A high-tech textile to stay comfortable outdoors

Clothing, from tank tops to parkas, helps people adapt to temperatures outdoors. But you can only put on or take off so much of it, and fluctuations in weather can render what you are wearing entirely inadequate. In a new ...

Recycled cotton becomes new fabric

A lot of us recycle our old textiles, but few of us know that they are very difficult to re-use, and often end up in landfills anyway. Now, researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a method that converts cotton ...

Cotton quality mapping as a tool for growers

Modern cotton-harvesting equipment can identify and track modules created during harvest down to the subfield. By combining these data with information such as yield maps and fiber quality results, producers can identify ...

Cloth face masks that can be disinfected by sunlight

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have become accustomed to wearing cotton face masks in public places. However, viruses and bacteria that stick to the mask could be transferred elsewhere when the wearer removes or ...

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Cotton

Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal.

The plant is a shrub native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including the Americas, Africa, and India. The greatest diversity of wild cotton species is found in Mexico, followed by Australia and Africa. Cotton was independently domesticated in the Old and New Worlds. The English name derives from the Arabic (al) qutn قُطْن, which began to be used circa 1400 AD.

The fiber most often is spun into yarn or thread and used to make a soft, breathable textile. The use of cotton for fabric is known to date to prehistoric times; fragments of cotton fabric dated from 5000 BC have been excavated in Mexico and Pakistan. Although cultivated since antiquity, it was the invention of the cotton gin that so lowered the cost of production that led to its widespread use, and it is the most widely used natural fiber cloth in clothing today.

Current estimates for world production are about 25 million tonnes annually, accounting for 2.5% of the world's arable land. China is the world's largest producer of cotton, but most of this is used domestically. The United States has been the largest exporter for many years.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA