Resource cotton: Interesting background information

Cotton: characteristics & growth

Did you know that cotton belongs to the family of the mallow plants? And that the cotton plant reaches a height of 25 cm to more than 2 meters depending on the type, climate and cultivation methods? It is grown mostly as a bush-high annual plant. Only in a few areas (Peru and Northern Brazil) cotton is grown on perennial bushes.




The growth period is between five and eight months, in which the plant initially needs a lot of moisture and in the ripening stage a lot of warmth. The harvested cotton is stored for around one month to mature and dry; then the fibres are separated from the caryopsis in so-called gins. From 100kg of cotton seed about 35kg of fibres are obtained.

Raw cotton is traded according to its colour, purity, fibre length (staple), fineness, strength and regularity. Some types are hard and rough in touch while others are silky soft. In terms of colour raw cotton is categorized as “white”, “creamy”, “light spotted”, “spotted”. There are also yellow-brownish types, as well as coloured grown
in shades of green and brown.

An important quality characteristic is the staple length. Interestingly, the finest and longest cotton fibres offer the best strength in relation to their cross-section – an attribute which is invaluable for spinning of finest cotton yarns. Cotton fibre can be stretched 8 -10% both in a dry as well as in a wet state. Its wet strength is better
than its dry strength


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