Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Cotton...






Cotton is by far the most popular fabric on Earth.
Walk in to any linen outlet and you will notice the variety of products that use cotton. At the same time you will also notice a variety of other terms with which products are commonly labeled.

How would you know which item will be best suited to your needs? To make an informed decision we will begin with a background on cotton production.



Cotton has been cultivated for over 5000 years and is currently the most popular and best selling fabric on earth. The primary reason for this is that cotton is a versatile and all year fabric which keeps the body cool in summer and warm in winter. Historical records suggest that cotton has been converted into fabrics from as

early as 3000bc. A surprising fact is that cotton can be grown in different colours including brown, rust and even light purple. Cotton originates from the Mallow family of plants. Apart from the commonly known uses of cotton in fabrics and clothing this diverse product is used commercially is a variety of ways, The US Dollar is made of 75% cotton and the first light bulb developed by
Thomas Edison used a Cotton Filament.

In early Egypt only the High Priest and Pharous were allowed to wear cotton and it is for this reason that Egyptian cotton is still regarded as some of the finest cottons on earth.

Different types of Cotton and their uses 100% Cotton or Poly-Cotton
Many products today are manufactured from Poly-Cotton. Essentially the needs or requirements of the consumer will dictate the correct selection.

So, what are the differences between 100% cotton and poly-cotton blend fabrics? To start with, a poly-cotton blend is just what its name suggests: a fabric that is made up of cotton and polyester fibres. The ratio varies, with 65% cotton and 35% polyester being the most common. 50/50 blends are also easily found. The blend is designed to afford the advantages of both the cotton and polyester fibres into one fabric. What are the advantages and disadvantages of cotton? 100% cotton is a fully breathable fabric, which means that it can be cooler to use in hot conditions. However, as the thickness increases, the breathability decreases. 100% cotton tends to rip and wear out easily, depending on the weave which we will discuss below. Cotton canvas is a very durable and abrasion-resistant fabric, but it is very thick and heavy. In regards to safety, cotton fibres that have not been treated for fire-resistance will tend to burn away where polyester will melt. As a natural fibre, 100% cotton products also tend to be a bit more expensive than the synthetic counterparts.

Polyester has an equal number of advantages and disadvantages as cotton. Polyester does not breathe and has a tendency to stick to the skin once perspiration begins. In regard to durability, polyester is a more elastic fibre and therefore tends to be tear resistant. However, it does not tend to be as abrasion-resistant as cotton canvas. As polyester is not dependent upon the forces of nature for a successful harvest, it is usually considerably cheaper than 100% cotton. A product made from a poly cotton blend combines the
strengths of the two fibres. Poly cotton products are breathable, tear-resistant, and can be fashioned into abrasion-resistant fabrics, like canvas. While not as inexpensive as pure polyester, poly cotton blends do tend to cost less than comparable products made of 100% cotton and they provide much more comfort. The previously mentioned 65/35 blend of cotton and polyester is the most popular for linen and duvets, particularly because of price, durability and a larger colour selection being available for purchase. When shopping for linen, the choice between 100% cotton and poly cotton blends depends largely on the area of use and personal preference. Poly cotton based linen products are aptly suited for use in an environment with kids as they are more durable and wear resistant and are available in a variety of printed designs to suit the needs of most decor styles.


What is Egyptian Cotton?
Egyptian cotton is “extra long staple” mostly made from a cotton plant called Gossypium barbadense or from Gossypium hirsutum, both native to America. It was believed to be derived from sea island cotton or by hybridization with Peruvian cotton. Its fibre length is around 1 3/8 inches. These plants were introduced to Egypt in the nineteenth century by Egypt’s ruler, Mohammed Ali Pasha, who developed them as a cash crop to support his army. The plant is tropical and grows as a small, bushy tree requiring high humidity and rainfall. It contains the chemical gossypol, reducing its susceptibility to insect and fungal damage. Cotton from Egyptian fibres is more breathable and becomes softer over time with use. It produces less lint and will not pill. This high-quality fibre is long and narrower than other cottons, allowing thread counts of up to 1,000 per square inch. This provides a lighter weight and extremely strong, long-lasting durability. Sheets made with Egyptian cotton can last forty or fifty years. Linen made with Egyptian cotton has held a reputation for exceptional quality and durability as well as a greater margin of exclusivity. These luxurious fabrics are offered in 300 and 600 thread count. It must be noted however that the higher the thread count the more susceptible the fabric will be to creasing. Special care is required to ensure that your Egyptian Cotton products continues to offer the unsurpassed quality and feel that an exclusive fabric deserves.

What is Percale? Percale or Percalcos is a closely woven plain-weave fabric often used for bed covers.
The term describes the weave of the fabric, not its content, so percale could be a blend of 50% cotton and 50% polyester, 100% cotton, or a blend of other fabrics in any ratio. A percale weave has a thread count of about 200 or higher, and is noticeably tighter than the standard type of weave used for bed-sheets. It has medium weight, is firm and smooth with no gloss, and warps and washes very well. It is made from both carded and combed yarns. Percale fabrics are made in both solid colours and printed patterns. The finish of the fabric is independent of its weave, so it can be either printed or unprinted.

Shopping for linen need not be a daunting task. Ideally if you are looking for a cost effective and durable bedding option then Poly cotton percale will be your best bet, and if you are seeking a luxurious and exclusive bedding option then either 100%cotton or an Egyptian Cotton in a percale weave will definitely assure you a super sleep.


By Dezigner Customs
muhammed@dezignercustoms.com www.dezignercustoms..com

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