What is cotton fabric?
Cotton fabric is one of the most popular fabrics in the world, and one of the oldest. It is a natural fibre that derives from the seedpod of the cotton plant. Cotton can be knitted or woven into a cloth, with the 2 most common weaves being plain and twill. There is also a satin weave, which produces sateen.
Cotton is a crop, which has been cultivated for more than 7,000 years, and it has become even more popular now that fabric technology allows it to be blended with other textiles, including synthetic ones, which adds durability, flexibility, and luxury.
Some popular cotton fabrics and cotton blend fabrics include:
- Cotton Lawn – very lightweight, cool, and smooth and hard wearing
- Organic Half-Panama Cotton – rustic half-panama made from 100% organic cotton
- Cotton Linen – natural fabric made with cotton and linen
- Real Cotton Silk Satin – lustrous silk face and strengthening cotton back
- Cotton Jersey – soft and stretchy 100% cotton
- Cotton Satin – 100% cotton satin fabric
- Cotton Twill – classic twill weave with a breathable nature
Cotton fabric by the metre is available with these options.
How is it manufactured?
Cotton goes from crop to cloth through a mechanical process, known as ginning. Cotton fibres are separated from the seeds and are taken to a textile mill, where the fibres are cleaned and straightened in a carding machine. This creates a thin and soft strand, known as a silver. These silvers are then spun into a yarn, which is the cotton we all know. This is then used to weave or knit cotton fabric, normally made in a loom.
Purposes of cotton fabric
Cotton is known for its versatility, durability, and softness. Cotton fabric by the yard / metre is widely available, which makes it very popular for craft and sewing projects. It is mainly used for clothing of all kinds and underwear, as well as homewares such as bedding, and it is often used for industrial purposes such as uniforms tarpaulins, tents, and lots more.
Cotton fibre is knitted or woven to make luxe fabrics such as velour, chambray and velvet, and everyday fabrics including jersey, flannel, and corduroy.
Cotton fabric has many properties, which makes it one of the world’s most loved materials. Some of the most noted properties include:
- Easy to care for and clean
- Comfortable to wear in all climates
- Breathable and moisture wicking
- Retains body heat in cold weather
- Can be sterilized
- Easy to handle and sew
- When blended with other fibres, it is less prone to wrinkles and shrinkage
- Takes dye easily
- Resists piling and moths
- Weakens from extended exposure to sunlight
- Resists abrasion
Advantages of cotton fabric
There are many advantages of cotton fabric, which are beneficial to the environment, your body, and your bank balance. When you blend cotton with other fabrics, there are even more advantages, such as strength, durability, and less prone to creases.
It is a soft, natural, and breathable fabric, which is hypoallergenic, meaning it won’t irritate sensitive skin or cause allergies. Natural cotton contains no chemicals and it is highly breathable, which means it is great for wearing close to the body, in all seasons. It absorbs moisture and draws it away from the skin and it can also draw heat away, keeping you cool.
Cotton is strong and durable, holds up well to repeat washing in hot water and it is inexpensive.