8 Fun Facts About Cotton
Cotton sleeveless dress by O'Neill
As you slip into your favourite pair of jeans or pull on a breezy blouse, you probably don't give that much thought to the fabric that makes them so comfy. But what makes those clothing so comfortable and breezy? What is it about cotton that makes it the most widely grown crop in the world and one of the most popular and common fabric for clothing?
Here are some fun facts about cotton that you may not have known:
1. Cotton dates back to at least 7,000 years ago, which makes it one of the world's oldest known fibres. The word cotton is derived from the Arabic word qutun or kutun, which describes any fine textile.
2. Cotton has been cultivated for more than 5,000 years around the world. And despite geographic differences, cotton has been prepared, spun and woven the same way everywhere amongst cotton farmers.
3. Since 1940, the average yearly consumption of cotton consumption in the world has increased at a rate of about 2 percent. About 70 countries in the world cultivate cotton, China being the world's largest cotton producer and importer.
Cotton-silk blend dress by Tibi
4. Cotton fibre can be knitted or woven into fabrics like chambray, jersey, corduroy, flannel, velvet, velour to create clothing such as denim jeans, t-shirts, socks, towels, bed sheets and home furnishing, as well as yarn, cordage, and padding in furniture and cars.
Lint is the short fibres that remain on the cottonseed. After being processed, lint is used to make cotton buds and bandages.
The oil from cottonseed can be used for cooking or as part of many industrial products including soap, margarine, cosmetics, emulsifiers, rubbers, plastics, and pharmaceuticals. Cottonseed oil is not cholesterol-free and high in poly-unsaturated fats, it also contains high levels of antioxidants such as Vitamin E that contribute to its long shelf life.
Even the stalk of the cotton plant is used to develop ethanol in diesel or petrol blends, and to improve soil organic matter.
Oversized striped cotton shirt dress by Acne Studios
5. The fibre from approximately 230kg of cotton bale can produce 215 pairs of jeans, 1,200 t-shirts, 750 shirts, 250 single bed sheets, 4,300 pairs of socks, or 680,000 cotton balls. You know, if you need all that.
6. Jeans are made of blended cotton.
The term jean is in fact a French name derived from the sailors of Genoa who wore the fabric and were called... genes.
Photo courtesy of ZALORA Community
7. Cotton is a hypoallergenic fabric as it does not cause or trigger allergies, or irritate sensitive skin. And the reason it is able to keep us cool in hot weather and warm in cooler weather is because it is a good conductor of heat.
8. Being one of the easiest fabrics to dye, cotton is thus very popular with fashion and household designers.
Do you love your cotton clothing? What other fun facts about the fabric do you know? Share them in the Comments section below!