Fabric Knowledge Series: 5 Things you should know about cotton

Cotton is a ubiquitous fiber used in all types of garments and items we touch. You can find the usage of cotton from sofa covers, curtains, t-shirts, dress shirts to our towels at home. Cotton is a strong fiber which can be easily laundered using regular home washing machines with the right detergent and wash setting. 

How much do you know about the nature of cotton? At least we know it’s not from sheep but from the cotton plant. ⁠It can truly be used for anything, from a cap to a shoelace in our daily wear clothing. Here are some interesting facts about cotton that you may not know.

What is cotton?

Cotton grows on a plant of the genus gossypium. The cultivated plants are often not taller than one meter. Cotton plants will bloom every year. When the flowers are gone, the fruits will come. When these fruits are ripe, they will pop open and will look like cotton balls. This is called cotton lint. The cotton seeds are located within this lint. The lint will be used to make cotton.

The whole cotton plant can be used

Cotton grows from a seed to a mature plant in about six months. The longer fibers are used to make clothes and homewares items such as underwear, socks, t-shirts, sheets and towels. All the remaining products from the process can be used for other purposes. For example, the seeds can be fed to most animals and seed oil can be used in food products such as mayonnaise, margarine, cooking oil and cosmetics. The leftover lint material often ends up in cotton wool, tampons and felt.

Cotton is super absorbent!

If you are looking for a product that can soak up lots of liquid quickly, you do not have to look far. Look for cotton! It is so efficient at absorption, that it can soak up 3 times its weight!  Products like cotton balls or cotton pads are common items that we used because of their high absorbency and the fact that they get stronger when wet. Cotton fibers are also dyed absorbent, it can withstand abrasion, and they are comfortable against the skin which explains why cotton is so commonly used in bed linen and clothing.

Flannelette, Corduroy and Denim are all made out of cotton!

You may not have realized that many of our favourite fabrics are made out of cotton. Each cotton fabric is made with a different style of weave and fibers of various thicknesses to give it a unique texture and appearance. Even velvet, a fabric with a densely woven pile and soft, lush texture, is often woven from cotton fibers. So is terry cloth, which is used to make towels. And flannel, which is used to make shirts and nightgowns, is also made from cotton.

Disadvantages of Cotton

Cotton fabrics come with a few disadvantages which you may need to know about.  Due to its superb absorbent function, the soaking of liquid will cause it to weigh heavier and take a longer period to dry completely. Furthermore, cotton tends to stain very easily due to this very nature.  

It is also prone to be attacked by mildew if left damp for a period of time as such, it is very important to dry your cotton garments completely, leaving it in an airy and dry wardrobe after laundry.  

Cotton fabrics are prone to shrinkage after laundering too. All cotton items such as shirts and blouses get wrinkled easily and will require starch when ironing to create a crisp look. 

In all, cotton is a durable and flexible material and it can be used for many purposes and fabrics. If you want to know if your garment contains cotton, and how to care for it, just read the care label! 

However, if you’re just too busy, you can always outsource the washing to us! Presto Drycleaners provides 6 days a week home pick up service for load wash and dry cleaning. Just leave the laundry chores to us while you spend your laundry day with your family and friends. 

You can call us at 6354 3277 or send us a message on Whatsapp to book a laundry pick up. We will always be there to attend to your laundry needs.

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