Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus Gossypium in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. Under natural conditions, the cotton bolls will increase the dispersal of the seeds.
Cotton, one of the world’s leading agricultural crops, is plentiful and economically produced, making cotton products relatively inexpensive. The fibres can be made into a wide variety of fabrics ranging from lightweight voiles and laces to heavy sailcloths and thick-piled velveteens, suitable for a great variety of wearing apparel, home furnishings, and industrial uses. Cotton fabrics can be extremely durable and resistant to abrasion. Cotton accepts many dyes, is usually washable, and can be ironed at relatively high temperatures.
Cotton is the most widely produced natural fiber on the planet. Other natural fibers include silk, made from the cocoons of silkworms; wool, made from the fur of sheep or alpacas; and linen, made from fibers in the stems of flax plants. Every part of the cotton plant can be used. The long cotton fibers are used to make cloth, the short fibers can be used in the paper industry. You can make oil or margarine out of the seeds of the cotton plant. The leaves and stalks of the cotton plant are plowed into the ground to make the soil better. Other parts of the plant are fed to animals.
Cotton today is the most used textile fiber in the world. Its current market share is 56 percent for all fibers used for apparel and home furnishings and sold in the U.S. Another contribution is attributed to nonwoven textiles and personal care items. The earliest evidence of using cotton is from India and the date assigned to this fabric is 3000 B.C.
Cotton generated revenue nearly USD 7 billion in 2016. High strength & elasticity, tear-resistant and less prone to pilling & static are key properties supporting growth in this segment. Further, improved shelf-life, wrinkle free and ease in sewing are the other factors enhancing product scope. Nylon/wool will witness over 3% CAGR by 2024. Benefits including reduced cost, absence of skin irritation and less wear-tear are factors supporting product demand.