Linters, the fuzz left after the ginning process, also have myriad industrial uses. Cotton has been cultivated for over 5,000 years, and only halfway through the 20th century did modern farming methods move away from handpicking and horse plowing. Its name refers to the cream-colored fluffy fibers surrounding small cottonseeds called a boll. ), in India (3000 B.C. Learn More, Cotton Incorporated research and development goes beyond cotton fiber in exploring uses for the entire cotton plant in commercially viable—if, perhaps, unexpected—products, including wall coverings and packaging supplies. Cotton, one of the world’s leading agricultural crops, is plentiful and economically produced, making cotton products relatively inexpensive. Conventional cotton production requires more insecticides than any other major crop, and the production of organic cotton, which relies on nonsynthetic insecticides, has been increasing in many places worldwide. Combine harvesting ripe cotton in Alabama. Warp yarns often are treated chemically to prevent breaking during weaving. Cotton can be found as perennial treelike plants in tropical climates but is normally cultivated as a shrubby annual in temperate climates. The second group contains the standard medium-staple cotton, such as American Upland, with staple length from about 1.3 to 3.3 cm (0.5 to 1.3 inches). Cotton fibre is made from cellulose, has a slim coating of wax and is thin and hollow like a straw. In the future, there might be a process that can be used to help make the seeds safer for human consumption. But the cotton plant is so much more than just a fiber source. A species of boll weevil resistant to chlorinated hydrocarbons was recorded in the late 1950s; this species is combatted effectively with a mixture of toxaphene and DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane), which has been outlawed in the United States and some other countries, however. Faster production methods include rotor spinning (a type of open-end spinning), in which fibres are detached from the card sliver and twisted, within a rotor, as they are joined to the end of the yarn. When warmth is desired, it can be napped, a process giving the fabric a downy surface. Mechanization has also reduced substantially the labour needed to grow cotton. Cotton’s strength and absorbency makes it an ideal fabric to make clothes and homewares, and industrial products like tarpaulins, tents, hotel sheets, army uniforms and even astronauts’ inflight space suits. …the commercial industrial crops is cotton. Vice President, Research, Textile Research Institute, Princeton, New Jersey. The seeds are delinted by a similar process to ginning. Through this web site I offer cotton, cotton plants, cotton bolls, Cotton Jewelry, & lots of other farm related products for the asking. A traditional and still common processing method is ring spinning, by which the mass of cotton may be subjected to opening and cleaning, picking, carding, combing, drawing, roving, and spinning. The cotton bale is opened, and its fibres are raked mechanically to remove foreign matter (e.g., soil and seeds). Todays cutting-edge machin… Cotton is virtually pure cellulose, apart from very small amounts of wax, protein, and water. The pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella), originally reported in India in 1842, has spread throughout the cotton-producing countries, causing average annual crop losses of up to 25 percent in, for example, India, Egypt, China, and Brazil. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Two-thirds of the weight of the seed cotton (i.e., the seed with the adhering seed hair) consists of the seeds. A card (carding) machine brushes the loose fibres into rows that are joined as a soft sheet, or web, and forms them into loose untwisted rope known as card sliver. My friend Jasper Cunningham tweeted me one day asking me if I had some cotton facts on my blog. Least plentiful and most difficult to grow, long-staple cottons are costly and are used mainly for fine fabrics, yarns, and hosiery. Thinner strands are produced by the roving (slubbing) process, in which the sliver is converted to roving by being pulled and slightly twisted. In the drawing (drafting) stage, a series of variable-speed rollers attenuates and reduces the sliver to firm uniform strands of usable size. Additionally, genetically modified “Bt cotton” was developed to produce bacterial proteins that are toxic to herbivorous insects, ostensibly reducing the amount of pesticides needed (). Cotton seeds are valuable by-products. Learn More, The Blue Jeans Go Green™ denim recycling program has collected more than one million pieces of denim, effectively diverting more than 600 tons of denim from landfills. But other parts of the plant are also used for various purposes. A hybrid of T. stricta and T.recurvifolia, this plant has silver green leaves and produces bright pink bract with violet flowers. Cotton by-products are in everything from ice cream to wall paper, from hot dog casings to baseballs—not to mention lots of things we use at home, like cotton swabs, wipes, and even disposable diapers. Cotton looms interlace the tense lengthwise yarns, called warp, with crosswise yarns called weft, or filling. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, https://www.britannica.com/topic/cotton-fibre-and-plant, Jewish Women's Archive - Biography of Anne Frank, Web Gallery of Art - Biography of Antonio Canova, The New Georgia Encyclopedia - Business and Economy - Cotton, JewishEncyclopedia.com - Biography of Georg Brandes, cotton - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), cotton - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Cotton fibres may be classified roughly into three large groups, based on staple length (average length of the fibres making up a sample or bale of cotton) and appearance. Cotton is used to make a number of textile products. Author: Scott Stewart, IPM Extension Specialist Comments Off on Cotton Defoliation – Defoliation Products Defoliants can be categorized as having either herbicidal or hormonal activity. Omissions? Clothes made out of cotton are especially light and comfortable. Blends (composites) are made during yarn processing by joining drawn cotton with other staple fibres, such as polyester or casein. Ginned cotton is shipped in bales to a textile mill for yarn manufacturing. Until that time, cottonseed oil will be the main edible product from this wonderful plant. To avoid damage to the cotton by wind or rain, it is picked as soon as the bolls open, but since the bolls do not all reach maturity simultaneously, an optimum time is chosen for harvesting by mechanical means. Some varieties have been bred that are resistant to a bacterial disease called angular leaf spot. Greece is the main cotton grower, with 80% of European cotton area, followed by Spain (mainly the region of Andalucía) with a share of 20%. We have updated our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy with important information about our collection and use of your data and your data privacy options. Whole cottonseed is another feed product of cottonseed used to feed livestock. While the fiber is woven into apparel and home textiles, the seeds are used as a high-quality feed for cows. It is generally a shrubby plant having broad three-lobed leaves and seeds in capsules, or bolls; each seed is surrounded with … Some linter is used to make candle wicks, string, cotton balls, cotton batting, paper, and cellulose products such as rayon, plastics, photographic film, and cellophane. During this period the seeds and their attached hairs develop within the boll, which increases considerably in size. Mount it on a holder or driftwood. To update your email address, make changes to the emails you receive, or unsubscribe, please enter your current Email Address. Cotton, one of the world’s leading agricultural crops, is plentiful and economically produced, making cotton products relatively inexpensive. Whereas it grows up to 6 metres (20 feet) high in the tropics, it characteristically ranges from 1 to 2 metres (3 to 6.5 feet) in height under cultivation. The cottonseed, which remains after cotton is ginned, is used to produce oil for human consumption and oilseed cake for animal feed. Cotton is easily spun into yarn as the cotton fibe… Pieces of cotton fabrics have been found by archaeologists in Mexico (from 3500 B.C. A picker (picking machine) then wraps the fibres into a lap. Most of the seeds (cottonseed) are separated from the fibres by a mechanical process called ginning. Rotor spinning machines at a coarse cotton factory. All parts of the cotton plant are useful. Soil fumigation moderately succeeded in combatting such fungus diseases as fusarium wilt, verticillium wilt, and Texas root rot, which are restricted to certain conditions of soil, rainfall, and general climate. ), in Peru (2500 B.C. Equipment includes tractor, two-row stalk-cutter, disk (to shred the stalks), bedder (to shape the soil into ridges or seedbeds), planter, cultivator, sprayer, and harvester. It is comfortable to wear because it absorbs and releases moisture quickly. The cotton plant belongs to the genus Gossypium of the family Malvaceae (mallow family); the same family as hollyhock, okra and hibiscus. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. For the production of cotton blends, air-jet spinning may be used; in this high-speed method, air currents wrap loose fibres around a straight sliver core. It may have existed in Egypt as early as 12,000 B.C. Nonwoven cotton, made by fusing or bonding the fibres together, is useful for making disposable products to be used as towels, polishing cloths, tea bags, tablecloths, bandages, and disposable uniforms and sheets for hospital and other medical uses. It is a good source of protein and oil, and can supply human food or animal feed and even biodiesel. Cottonseed has an increasingly recognized value and various applications. The plant is cultivated in many parts of the world including China, the United States, and India. The blossoms develop into seedpods, or bolls. The first group includes the fine, lustrous fibres with staple length ranging from about 2.5 to 6.5 cm (about 1 to 2.5 inches) and includes types of the highest quality—such as Sea Island, Egyptian, and pima cottons. Cotton plants are subject to diseases caused by various pathogenic fungi, bacteria, and viruses and to damage by nematodes (parasitic worms) and physiological disturbances also classified as diseases. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Currently, cotton is produced only in three EU countries on around 320,000 ha. Folex TM , Aim TM , Display and ET TM are herbicidal-type defoliants that injure the plant, causing it to produce ethylene in response to this injury. When ripe, the boll bursts into a white, fluffy ball containing three to five cells, each having 7 to 10 seeds embedded in a mass of seed fibres. Much of it is exported in processed form, largely as burlap. Within 80–100 days after planting, the plant develops white blossoms, which change to a reddish colour. Various finishing processes have been developed to make cotton resistant to stains, water, and mildew; to increase resistance to wrinkling, thus reducing or eliminating the need for ironing; and to reduce shrinkage in laundering to not more than 1 percent. Updates? Although cotton represents less than 0.2% of the value of Europ… The most important is the fiber or lint, which is used in making cotton cloth. Manufacturer of Cotton Processing Plant, Cotton Plant, Absorbent Cotton Plant, Cotton Plant Machinery and Surgical Cotton Plant offered by Shree Ambica Engineering Works & Company, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Cotton fibre can be woven or knitted into fabrics including velvet, … Socks, underwear, and most T-shirts are made from cotton. The fibres can be made into a wide variety of fabrics ranging from lightweight voiles and laces to heavy sailcloths and thick-piled velveteens, suitable for a great variety of wearing apparel, home furnishings, and industrial uses. After the pods pop, the fluffy cotton shows. Properly timed insecticide application provides fairly effective control. Linters, fibres considerably shorter than the seed hair and more closely connected to the seed, come from a second growth beginning about 10 days after the first seed hairs begin to develop. Ltd., is a certified ISO 9001 : 2015 company manufacturing all Main and Allied equipments for Seed Processing, Equipments for oil and fat industry, Seed Cotton Saw Ginning Plants with all systems and specifications meeting International quality standards following modern manufacturing procedure. origins of agriculture: Mechanized equipment for cotton. Each fiber is a single elongated cell that is flat twisted and ribbon-like with a wide inner hollow (lumen). Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). On our farm in Northeastern NC, we raise cotton, sage, corn, small grains, & soybeans. A fieldworker picking cotton in Leme, São Paulo state, Brazil. Many people are also unaware that cotton fiber has a coating of natural waxes that protect it from rain, which ultimately makes it hydrophobic (which is a fancy word for water repellent). But recently, long-term research from Cotton Incorporated has paved the way for an expanded use of cottonseed as a foodstuff. Learn More. Other Products Derived From Cotton Plants Apart from fibre, the cotton plant supplies seeds that can result in a variety of products. Ecovative Design used cotton burrs, agricultural waste, to create a biodegradable packaging that can be composted after use. Finally, the roving is transferred to a spinning frame, where it is drawn further, twisted on a ring spinner, and wound on a bobbin as yarn. Cotton is an arable crop used mainly for fibre. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Limited control of damage by insect pests can be achieved by proper timing of planting and other cultural practices or by selective breeding of varieties having some resistance to insect damage. While raw cotton contains fiber, due to how cotton is harvested, it also carries small plant parts and field trash (non-lint or foreign matter) that must be removed thoroughly. The third group includes the short-staple, coarse cottons, ranging from about 1 to 2.5 cm (0.5 to 1 inch) in length, used to make carpets and blankets, coarse and inexpensive fabrics, and blends with other fibres. The cotton shrub produces seedpods that burst open to reveal masses of fluffy cotton fibres. I’m Fahey Byrum III, or Butch. The Cotton Plant is an unusual plant to grow. Find out more about this program and how to get involved. Cotton By-products. Jute, mainly from West Bengal, Assam, and Bihar, is the second leading natural fibre. De-seeded cotton is cleaned, carded (fibers aligned), spun, and woven into a fabric that is also referred to as cotton. Cottonseed, seed of the cotton plant, important commercially for its oil and other products. Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Punjab are the principal cotton-growing states. What Cotton is Used For Every part of the cotton plant can be used. The small, sticky seeds must be separated from the wool in order to process the cotton for spinning and weaving. Please click on these. Cotton, seed-hair fibre of several species of plants of the genus Gossypium, belonging to the hibiscus, or mallow, family (Malvaceae). Fabric also can be made from recycled or recovered cotton that otherwise w… The boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis), the most serious cotton pest in the United States in the early 1900s, was finally controlled by appropriate cultivation methods and by the application of such insecticides as chlorinated hydrocarbons and organophosphates. The outer surface is covered with a protective wax-like coating which gives fiber an adhesive quality. Cotton is a shrubby plant that is a member of the Mallow family. Great indoor plant. An even coarser fibre is derived from coir, the outer…, Finally, there is evidence that cotton was cultivated and used for textiles.…. Since the fiber is pervasive in what we wear, eat, and use on a daily basis, its easy to forget that it comes from a crop, and must be harvested each and every year to meet worldwide demand. The seeds are separated from the cotton fiber mechanically. Each cotton boll usually contains 27-45 seeds, and attached to each seed is between 10,000 – 20,000 tiny fibres about 28mm in length. Although cotton is considered first and foremost a fiber crop, it is regulated as a food crop by the FDA because its byproducts, including cottonseed oil, have long been used in kitchens, the commercial food industry, cosmetics, and in medical applications. These fibres are harvested to produce cotton yarn and textiles. Let plant dry completely after soaking before placing it back into its home. Service Marks / Trademarks of Cotton Incorporated. A chemical defoliant is usually applied before mechanical picking to cause the plants to shed their leaves, thus encouraging more uniform ripening of the bolls. He seemed to enjoy several of the posts in my Cotton 101 series, especially the cotton dictionary, but I realized some quick and easy facts about cotton may be of interest too.. Cotton is attacked by several hundred species of insects, including such harmful species as the boll weevil, pink bollworm, cotton leafworm, cotton fleahopper, cotton aphid, rapid plant bug, conchuela, southern green stinkbug, spider mites (red spiders), grasshoppers, thrips, and tarnished plant bugs. Glyphosate-resistant cotton, which can tolerate the herbicide glyphosate, was also developed through genetic engineering. The seeds can also be pressed and turned into cottonseed oil that can be used in cooking, as well as cosmetics, soap, and food products like chips and salad dressing. The fibres can be made into a wide variety of fabrics ranging from lightweight voiles and laces to heavy sailcloths and thick-piled velveteens , suitable for a great variety of wearing apparel, home furnishings, and industrial uses. Whole cottonseed leads to high production of milk and fat … While the fiber is woven into apparel and home textiles, the seeds are used as a high-quality feed for cows. The cotton plant is best known for producing soft, washable fiber, which outsells all others--including man-made fibers--in the United States. Even parts of the cotton plant that would otherwise be considered trash have novel uses. Cotton is a perennial that farmers grow on an annual schedule. Handpicking also produces considerably cleaner cotton; mechanical harvesters pick the bolls by suction, accumulating loose material, dust, and dirt, and cannot distinguish between good and discoloured cotton. According to CottonInc.com, cotton has been cultivated for about 7,000 years, and evidence suggests it … Cotton accepts many dyes, is usually washable, and can be ironed at relatively high temperatures. The fertilized blossoms fall off after a few days and are replaced by small green triangular pods, called bolls, that mature after a period of 55–80 days. The cake, or meal, remaining after the oil is extracted is used in poultry and livestock feeds. I specialize in supplying these products at reasonable prices with personalized service. When it is in bloom it produces attractive yellow blossoms and pink blossoms at the same time. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Mechanization has also reduced substantially the labour needed to grow cotton. Cotton also is used to make yarn used in crochet and knitting. The breeding of resistant varieties, however, has been more effective. 90% cellulose, 6% moisture and the remainder fats and impurities. The term plant growth regulators (PGRs) may be used to refer to a wide array of hormonal products, including herbicides or other products that impact growth, but are most commonly used in cotton production to suppress excessive vegetative growth and may slightly hasten maturity. For higher-quality yarn, card sliver is put through a combing machine, which straightens the staple further and removes unwanted short lengths, or noils. But the cotton plant is so much more than just a fiber source. Cotton fiber grows in the seed pod or boll of the cotton plant. Chemical insecticides, which were first introduced in the early 1900s, require careful and selective use because of ecological considerations but appear to be the most effective and efficient means of control. Because young seedlings are especially sensitive to attack by a complex of disease organisms, treatment of seeds before planting is common. Cotton Plant Gossypium Herbaceum. The Tillandsia 'Cotton Candy' is a tough air plant that is easy to care for. Cotton comes from plants that produce seed pods filled with ball-shaped clumps of cotton fiber. Cotton fabrics can be extremely durable and resistant to abrasion. Controls and quarantines of affected areas have helped limit the spread of the insect, and eradication has been possible in a few relatively small areas with sufficiently strict controls. The bollworm (Heliothis zea, also known as the corn earworm) feeds on cotton and many other wild and cultivated plants. Although cotton can be grown between latitudes 30° N and 30° S, yield and fibre quality are considerably influenced by climatic conditions, and best qualities are obtained with high moisture levels resulting from rainfall or irrigation during the growing season and a dry, warm season during the picking period. The plant also produces seeds that are contained in small capsules surrounded by fibre in the cotton bolls. The seed hair, or cotton fibre, reaching a maximum length of about 6 cm (2.5 inches) in long-fibre varieties, is known as lint. Losses have been estimated as high as 50 percent in some African countries and in Brazil. AMERICA’S COTTON PRODUCERS AND IMPORTERS. Hydromulch, which helps control soil erosion, is also made from by-products of the ginning process. The fibres are composed of about 87 to 90 percent cellulose (a carbohydrate plant substance), 5 to 8 percent water, and 4 to 6 percent natural impurities. Clothing and household items are the largest uses, but industrial products account from many thousands of bales. Equipment includes tractor, two-row stalk-cutter, disk (to... Close-up of a carding machine at a textile mill. The various species of cotton grown as agricultural crops are native to most subtropical parts of the world and were domesticated independently multiple times. The threads are then woven to make cloth, which can be dyed. The procedure for weaving cotton yarn into fabric is similar to that for other fibres. Linters from longer fibers are often used for medical supplies, while linters with shorter fibers are used in items ranging from gun powder to cotton balls and even X-ray film. It is true the cotton plant will always be grown for humans to use but mainly for clothing purposes. ), and in the southwestern United States (500 B.C.). Cottonseed oil is used in salad and cooking oils and, after hydrogenation, in shortenings and margarine. © 2021 Cotton Incorporated. The seeds can also be pressed and turned into cottonseed oil that can be used in cooking, as well as cosmetics, soap, and food products like chips and salad dressing. 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. Bed sheets often are made from cotton. The process continues by spinning threads from the remaining, seedless white fiber. Bulgaria produces cotton on less than 1,000 ha. Type of Plant. Cotton has been cultivated and used to make fabrics for at least 7,000 years. Today, so many products are created from cotton. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Cotton is a plant that produces fibers, which are used to make clothes and other products, like towels, carpets or sheets. Cottor Plants (India) Pvt. Linters – the short fuzz on the seed – provide cellulose for making plastics, explosives and other products. It is the seed left after the separation of long fibres from cotton, and serves as a good source of cellulose for ruminants. Handpicking, carried out over a period of several days, allows selection of the mature and opened bolls, so that a higher yield is possible. Fibre in the future, there might be a process giving the fabric a surface! 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Newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox treatment of seeds before planting is common yarn as cotton. 50 percent in some African countries cotton plant products in the southwestern United States ( 500 B.C..! Normally cultivated as a foodstuff a high-quality feed for cows industrial uses joining drawn cotton other! To news, offers, and hosiery seedlings are especially light and comfortable lint, which can tolerate the glyphosate., mainly from West Bengal, Assam, and most T-shirts are cotton plant products!, the fluffy cotton shows when warmth is desired, it can woven! Releases moisture quickly agricultural crops, is usually washable, and attached to each seed is between 10,000 – tiny! Produce oil for human consumption for an expanded use of cottonseed used to produce oil for consumption.
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