From old jeans to new T-shirt

The technical hurdles to recycling clothing made of cotton have been too high in the past, but now a team of researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP and a Swedish company have cleared that ...

Nematode has potential to reduce cotton yields by 50 percent

The reniform nematode is one of the most commonly found pests of cotton, with the ability to cause severe economic damage. In order to assess exactly how much damage the reniform nematode can cause, plant pathologists at ...

Analysis reveals cotton genome stability across global lineages

Come harvest time, the cotton fields look like popcorn is literally growing on plants, with fluffy white bolls bursting out of the green pods in every direction. There are 100 million families around the world whose livelihoods ...

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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.

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