made of it is divided into short fiber (up to 27 mm), medium fiber (30-34 mm) and long fiber (up to 60 mm).
Since the XIX century, thanks to the industrial revolution, cotton has become the number one textile fiber in the world.
Three criteria are taken into account when assessing cotton quality at the plant.
Fiber length: it varies from 10 to 60 mm depending on the type. The longer the cotton fibers, the better their properties and therefore the yarns. Long fibers in Egyptian cotton, they reach over 32 mm. And Australian Pima Supima cotton has fibers from 34mm.
The color of cotton varies from white to yellowish. The whiter it is, the easier it is to whiten it completely for dyeing or printing. Therefore, whiter cotton is more popular.
Fiber purity is also a quality criterion.
Advantages of cotton over other fabrics
Cotton has excellent hygroscopic properties. Cotton fiber can absorb up to 20% of moisture from its weight, but remain dry to the touch, holding up to 65% of the water without giving it away in the form of droplets. It is thanks to this property that cotton is often used for the manufacture of bath textiles.
Please note that almost all the care labels on your bath towels and robes indicate that they are made of cotton. Note also that when wet, the strength of the cotton fibers does not decrease, but on the contrary, increases by 15%.
Thanks to the structure of the fibers, cotton has insulation properties. Therefore, it can keep the air heated from contact with the body and keep warm during cold seasons and vice versa, it can insulate when it is hot.
We also like cotton because it can withstand high temperatures: ironing with a hot iron and even boiling.
Cotton does not accumulate static electricity.
The disadvantages are its relatively low resistance to wear and the possible shrinkage or deformation.
Cotton and polyester
To reduce the disadvantages of cotton, polyester is added to it. Depending on the percentage of cotton and polyester in the textile, its characteristics slightly change: not only the disadvantages are reduced, but also the most important advantages – absorptive properties and sense of comfort from the material.
That’s why we use only 100% high-quality cotton in Tkano products. We try to reduce the disadvantages of natural cotton at the expense of the best raw materials, rather than by adding synthetics. It is thanks to the high quality of the original material that Tkano textiles can withstand many washings and does not deform, does not fade and is durable.
Some kinds of cotton fabrics
It is not surprising that over several thousand years of cotton use, mankind has invented many fabrics from this material. To make the conversation about types of fabrics more meaningful, we should mention Thread counts (TC) – the world standard for calculating the density of fabrics. This is the ratio of the number of threads to 2.54 cm (1 inch). For example, for a fabric with a weave density of 300 threads TC will be 118. Each type of fabric has its own TC value.
The chintz is very accessible and cheap, but it deforms already after the first washings, quickly fades, wears out and loses its simple appearance.
Coarse calico (70-110 TC) is one of the most common and democratic materials, with a simple appearance, slightly rough to the touch and not very durable.
Poplin (120-130 TC) is more pleasant to look and feel, it is easy to iron and it is affordable, although it is quite thin, can withstand up to 200 washings.
Percale (180-200 TC) – a beautiful, dense, pleasant to touch fabric, can withstand up to 400 washings, good shape, looks good on an untidy bed and is suitable for those who sweat in their sleep. It is distinguished by its high price.
Satin (from 200 TC) can now be called a Rolls-Royce in the world of cotton fabrics. It is durable and smooth, durable, almost does not need ironing and is very beautiful! Its only disadvantage is the high price.
One of the main advantages of cotton is unpretentiousness in washing. While for cotton clothes care tags are usually recommended 30-40°C, for towels and bed linen they can rise to 60°C. But not for all products, so before sending the laundry to the washing machine, read what is indicated on the tag.
This material is natural, which affects the possible shrinkage of the product after washing (within 3-6%). To avoid this, it is recommended to do the first wash manually at a temperature not exceeding 30°C.
If, however, a slight shrinkage has occurred, it can be corrected. For this purpose, the product should be ironed with an iron, approx.
The remarkable qualities of cotton, for which we value its products so much, are explained by the very structure of the fiber. The high hygroscopic and low thermal conductivity of the material is due to the fact that each fiber is the thinnest hollow cellulose tube twisted around its axis. That is why cotton fabrics are ideal for table, bedding, underwear and children’s linen, as well as towels for a variety of purposes.
The use of raw materials of the highest quality and their careful processing allow to create durable cotton fabrics such as poplin, percale and satin. To determine exactly what kind of fabric in front of you, pay attention to the TC index.