Cottonrightly praised as 'king of fibers' for its notable qualities. What does future have in store for this noble fibre?

Cotton is used in fabrics for thousands of years, and is being appreciated for its unbelievable virtues. It is favored by environmentalists, and is also blended with other fibres to combine the benefits of both. It is a natural fibre and suits people with sensitive skin. This breathable fabric suits warm seasons. It can be easily dyed due to its high absorbent nature. It can be recycled as well. All these virtues make cotton to be rightly regarded as 'White Gold'.

Cotton plant has numerous applications useful to mankind. Apart from its fibres that are used for making fabrics, linters of the plant provide cellulose, which is used in making furniture padding, paper etc. Cotton seeds are used for oil extraction, which is even used later on as animal feed or fertilizer. Slender stalks of the plant are used to enrich the soil. Such is the versatility of the plant. Even after the numerous profitable applications, there are still amazing options; that are gradually revealing. Researches are being conducted to further utilize cotton plant and its components.

Recycled Cotton:

Cotton is recycled, and the resulting by-product is used as mulch used as a protective cover over the soil to retain moisture, control weeds, and provide nutrition to the soil. Unwanted cotton burs, leftover lint, and stems are thus transformed into profitable items. Cotton is picked, bailed and sent to gin. After seeds and other debris are removed at the gin, the trash is used for mulch. This is very beneficial as it holds moisture within the soil, reduces water loss due to heat, and hot winds. It also prevents soil from splashing on the plant, thus preventing soil borne bacteria from getting on the plant. This cotton hydro-mulch will be commercially successful as it is only prepared from the waste material cotton ginners and farmers do not use.

Old cotton clothes find its way in future cars:

A recent research report states that on an average, 450 million pairs of jeans are purchased every year (Source: Each pair of jeans approximately weighs around a kg. Used jeans are recycled, and the resulting cotton has useful applications as insulation materials. Ford Company plans to use recycled cotton clothes for insulating its forthcoming 2012 Ford Focus cars. Used cotton fabrics would be recycled, and used as carpet backing, and sound absorption for interior quietness. Cotton from post-consumer and recycled blue jeans is used for the purpose. This makes the car more eco-friendly by the application of renewable, and recycled materials.

Cotton wipes:

Raw cotton is cleaned and made into thin layers of fabric, and carbon is sealed between the layers of this non-woven fabric. This fabric is used as decontamination wipes. While the cotton fabric absorbs oil or any other liquid, the carbon within the layers neutralizes the toxin.

Its the nanotechnology inspiration:

Cotton threads are given special properties through nanotechnology applications. Thin fibres of cotton are covered with microscopic particles that enable them to conduct electricity. These fabrics can be used to make garments that can monitor heart beats. These fabrics can create colors without dyes, and change colors in a moment.

Cotton for controlling damages:

Waste cotton materials can be used to absorb damages caused by natural disasters such as oil spills. This waste cotton material not only has more absorbing capacity, but is also environmentally friendly. A new absorbent material, made from the renewable resource; 100% cotton, and can absorb water, oil, transmission fluid, grease etc. This material is 50% more absorbent comparatively over polypropylene materials. It not only absorbs oil, but also floats on the top of water making it to reduce the damage of oil spills.

Current technology has enhanced production efficiency. It has enabled the production of cotton twice more than it used to be decades before. Potential applications of cotton are immense. This ancient crop is righteously being praised for all its intrinsic worth.


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