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CULTIZM FABRIC GUIDE: COTTON

Fabric is plays an essential role when talking about fashion. Everything is made from a specific fabric as it is the base for any creative fashion idea. Designers tend to follow a distinct aesthetic, thus finding and using the right materials is important. Furthermore, a strong knowledge both for fabrics and silhouettes is crucial in order to achieve better results.

THE MOST POPULAR FIBER IN THE WORLD

As you may have already noticed, this article is all about cotton: Nearly everything is made from this fiber. But let’s have a closer look inside the world of fabrics.

DESCRIPTION

Cotton is a seed fiber grown as a protective around the seed of the cotton plant. It is known to be the most popular natural fiber in the world due its softness and fluffy feel. Usually it is off-white in color and can be dyed using different methods, techniques and (natural) coloring agents.

STORY

The word cotton is derived from the Arabic word “Kutan” and has been grown for more than 6000 years. It was firstly used around 3000 BC woven in cloth in Pakistan and found its way to Europe in 800 AD by merchants. Progressing globalization connected the world and by 1500 it was known around the world.

MANUFACTURING

Cotton requires extremely high moisture levels, thus only rainfall or irrigation during the growing time ensure a perfect cotton fiber. After the growing season it needs a warm and dry environment to be picked. Through ginning the fibers will be separated from the seeds. Unfortunately a large-scale intensive production requires high usage of chemicals and a huge water consumption.

CLASSES OF COTTON

The grade of cotton depends on purity, whiteness, fiber length and fiber strength. A longer staple usually indicates a higher quality and a softer hand feel. Extra long staples are Supima cotton from South America, Sea Island cotton from the Caribbean and Giza cotton from Egypt.

USAGE

Cotton is used for nearly every garment. T-Shirts, pants, jackets and accessories are made from it and stand out due to their soft feel.