You’d be surprised to know how many things are made from cotton in our daily life. It comes from a plant of the genus gossypium, of the malvaceae family. There are more than 40 varieties of this plant.
Cotton strands are soft fibers that grow to provide protection to the seeds of the plant. As the seeds mature, the capsule opens in four parts showing the cotton bud that gives the plant its characteristic snowy and soft appearance.
It has a history
Although textile fiber is ephemeral, because it disintegrates with time and their particles become dust, science today can unravel the past and believes the use of raw cotton in India dates back to 1500 BC: the earliest Hindu texts were written on this material. Around that same time, on the other side of the planet, Peruvians developed a similar fiber, although it might have come from a completely different kind of plant.
Nowadays, it’s the most common natural fiber. All parts of the plant can be used and the materials extracted have many different uses. The textile industry has been perhaps the most developed sector in the knowledge and use of the cotton yarn. This is the industry’s main raw material for the making of clothing and household items such as placemats, table runners, rugs, coverlets, crochet dolls or handmade hammocks.
It’s also used in the manufacture of many pharmaceuticals. The oil extracted from the seeds, as well as the cellulose obtained from the plant itself, are used to produce cosmetics, personal care, and skin care products. It is used in industrial products and in the manufacture of filters for air conditioners, lifeboats, tents, and car tires.
It’s in your pocket
The most amazing daily use of cotton might not be wearing those light T- shirts, but rather, paying at the supermarkets, gas stations or public transportation… You would never have guessed it, but both US Dollars and Euro paper bills are entirely made from cotton fiber.