The term “cotton” refers to the part of the cotton plant that grows in the boll, the encasing for the fluffy cotton fibers. Cotton is spun into yarn that is then woven to create a soft, durable fabric. The processing of cotton has an ancient past, it was obtained by wooden or hand tools. The first cotton gin, which is a tool that separated the cotton fluff from the plant seeds, was invented in India in the thirteenth century. It was the invention of the cotton gin that lowered the cost of production that led to its widespread use, and it is the most widely used natural fiber cloth in clothing today. Only after the invention of the mechanical loom did the processing of cotton really speed up to reach today’s production size.
Currently, cotton is mainly used in the textile sector, where semi-finished products can be found, such as raw or colored fabric packaging, and a large variety of processed products such as clothing, sheets, towels, etc.
Aside from the textile sector, absorbent cotton (also known as Surgical Cotton or Cotton Wool) is used for medical purposes in hospitals and dispensaries, for removing make-up and dirt at home or in beauty parlors and for sanitary purposes in business organizations and households.
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From the processing of cotton we obtain different types of fabrics including:
Besides these there are many types of cotton that are obtained to create clothing, towels and pieces of furniture. This cotton is combined with other fibers or materials in order to have many different types of fabrics.