Cotton is a natural fibre and, together with wool, it is one of the fibres most used by man. In order to grow the cotton plant it is necessary to have a climate which alternates high humidity with very dry periods, necessary during the maturation phase. The fibre used for textile production is very long, soft, extremely shiny and is obtained from the thick fur which is wrapped around the seed. The hairs consist of pure cellulose and it is from these that the fibre is obtained. The harvest usually comes at the end of the hot season. Each plant can yield between 2 and 5 kilos of fibre. The longest fibres are transformed into yarn while the shorter ones are used to produce pure cellulose. Cotton is composed of 95% cellulose and is a light, soft material with high absorption properties. The colour changes according to the origin. In the American variety, the fibre is white, while in the Egyptian variety it is yellowish. Its length also varies between 10 and 60mm. It is inelastic. Its resistance is influenced by the presence of water: damp fibres are more tenacious than dry ones.
The cotton plant is one of the few plants that men cultivate only for non-alimentary purposes!
We know cotton thanks to the excellent textiles it gives us, but in fact, many, quite different things can be produced from it, even explosives! (gun cotton, but also rope, cotton wool and medical accessories).
As you may know, cotton can be washed at up to 60°C in the washing machine without worries because the damp strengthens it. However, on the contrary, when you hang out your washing, avoid direct sunlight as this makes it too dry and has a weakening effect.