Back again to talk a little bit about, and in a little bit of a roundabout way for you, natural fibres! Again, natural fibres are much unlike the synthetic fibres. Natural fibres are divided into three categorizations known as minerals fibres, animal fibres, and plant fibres. Mineral fibres come in in only one form as far as I know, and that form is asbestos. Asbestos is used in many cases throughout homes as insulation for a good thing, but, unfortunately, the bad thing is that it is highly correlated as a carcinogenic material, probably and one might argue conclusively, correlated or causing for human beings.
Cotton is a natural fibre, and sustainable, ethical, and by the lights of Trusted Clothes much more fashionable. Ethical is sexy.
There are many kinds of outputs for this particular fibre, but this will be our look into its production and trade, design and manufacturing, and general uses. Cotton is cultivated as a fibre for textile utilization. The average cotton yield is about 800 kilograms per hectare. But it is almost purely cellulose and with a high level of both breathability and softness, which means that it is a popular natural fibre. Its length can be anywhere from 65 to 10 millimeters. Its diameter can be anywhere from 11 to 22 microns. It is highly absorbent of moisture and is a comfortable clothing in hot weather. Given that it has a high tensile strength; it is easy to wash with a variety of soaps. It is such a popular production as a natural fibre throughout the world that 80 countries are cultivating it. There are approximately 10 million small farmers that depend on this cultivation of cotton for their basic income. This means their livelihood.
So, the production and trade of cotton produces approximately 25 million tonnes throughout the world per annum, I think. The major producers are Brazil, China, India, Pakistan, the United States of America, and Uzbekistan, which accounts for approximately four-fifths of the world’s total exports of cotton via its production by the aforementioned 10 million farmers. In terms of raw cotton, China has been the major importer, and takes in approximately three to four million tonnes of cotton – circa estimations from 2006, but the main exporter has and continues to be the United States of America.
In terms of the uses of cotton, about 60% of cotton fibre is used for yarn and thread through a wide variety or range of clothing, which means jeans, t-shirts, and even shirts in general, but this can even include underwear and coats. It is used in home furnishings including bedspreads and window blinds, and even washcloths. As noted with multiple other natural fibres in this series on sustainable fibres, the main benefit of things such as cotton is for clothing and other uses in the daily life, in industrial manufacturing, or the fact that they can decompose and have a natural cycle, which I have turned the natural fibre life cycle. That’s all for now!