Cotton and Its Various Uses
Fibres are thin strands that are used for making fabrics. Fibres are of two types as follows-
Natural fibres are those fibres that are obtained from nature. These fibres are again of two types-
Plant fibres are obtained from plants. For example - cotton fibres are obtained from the flowers of the cotton plant and jute fibres are obtained from the stem of the jute plant.
Animal fibres are natural fibres that are obtained from animals. For example - silk fibre is obtained from the cocoon of the silk moth and wool is obtained from hairs of sheep.
Cotton is a widely used natural fibre and is used for a variety of purposes.
Cotton is a cash crop and is grown intensively by the farmers. Cotton plants are cultivated all over the world. It is best grown in black soil. Cotton is best grown in soil which has a very high water holding capacity so black clayey soil is the best suited for growing cotton. In India, it is cultivated in states like Maharashtra and Gujarat in the majority.
In other states like Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, etc also cotton cultivation is carried out. When it comes to climate cotton grows best in a warm or slightly hot climate. Cotton also requires a lot of water for its irrigation.
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Uses of the Cotton Plant
The cotton plant has several uses which makes it an important crop that supports the industrial development and the agricultural development of a country. Some of the uses of cotton are-
Cotton fibres are used to make cotton fabrics that can be used to make clothing ranging from inner garments to jackets to kurtas, shirts, and many more.
Cotton fabrics are also used to make curtains, bedsheets, pillow covers, dining clothes, towels, etc. People prefer cotton materials because of its comfort and durability.
Stock feeding - cotton seeds that are removed from the cotton bolls during the process of ginning are used for feeding the cattle and other domestic animals.
To make rubber and plastics cotton is used. Thus besides the clothing industry cotton is supporting other industries also.
In the making of soaps and cosmetics also cotton is used. Cottonseed oil is nowadays used for cooking food and is being used by various restaurants as this oil is cheaper than other oils.
Uses of Cotton Fabric
Cotton fabrics are used for various purposes other than making clothes and garments. Some of the uses are mentioned below-
Cotton fabrics are used as strainer while making paneer, sweet dish rasgulla, etc.
Cotton fabrics are used to make face masks.
Cotton fabrics are used to make teabags.
Cotton is also used to make semi-synthetic fabrics.
People always prefer cotton over other fabrics. This is due to the properties of cotton. Some of these are mentioned below-
Cotton is porous which makes it breathable. The pores are very small and of desirable size.
Cotton fabrics do not cause itching and are comfortable for the skin.
Cotton clothes cause cooling in summer as cotton allows the sweat to evaporate easily.
Making of Cotton Fabric from Cotton Fibre
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Cotton bolls obtained from the cotton plants undergo a lot of processes to become a fibre. The major steps are mentioned below
Ginning - It is the process of removal of the cotton seeds from the cotton bolls using big combs. This straightens the whole bunch of cotton fibres also.
Spinning - The fibres are spun continuously to make yarn from the fibres obtained. For spinning, today machines are used. But it can be done using charkha or takli.
Weaving - Now when the yarn is made from the fibre this yarn is used to make the fabric or the cotton cloth. Weaving is done using traditional machines or modernized machines.
Dyeing- Once the cotton cloth is made it dyed into several colours for the sake of variety. These cotton fabrics can be used for various purposes like making clothes like kurta, salwar, saree, etc.