History of the use of cotton :
Asiatic cottons first grew wild in East Africa. About 5000 years ago, the people in what is now southern cultivated cotton. The army of Alexander the Great first brought cotton goods into Europe in the 300s B.C. but the cloth was too expensive and only the rich could afford it.
The English began to weave cotton in the 1600s. They imported raw cotton from other countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Later, they imported cotton from southern colonies in America.
In the 1700s, English textile manufacturers developed machines that made it possible to spin thread and weave cloth into large quantities. Today, the United States, Russia, China and India are major producers of cotton.
Production of cotton :
When cotton arrives at a textile mill, several blenders feed cotton into cleaning machines, which mix the cotton, break it into smaller pieces and remove trash. The cotton is sucked through a pipe into picking machines. Beaters in these machines strike the cotton repeatedly to knock out dirt and separate lumps of cotton into smaller pieces.
After inspectors check the cloth, it is passed through a gas flame that singes the fuzz off its surface. Boiling the cloth in an alkaline solution removes natural waxes, colored substances or discolorations. Then the cloth is bleached in hypochlorite or peroxide. The cloth may then pass through a machine that prints designs on it. Cloth intended to be solid-colored goes through a dye bath.
This is followed by spinning processes which do three jobs: draft the cotton, or reduce it to smaller structures, straighten and parallel the fibers and lastly, put twist into the yarn. The yarns are then made into cloth by weaving, knitting or other processes.
Cotton then goes to the carding machine, where the fibers are separated. Trash and short fibers are removed. Some cotton goes through a comber that removes more short fibers and makes a stronger, more lustrous yarn.
Care of your cotton
1) Set your washing machine to the low setting.
2) Wash the cloth in cold water.
3) Set your iron to Medium to iron it.
4) Do not bleach the cloth.
5) Hang to dry but do not tumble dry.
Properties of the cotton :
1)It is soft and comfortable.
2)It wrinkles easily.
3)It absorbs perspiration quickly.
4)It has good color retention and is good to print on.
4)Cotton is also strong and durable
Uses : Cotton is used to make blouses, shirts, singlets, shorts, Bermudas, jackets and pants. It can also be made into bedspreads, pillowcases, carpets and curtains.