About Indian Cotton, Uses and Benefits of Cotton

No fluff! Everything you need to know about cotton and its uses

Cotton is a fabric that connects and binds people all across the world. It is a piece of cloth that transcends the barrier of geographies, races, ethnicities, age, and money. It is a natural fabric that is derived from fluffy furballs of the mature, round seeds of a cotton plant. Its origin goes as back as 5000 BC, and the evidence of its use can be found at the archaeological sites of Mehrgarh and Rakhigarhi in India.

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The fabric flourished and developed from 3300 to 1300 BC of the Indus Valley Civilisation when it was used in clothing and as home linen. Currently, cotton has managed to rule our wardrobes and lifestyle in one way or another. According to the World Wildlife Fund, half of the world’s textile is made of cotton. Twenty-five million tonnes of cotton is produced, and almost fifty per cent of it is consumed yearly to accommodate household and commercial use. Over ninety per cent of cotton is produced in developing countries and deploys practically seven per cent of the workforce.

Several reasons make the use of cotton a popular choice

It is natural- It is a plant-grown product. Cotton is derived from the fluffy ball of mature seed, thus soft and comfy for a wearer.

It is breathable- Every natural fabric such as linen, cotton or jute is soft and skin-friendly owing to its ventilative properties. Unlike human-made fabrics such as polyester or nylon, it isn’t clingy and hence, doesn’t irritate your skin when you are sweating. It maintains ventilation and lets the sweat cool naturally. Besides, irrespective of its number of uses or the situation, it doesn’t stink. If you wear polyester or dry-fit clothes, you must know what we are talking about. The body odour or smell doesn’t happen, or if it does, it just washes away with a wash.

It is durable- It is essential to wash a cotton fabric before stitching as pure cotton tends to shrink nominally. However, once it does, it rarely gets out of shape and retains its measurement. It is durable and robust than silk, but wool outruns its durability by miles.

It can be machine-washed- Cotton fabrics can be hand-washed or machine-washed easily. You don’t have to put them away for dry-cleaning.

It is naturally anti-pilling- Of course, not referring to the laundry piled on the deep-end of the sofa! We are talking about the fuzz balls of fabrics tangled under the arms or between thighs. Cotton doesn’t rub against itself or sheds pills.

It is hypoallergenic- If you have any skin problem, or suffer from seasonal allergy, it is better to switch to cotton fabric and upholstery. Doctors believe that cotton fabrics don’t let the dust particles or mites gather. Besides, natural cotton fibres are bleach-free, pigment-free and aren’t treated with any type of chemicals, making it skin-friendly and a safer option to use even for babies!

It prevents bacterial growth-Many gynaecologists advise their patients to wear cotton undergarments as they gently absorb discharge and extra moisture, and thereby, reducing the risk of UTI or fungal infections quite considerably. Unfortunately, the fast-fashion also fuelled the growth of synthetic feminine hygiene products such asrayon tampons and polyester sanitary napkins treated with chemicals and dyes. With time, people are going back to washable cotton pads, cotton panties and disposable cotton pads that are eco-friendly and have a soft lining that offers better absorption.

It regulates temperature - Ever wondered why you feel relaxed and breezy in a cotton tank top or kurta? It is because cotton fibres can naturally absorb up to 1/5 of its weight before it starts feeling damp. The twisted and flat weaving of the thread makes the fabric more voluminous to absorb moisture and give it more surface to breathe while dissipating the moisture into the atmosphere. So, when you wear cotton or use cotton bedsheets- you stay comfortable and dry all-night-long! It is integral to a goodnight sleep as the fabric regulates your body temperature and maintainsdryness. The cotton mattresses utilise the wicking property of fabric to stay dry and cool by not trapping heat and spreading it into the surrounding.

It is biodegradable- Cotton is compostable and returns to the soil where it is originated from, 100 per cent! According to a study conducted by The Microfiber Pollution & Apparel Industry Project Findings, it was found that cotton fibres tend to degrade almost ninety-five per cent more than synthetic fibres such as polyester. While polyester becomes stagnant and refuses to deteriorate after some time, the degradation remains a continuous process with natural fabrics. Similarly, by switching to an eco-friendly fabric such as cotton, you can do your bit towards the environment and reduce micro-plastic pollution.