Cotton

Cotton is the clothing fabric par excellence. With a volume share of about 33 percent of the worldwide production of textile fibres and a volume share of about 75 percent of natural fibres, cotton is by far the most frequently used natural fibre for home and clothing textiles.

History: Cotton has been used for thousands of years in very different cultural zones for the production of light clothing. The oldest evidence comes from India and can be dated to around 6000 BC. In the second millennium before Christ, cotton reached the Babylonian Empire, Egypt and later Europe. The material gained economic importance from the end of the 14th century, when the Republic of Venice took over the trade monopoly of Levantine cotton and kept it until the 17th century. At about the same time, cotton processing increased strongly north of the Alps. The centre was Augsburg, which served almost all European markets. However, the cotton industry did not take off until the end of the 18th and especially the beginning of the 19th century with the advent of spinning machines in the course of the Industrial Revolution. In the 20th century, cotton increasingly faced competition from chemically produced fibres. Polyester fibres in particular are being used more and more: since 2004, man-made fibres have been processed in greater quantities than cotton, pushing it down to second place among textile fibres.

Uses: Apart from the textile industry, cotton fibres are also used in many other areas, for example as dressing material in medicine and in cosmetics and hygiene as cotton wool or cotton buds. Fishing nets, ropes and cables are often made entirely or partly of cotton fibres, as are tents and tarpaulins. In the past, fire hoses were also made of cotton. Cotton is also used in the production of some types of paper, cellulose, coffee filters, book covers and banknotes.

Properties: Compared to synthetic fibres, cotton is very absorbent and can absorb up to 65 percent of its weight in water. However, once fabrics made of cotton get wet, they dry only slowly. Cotton also has a high dirt and oil absorption capacity. Cotton fabrics are considered very skin-friendly (they do not "scratch") and have an extremely low allergy potential. The basic molecular structure of cotton makes its fibres resistant to heat and alkalis. This makes cotton particularly durable with heavy use and frequent cleaning.

Care: Cotton is uncomplicated to care for, but it is often used in mixed forms, for example in combination with viscose or linen. In this case, pay close attention to the care instructions. White cotton can usually be machine washed up to 95 degrees, coloured cotton up to 60 degrees and dark, coloured cotton up to 40 degrees Celsius. For stains, conventional solvents can be used as cotton is not solvent sensitive. Ironing: Always damp and almost always on the highest heat setting.

Cotton is the clothing fabric par excellence. With a volume share of about 33 percent of the worldwide production of textile fibres and a volume share of about 75 percent of natural fibres, cotton... read more »
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Cotton

Cotton is the clothing fabric par excellence. With a volume share of about 33 percent of the worldwide production of textile fibres and a volume share of about 75 percent of natural fibres, cotton is by far the most frequently used natural fibre for home and clothing textiles.

History: Cotton has been used for thousands of years in very different cultural zones for the production of light clothing. The oldest evidence comes from India and can be dated to around 6000 BC. In the second millennium before Christ, cotton reached the Babylonian Empire, Egypt and later Europe. The material gained economic importance from the end of the 14th century, when the Republic of Venice took over the trade monopoly of Levantine cotton and kept it until the 17th century. At about the same time, cotton processing increased strongly north of the Alps. The centre was Augsburg, which served almost all European markets. However, the cotton industry did not take off until the end of the 18th and especially the beginning of the 19th century with the advent of spinning machines in the course of the Industrial Revolution. In the 20th century, cotton increasingly faced competition from chemically produced fibres. Polyester fibres in particular are being used more and more: since 2004, man-made fibres have been processed in greater quantities than cotton, pushing it down to second place among textile fibres.

Uses: Apart from the textile industry, cotton fibres are also used in many other areas, for example as dressing material in medicine and in cosmetics and hygiene as cotton wool or cotton buds. Fishing nets, ropes and cables are often made entirely or partly of cotton fibres, as are tents and tarpaulins. In the past, fire hoses were also made of cotton. Cotton is also used in the production of some types of paper, cellulose, coffee filters, book covers and banknotes.

Properties: Compared to synthetic fibres, cotton is very absorbent and can absorb up to 65 percent of its weight in water. However, once fabrics made of cotton get wet, they dry only slowly. Cotton also has a high dirt and oil absorption capacity. Cotton fabrics are considered very skin-friendly (they do not "scratch") and have an extremely low allergy potential. The basic molecular structure of cotton makes its fibres resistant to heat and alkalis. This makes cotton particularly durable with heavy use and frequent cleaning.

Care: Cotton is uncomplicated to care for, but it is often used in mixed forms, for example in combination with viscose or linen. In this case, pay close attention to the care instructions. White cotton can usually be machine washed up to 95 degrees, coloured cotton up to 60 degrees and dark, coloured cotton up to 40 degrees Celsius. For stains, conventional solvents can be used as cotton is not solvent sensitive. Ironing: Always damp and almost always on the highest heat setting.

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