De-seeded cotton is cleaned, carded (fibers aligned), spun, and woven into a fabric that is also referred to as cotton. 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 fibres are harvested to produce cotton yarn and textiles. 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. Cottonseed, seed of the cotton plant, important commercially for its oil and other products. Cotton has been cultivated and used to make fabrics for at least 7,000 years. Cotton looms interlace the tense lengthwise yarns, called warp, with crosswise yarns called weft, or filling. Losses have been estimated as high as 50 percent in some African countries and in Brazil. Within 80–100 days after planting, the plant develops white blossoms, which change to a reddish colour. Linters, the fuzz left after the ginning process, also have myriad industrial uses. Bed sheets often are made from cotton. 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. AMERICA’S COTTON PRODUCERS AND IMPORTERS. But recently, long-term research from Cotton Incorporated has paved the way for an expanded use of cottonseed as a foodstuff. 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. Handpicking, carried out over a period of several days, allows selection of the mature and opened bolls, so that a higher yield is possible. 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. 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. 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. 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). 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. Through this web site I offer cotton, cotton plants, cotton bolls, Cotton Jewelry, & lots of other farm related products for the asking. The plant also produces seeds that are contained in small capsules surrounded by fibre in the cotton bolls. A picker (picking machine) then wraps the fibres into a lap. Type of Plant. 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. On our farm in Northeastern NC, we raise cotton, sage, corn, small grains, & soybeans. Mechanization has also reduced substantially the labour needed to grow cotton. Cotton is an arable crop used mainly for fibre. Cottonseed has an increasingly recognized value and various applications. Cotton is a perennial that farmers grow on an annual schedule. The process continues by spinning threads from the remaining, seedless white fiber. It is a good source of protein and oil, and can supply human food or animal feed and even biodiesel. Hydromulch, which helps control soil erosion, is also made from by-products of the ginning process. 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. Cotton, seed-hair fibre of several species of plants of the genus Gossypium, belonging to the hibiscus, or mallow, family (Malvaceae). The plant is cultivated in many parts of the world including China, the United States, and India. 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. It is comfortable to wear because it absorbs and releases moisture quickly. Cotton, one of the world’s leading agricultural crops, is plentiful and economically produced, making cotton products relatively inexpensive. 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. Cotton By-products. 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. Properly timed insecticide application provides fairly effective control. 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. The most important is the fiber or lint, which is used in making cotton cloth. ), in Peru (2500 B.C. The cotton plant belongs to the genus Gossypium of the family Malvaceae (mallow family); the same family as hollyhock, okra and hibiscus. Cotton fiber grows in the seed pod or boll of the cotton plant. 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. In the drawing (drafting) stage, a series of variable-speed rollers attenuates and reduces the sliver to firm uniform strands of usable size. 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 bollworm (Heliothis zea, also known as the corn earworm) feeds on cotton and many other wild and cultivated plants. 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. 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. The small, sticky seeds must be separated from the wool in order to process the cotton for spinning and weaving. An even coarser fibre is derived from coir, the outer…, Finally, there is evidence that cotton was cultivated and used for textiles.…. Mechanization has also reduced substantially the labour needed to grow cotton. Great indoor plant. My friend Jasper Cunningham tweeted me one day asking me if I had some cotton facts on my blog. Fabric also can be made from recycled or recovered cotton that otherwise w… Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Additionally, genetically modified “Bt cotton” was developed to produce bacterial proteins that are toxic to herbivorous insects, ostensibly reducing the amount of pesticides needed (). Combine harvesting ripe cotton in Alabama. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Cotton is used to make a number of textile products. Linters – the short fuzz on the seed – provide cellulose for making plastics, explosives and other products. The cottonseed, which remains after cotton is ginned, is used to produce oil for human consumption and oilseed cake for animal feed. Clothing and household items are the largest uses, but industrial products account from many thousands of bales. 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. 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. Cotton also is used to make yarn used in crochet and knitting. It is the seed left after the separation of long fibres from cotton, and serves as a good source of cellulose for ruminants. 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. 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. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The outer surface is covered with a protective wax-like coating which gives fiber an adhesive quality. 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. Currently, cotton is produced only in three EU countries on around 320,000 ha. 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. 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. Cotton fabrics can be extremely durable and resistant to abrasion. 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. Cotton is a shrubby plant that is a member of the Mallow family. The threads are then woven to make cloth, which can be dyed. ), in India (3000 B.C. Most of the seeds (cottonseed) are separated from the fibres by a mechanical process called ginning. Socks, underwear, and most T-shirts are made from cotton. © 2021 Cotton Incorporated. The Cotton Plant is an unusual plant to grow. Vice President, Research, Textile Research Institute, Princeton, New Jersey. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Ginned cotton is shipped in bales to a textile mill for yarn manufacturing. While the fiber is woven into apparel and home textiles, the seeds are used as a high-quality feed for cows. But other parts of the plant are also used for various purposes. I’m Fahey Byrum III, or Butch. Bulgaria produces cotton on less than 1,000 ha. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. 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%. Blends (composites) are made during yarn processing by joining drawn cotton with other staple fibres, such as polyester or casein. Cottonseed oil is used in salad and cooking oils and, after hydrogenation, in shortenings and margarine. Least plentiful and most difficult to grow, long-staple cottons are costly and are used mainly for fine fabrics, yarns, and hosiery. Until that time, cottonseed oil will be the main edible product from this wonderful plant. Author: Scott Stewart, IPM Extension Specialist Comments Off on Cotton Defoliation – Defoliation Products Defoliants can be categorized as having either herbicidal or hormonal activity. 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. The cotton shrub produces seedpods that burst open to reveal masses of fluffy cotton fibres. 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. 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. After the pods pop, the fluffy cotton shows. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. 90% cellulose, 6% moisture and the remainder fats and impurities. 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.. 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. 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. Whole cottonseed leads to high production of milk and fat … Find out more about this program and how to get involved. 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. 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. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Pieces of cotton fabrics have been found by archaeologists in Mexico (from 3500 B.C. Let plant dry completely after soaking before placing it back into its home. 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. 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. Mount it on a holder or driftwood. During this period the seeds and their attached hairs develop within the boll, which increases considerably in size. 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. Jute, mainly from West Bengal, Assam, and Bihar, is the second leading natural fibre. I specialize in supplying these products at reasonable prices with personalized service. Some varieties have been bred that are resistant to a bacterial disease called angular leaf spot. Today, so many products are created from cotton. 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). Because young seedlings are especially sensitive to attack by a complex of disease organisms, treatment of seeds before planting is common. The cake, or meal, remaining after the oil is extracted is used in poultry and livestock feeds. Cottor Plants (India) Pvt. 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. The seeds are delinted by a similar process to ginning. It is generally a shrubby plant having broad three-lobed leaves and seeds in capsules, or bolls; each seed is surrounded with … For higher-quality yarn, card sliver is put through a combing machine, which straightens the staple further and removes unwanted short lengths, or noils. The blossoms develop into seedpods, or bolls. But the cotton plant is so much more than just a fiber source. 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. Other Products Derived From Cotton Plants Apart from fibre, the cotton plant supplies seeds that can result in a variety of products. Glyphosate-resistant cotton, which can tolerate the herbicide glyphosate, was also developed through genetic engineering. It may have existed in Egypt as early as 12,000 B.C. Cotton seeds are valuable by-products. Cotton comes from plants that produce seed pods filled with ball-shaped clumps of cotton fiber. Cotton is a plant that produces fibers, which are used to make clothes and other products, like towels, carpets or sheets. The breeding of resistant varieties, however, has been more effective. Cotton fibre can be woven or knitted into fabrics including velvet, … But the cotton plant is so much more than just a fiber source. The procedure for weaving cotton yarn into fabric is similar to that for other fibres. Two-thirds of the weight of the seed cotton (i.e., the seed with the adhering seed hair) consists of the seeds. Thinner strands are produced by the roving (slubbing) process, in which the sliver is converted to roving by being pulled and slightly twisted. Todays cutting-edge machin… 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. 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. 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. origins of agriculture: Mechanized equipment for cotton. 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. The cotton bale is opened, and its fibres are raked mechanically to remove foreign matter (e.g., soil and seeds). Although cotton represents less than 0.2% of the value of Europ… Rotor spinning machines at a coarse cotton factory. Ecovative Design used cotton burrs, agricultural waste, to create a biodegradable packaging that can be composted after use. All parts of the cotton plant are useful. Cotton, one of the world’s leading agricultural crops, is plentiful and economically produced, making cotton products relatively inexpensive. 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). A hybrid of T. stricta and T.recurvifolia, this plant has silver green leaves and produces bright pink bract with violet flowers. 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. Updates? When warmth is desired, it can be napped, a process giving the fabric a downy surface. The various species of cotton grown as agricultural crops are native to most subtropical parts of the world and were domesticated independently multiple times. While the fiber is woven into apparel and home textiles, the seeds are used as a high-quality feed for cows. Clothes made out of cotton are especially light and comfortable. The cotton plant is best known for producing soft, washable fiber, which outsells all others--including man-made fibers--in the United States. The Tillandsia 'Cotton Candy' is a tough air plant that is easy to care for. 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. 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. 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. To update your email address, make changes to the emails you receive, or unsubscribe, please enter your current Email Address. Cotton can be found as perennial treelike plants in tropical climates but is normally cultivated as a shrubby annual in temperate climates. Equipment includes tractor, two-row stalk-cutter, disk (to... Close-up of a carding machine at a textile mill. 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. ), and in the southwestern United States (500 B.C.). Its name refers to the cream-colored fluffy fibers surrounding small cottonseeds called a boll. 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. 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. 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. 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. Cotton is virtually pure cellulose, apart from very small amounts of wax, protein, and water. Cotton Plant Gossypium Herbaceum. Cotton is easily spun into yarn as the cotton fibe… Warp yarns often are treated chemically to prevent breaking during weaving. In the future, there might be a process that can be used to help make the seeds safer for human consumption. Each fiber is a single elongated cell that is flat twisted and ribbon-like with a wide inner hollow (lumen). Even parts of the cotton plant that would otherwise be considered trash have novel uses. Learn More. …the commercial industrial crops is cotton. When it is in bloom it produces attractive yellow blossoms and pink blossoms at the same time. Whole cottonseed is another feed product of cottonseed used to feed livestock. Omissions? Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Punjab are the principal cotton-growing states. It is true the cotton plant will always be grown for humans to use but mainly for clothing purposes. A fieldworker picking cotton in Leme, São Paulo state, Brazil. The seeds are separated from the cotton fiber mechanically. Service Marks / Trademarks of Cotton Incorporated. 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. 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. Please click on these. Cotton fibre is made from cellulose, has a slim coating of wax and is thin and hollow like a straw. What Cotton is Used For Every part of the cotton plant can be used. Much of it is exported in processed form, largely as burlap. , in shortenings and margarine, was also developed through genetic engineering, largely burlap. To remove foreign matter ( e.g., soil and seeds ) weight of the process! 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