How cotton is grown and processed

50 percent of children living in the European Union have no idea where sugar comes from. Three-quarters do not know how cotton is grown, and more than a quarter believe that cotton is taken from a sheep …

Today we will tell you about how cotton is grown and processedfrom which bathrobes are made. The main cotton producers in the world are China, the USA and India. In the post-Soviet space, the largest producer is Uzbekistan.

Cotton is a very demanding plant and requires a hot climate and plenty of moisture to grow. Therefore, networks of canals and irrigation systems are being built in cotton fields.

irrigation of cotton fields

The cotton bushes themselves look like this:

cotton bushes

A ripe bud to the touch is ordinary cotton wool. It is this cotton wool that is the basis for the production of cotton thread, from which cotton fabric is made. But first things first. This is what a cotton field looks like:

cotton field

Cotton is often picked by hand. Now especially popular is the so-called organic cotton. This is cotton that is grown with minimal use of pesticides, is harvested by hand, does not use genetically modified seeds, etc.

Here is how it looks in Uzbekistan:

manual cotton picking

And this is what cotton harvesting looks like when using mechanization:

mechanized cotton harvesting

The cotton is then transported to a refinery where it sorted and processed. Huge rolls of cotton wool come out of the factory:

cotton after primary processing

It is from this cotton wool that cotton thread is made in spinning mills. The spinning mill produces 3 stages of processing:

one. Loosening. In the process of loosening, the strand is cleaned of unnecessary particles and divided into small fibers.

2. Mixing. Since different batches of cotton can vary greatly in their properties from each other, during the mixing stage, fine fibers are mixed with other batches of raw materials. This allows you to get threads of uniform properties.

3. fluttering. At the scutching stage, the resulting mixed fibers are subjected to additional cleaning and uniform distribution of masses of different properties into one homogeneous web.

After that, carding machines are used, which separate and evenly distribute the threads and convert the threads into cotton yarn.

cotton thread

All of the processes described, from the planting of the cotton to the production of the final cotton robe, can be subjected to various chemical treatments. This gives new properties to cotton, making it more comfortable, practical and beautiful. But, of course, at the same time, it is also less environmentally friendly and natural. Currently, there are a lot of types of cotton fabrics with various synthetic impurities on the market. Therefore, even when choosing clothes made of cotton, you need to carefully evaluate the fabric to the touch, trust trusted manufacturers.

You can read more about the properties of cotton in the material — “The fabric of our life. The whole truth about cotton.

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