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Cotton and its various uses - Cotton Crop in India, Cultivation of Cotton, Types of Cotton, Uses of Cotton, Practice Problems & FAQs

You all must have wore a cotton outfit. These cotton outfits are actually quite comfortable specially in summers. India is one the largest producer of cotton, produces almost 23% of the total production around the globe. The cultivation, spinning, and weaving of cotton are even mentioned in Indian Vedic literature. Due to its booming cotton industry, India formerly controlled the world market. However, after the British acquired control of the country in the 18th century, they purposefully destroyed it to aid the industrial revolution in Europe. Due to its prominent placement on Gandhi Ji's renowned spinning wheel, or Charkha, cotton played a crucial role in Indian history and served as a symbol of the struggle for independence.

Let’s discuss in detail about cotton and its important uses.

Table of Contents

  • Cotton Crop in India
  • Cultivation of Cotton
  • Types of Cotton
  • Uses of Cotton
  • Practice Problems
  • Frequtently Asked Questions - FAQs

Cotton Crop in India

The seed-based fibre cotton is frequently found in subtropical regions of the world. Given its wide range of employment opportunities across many industries, cotton is India's principal fibre crop. Cotton is a widely used material that is incredibly soft, durable, and adaptable. Though synthetic fibres are cheaper than cotton fibres but when compared with synthetic fibres, the natural fibres (like cotton fibres) are better in terms of comfort when it comes to clothing.

Due to the wide range of uses for cotton in all industries, cotton is the most significant fibre crop produced in India. The cultivation of cotton, a Kharif crop, takes about eight months. Although cotton is grown in Tamil Nadu as both a rabi and a kharif crop. It is sown in Punjab and Haryana in April and May, and harvested in the winter months of December and January. In India, cotton agriculture has a long history.

Cultivation of Cotton

The cotton is majorly grown in the states of Punjab, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in India. It grows in a warm environment on a clayey black soil. Initially, when the plant of cotton blooms first, yellowish-white colour flowers are produced and then later becomes red in a few days.

The procedure used in its cultivation is as follows:

  • Ginning: Cotton is harvested from a plant that also includes seeds. Ginning is the process of extracting these seeds from cotton pods. Machines and humans both can perform ginning.
  • Spinning: The process of turning fibre into yarn is known as spinning.
  • Weaving:The process of making a fabric by arranging two or more sets of yarn together is known as weaving.
  • Knitting: While weaving can use more than two yarns, knitting only uses two. Both machines and humans are capable of performing this.

Types of Cotton

There are basically four types of commercially grown cotton.

  • Gossypium hirsutum
  • Gossypium barbadense
  • Gossypium arboreum
  • Gossypium herbaceum

All four species of cotton are cultivated in India.

Uses of cotton

Cotton played a significant role in Indian history. Cotton is a versatile crop and is used for a wide variety of applications. Here are a few important uses of cotton.

Fabrics: The fabric business predominantly and extensively uses cotton. Cotton can be used to weave or knit denim, jersey, velour, and many other fabrics. The textile sector greatly benefits from the use of cotton and fabrics that are related to it. Cotton is used for a variety of things, including the creation of bed sheets, curtains, coats, regular t-shirts, and many other things.

Women care and baby care: Cotton has emerged as a key component of women's and infant care. Cotton is being more frequently used in the creation of women's and children's personal care products because it is gentle, adaptable, and allergy-free.

Cotton is used to make body wash loofahs, diapers and baby wipes for infants. When it comes to women's health, cotton is utilised to make premium, clean sanitary pads. Tampons and panty liners also contain cotton. These products may be entirely made of cotton or may use synthetic elements in addition to cotton.

Consumer products:In addition, cotton is processed into a variety of crucial consumer goods. Coffee filters, bandages, absorbent cloths for cleaning, ropes, fishing nets, and cords are a few of them.

Cosmetics: In the cosmetics sector, cotton is used to manufacture moisturisers, cotton balls for makeup, and soaps. Various skincare products are made using cotton extracts like cottonseed protein, cottonseed oil, and cotton milk.

Agriculture: The fibre crop cotton is also used as food. Horses and animals are frequently footed with cotton. Proteins are abundant in cotton. Animals can digest the cellulose found in cotton thanks to specialised enzymes. Humans, however, lack these unique enzymes to digest cotton cellulose. Therefore, cotton is not consumed by humans.

The cotton plant's stalks can be ploughed under. The earth is enriched and made fruitful by cotton stalks smiling.

Other uses: Cotton is used to make cords for automobile tyres, television screens, plastic materials, high-quality paper, explosives, and many other things. Cotton is used in computer chipboards as well. Cotton stalk fibre is used in the creation of cardboard and pressed paper.

In hospitals, soft cotton is frequently used for a variety of functions. After delivery, it is also employed to remove the placenta.

Candles, soaps, detergents, and fake leather are all made with cottonseed oil, a cotton extract. Additionally, margarine and salad dressing both include cottonseed oil.

Practice Problems

Q. Which of the following is the largest cotton producing state?

  1. Gujarat
  2. Madhya Pradesh
  3. Uttar Pradesh
  4. Rajasthan

Answer: (A)

Solution: Gujarat is the leading cotton growing state followed by Maharashtra.

Q. Separation of fibres of cotton from its seeds is known as:

A. weaving
B. spinning
C. knitting
D. ginning

Answer: (D)

Solution:Cotton is filtered through ginning to remove undesirable elements like seeds and dirt. Before being cleaned to get rid of the particles, the cotton is first dried to get the moisture off. Large quantities of cotton must be processed mechanically, which calls for the use of machinery. The creation of fabric occurs in the other three operations of spinning, weaving and knitting.

Q. The clothes are made up of thinner and thinner strands called:

  1. yarn
  2. thread
  3. fibre
  4. fabric

Answer: (C)

Solution: Fibres are the thinner strands from which clothes are made. Fibres are arranged together to make a thread and a bundle of the thread makes up a yarn. Fibres are the smallest unit of cloth. In the case of natural fibres, they are made up of chemical compounds called polymers. For them, the smallest unit is the molecule of the chemical compounds.

Q. The number of yarns used to make fabric by weaving and knitting is:

A. two sets of yarns in each case.
B. single yarn in each case.
C. two sets of yarns in weaving and single in knitting.
D. single yarn in weaving and two sets in knitting.

Answer : (C)

Solution: Single yarn is needed for knitting, however two sets of yarn are needed for weaving to create a piece of fabric. In order to weave, threads must be bent in a way that creates a criss-cross pattern; this gives the fabric its elastic quality. To knit, the threads must be parallel to one another; this gives the fabric its stretchability.

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

Q1. Is cotton clothing good for hot weather?

Answer: Yes, cotton is good for hot weather. Cotton clothing is cool to wear because it is a good conductor of heat. Cotton also absorbs moisture and dries slowly, making it an excellent material for strolling in hot weather. The principle is straightforward yet efficient: hot weather causes sweating, which is then transferred to the surface of the cloth where it dries and cools the body.

In hot conditions, comfort is crucial. Comfort is influenced by a number of important aspects. For instance, elements like weight, thickness, breathability, moisture stability, flexibility, softness, and design of the clothing all affect how comfortable it is in hot weather. So wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing made of cotton fabric in hot weather is advised.

Q.2 Is cotton fabric stretchable?

Answer: No, cotton cloth is not stretchable because cotton has a comparatively low degree of elasticity in comparison to other fibres. Actually, because they are not extensible, untreated cotton fabrics wrinkle badly.

Q3. How is Cotton manufactured from the yarn?

Answer: The most important and vital step in processing textile products is spinning. The process of spinning turns the removed fibres into yarn, which is then used to make textiles. A form of yarn used for sewing, knitting, weaving, embroidery, etc. is the thread.

Q.4 What is Yarn?

Answer:A raw material derived from fibres, yarn is used to create fabrics or textiles, which are then utilised to create a variety of garments. A collection of filament or staple fibres are twisted together to create yarn.

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