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What is Cotton

Cotton fiber has been in use for long time, it dates back to 3000 B.C.  Composed of a natural vegetable fiber that grows attached to the seed of the cotton plant.  Cotton fiber comes in various grades based upon color, purity, and length.  Shorter staple fibers, such as American Upland are coarser, while Egyptian (from Egypt) and Pima (from California) are longer fibers resulting in a softer and finer finished cloth.  Short staple cottons tend to pill or produce lint from the finished fabric.

Cotton, cotton blends and cotton yarns start with a process called carding.  Carding the cotton fiber is a method of cleaning and detangling the fibers.  After the fibers are carded, they are gathered into a rope like form called a silver.  The silver is twisted into threads and then woven or knitted into a fabric.  Finer finished fabrics have one step after carding, called combing.  Combing straightens, removes short staple fibers and extra cleans the cotton before being knitted or woven.  Combed cotton fabrics have a far superior feeling (hand) compared to a carded only cotton fabric.

Cotton can be finished with a soft hand or firm chintz hand with a shiny surface.  Cotton absorbs dye for brilliant colors and prints out beautifully.