Cotton – a staple textile owned by most, if not all, of us – is a soft and fluffy natural fibre derived from the cotton plant. Cotton is grown in nearly every tropical and subtropical region on the planet, including the United States, China, India, Pakistan, Brazil, and Turkey, among others, and its cultivation dates back to the 5th millennium BC.
Highly versatile and multipurpose, cotton is without a doubt a favourite among people of all ages and industries.
The Properties of Cotton
So, what makes cotton one of the most popular fabrics in the world? Well, one look at cotton’s top 10 properties and you’ll see for yourself why.
1. High level of softness
4. Airy and breathable
5. Easy on the skin (hypoallergenic)
6. High moisture absorption
7. Excellent thermal insulator
8. Easy to care for
10. Available in multiple colours and blends
FUN FACT: Cotton, despite having some of the best properties that make it the ideal choice for apparel fabric, also has one of the most detested properties: it wrinkles easily!
The Common Uses of Cotton
It’s safe to say that most of us are aware that cotton is used to make just about everything in the apparel industry (owing largely to the properties listed above), but did you know its uses extends beyond the apparel industry? Here are some of the most common uses of cotton fabric both in and out of the clothing industry.
1. Clothing industry
2. Bedding industry
- Pillow covers
3. Healthcare industry
- Cotton balls
- Cotton swabs
- Medical dressings
- Coffee filters
The Sustainability of Cotton
On a more serious note, while cotton has a plethora of amazing properties and uses that all contribute to its immense popularity, one key aspect of cotton that resonates with most people is that it is sustainable.
Cotton is sustainable, renewable, and biodegradable because, unlike most chemically produced fibres such as rayon and polyester, cotton is a naturally grown fibre.
In terms of farming, while growing any crop necessitates the basics such as land and water, cotton farming requires fewer of these resources, particularly water, as they are heat tolerant. Cotton farming has also made other significant strides toward a more sustainable future in the last few decades, with one of the most notable examples being the development of organic cotton.
The Popularity of Cotton
With all of these and more, it’s no surprise that cotton is one of the most popular fabrics in the world.
Cotton is so popular that, in order to meet global demand, there are over 70 different types of cotton available today worldwide, each with its own unique characteristics. We’ll go over all of them someday, but for now, here’s a look at the 4 most well-known types of cotton.
1. Short Staple Cotton
Short staple cotton is the most widely used cotton as it offers reliable quality at a low cost. This is the main reason why short staple cotton, while not as soft as other types of cotton, is preferred and ideal for everyday use and wear.
2. Long Staple Cotton
If the name hasn’t already given it away, long staple cotton is simply the longer and, in most cases, superior version of short staple cotton. Why? Well, to put it simply, longer fibres make better, stronger, smoother, and longer-lasting fabrics.
3. Egyptian Cotton
Egyptian cotton, as the name suggests, hails from the Middle Eastern country, Egypt. Egyptian cotton has a greater softness, longevity, and durability when compared to other types of cotton, owing to the fact that it is one of the few types of cotton that is handpicked.
4. Pima Cotton
Pima cotton, which is native to South America and the American Southwest, is regarded as the finest cotton in the world. When compared to other types of cotton, their fibres are extremely soft and long, making them resistant to fading, tearing, and even wrinkling.
FUN FACT: China has the highest domestic consumption of cotton in the world, followed by India and Pakistan in second and third place, respectively (IndexMundi, 2021).
The Customisation of Cotton Fabric
Now that we’ve gone over some of the best uses and characteristics of cotton, we’re pretty sure you’re itching to go out and get one – especially some nice and comfy cotton apparel. But here’s a tip: you don’t have to!
Why go out and buy t-shirts or other garments made from cotton fabric when you can customise your own cotton apparel right from the comfort of your own home with a little help from the best t-shirt printers in town?
At Custom Prints & Apparels, we provide comprehensive apparel customisation services for a variety of apparel and fabrics such as fleece, polyester, dri-fit, and COTTON. Not sure which fabric to go for? No problem! For a quick comparison of dri fit vs cotton materials, click here!
Or, if you’re already sold on cotton and would like to get started right away, just give us a call today at +65 6362 2440, or send us an enquiry through our website, and we’ll get back to you within the same business day!