Cotton is a soft fiber that grows to provide protection for the seeds of the cotton plant. It is native to many tropical and subtropical regions of the Earth. It’s earliest use dates back to at least 5800 BC. Today, it is grown commercially throughout much of the world. The top producers are China, India, United States, Pakistan and Brazil. Cotton is susceptible to a range of pests and disease, which means that cotton farmers must use heavy chemicals such as pesticides. Recently, scientists have genetically modified the cotton plant to reduce the reliance on these chemicals.
Uses of cotton
Cotton has a wide variety of uses, especially in the textile industry. The following are some of the most common uses of this product.
Cotton is spun into thread that is used in many clothing products such as underwear, socks and T-shirts. Bed sheets are usually made of cotton because of its soft feel. Cotton yarn is also used for knitting and crochet.
Cotton is used to create the absorbent material known as terrycloth. This is used to make towels, and robes. Cotton is also used to create denim for jeans and many other clothing materials. Sometimes it is blended with other materials to improve its qualities.
Cotton is also used to create fishing nets, tents and cotton paper. Cotton paper is used to create banknotes and high quality art paper.
It is also used in coffee filters, gunpowder and bookbinding.
The seed of the cotton plant also has some important uses. Firstly, it can be used to produce cottonseed oil, which is a popular vegetable oil for cooking. The remains can be used as feed for cattle and other animals.
After the cotton is removed from the seeds there are some fine fibers left attached to the seeds. These are called linters and when processed are known as absorbent cotton or cotton wool. This product is used for many medical and cosmetic purposes.