Cotton fibre is most important fibre in the world. Cotton is life line of humans. “Its properties make it most useful for clothings”. Cotton is a vegetable fibre. It is grown all around the world. Cotton fibre has versetile uses in human life. Finest and heaviest quality textiles can be made of cotton. “It is bio-degradable material”. Its world wide availability makes it popular and cheaper among the people. It is widely used for clothings. “It has good moisture content and absorvancy”. It gives comfortable feelings during wearing of clothes.
HISTORY OF COTTON FIBRE:
It is not confirmed when human learnt to use cotton as clothings,how did he learn to use it as clothings. Some scientific searches show that “cotton bolls and pieces of cotton were found in caves in Mexico”. That proves that human is using cotton fibre since or before more than 7000 years. About 3000 BC cotton was being grown as crop in indus river valley in Pakistan. Same time” in Egypt people were wearing cotton clothings in nile river valley ”. Cotton reached in Europe in 800 AD through Arabian merchants. When Columbus reached in America in 1492 he saw crop of cotton in Bahama island.
“First cotton yarn was spun by machinery in England in1730”.
IMPORTANCE OF COTTON FIBRE IN WORLD ECONOMY AND HUMAN LIFE:
Cotton plays very important role in world economy. Today cotton industry is a very large industry in the world. Cotton industry creats millions of employments oppurtunities for people. Transportation of cotton from farms and processing of clothing further generates revenue,employments and business opportunities for people. Many engineering and chemical industries are required for spinning,weaving,processing and tailoring of cotton clothings. Lot of skilled and technically qualified prpfessionals are required in cotton industry so that cotton industry also gives employment activities and opportunities to educational institutions. There are many uses of cotton in various forms, so it generates business and service activities in various fields. Cotton fibre provides big and important source of income to farmers. Cotton is known as cash crop in the world . In many parts of world it is only source of income for farmers.
Cotton fibre is a part of our daily lives. Our life style directly linked with cotton fibre. Today we can not imagine our life without cotton. Its uses make it part of life of human. “How important cotton fibre is in our lives,it can be seen and understand by its presence in every house ,office, industries,institutions,agriculture,medicals etc”. People love to wear cotton fibre clothing .Home furnishing (bedsheets, pillows, cushions,quilts,curtains,handkerchief,towel,table cover,car seating,blanket,bath mat,door mat,carpet,floor covering and many more).
Apart from fibres or lints other parts of cotton plant are also used in various product. “Cotton seeds are being used as animal feeding from very old period”. Oil from cotton seeds is separated which is used in various uses. “Leaves of plants are left in the field which make the soil enrich and improves fertility of soil”. Its stem is used to produce energy as a fuel. Cotton is useful for human from all and every angle to the world economy.
FARMING OF COTTON FIBRES:
“Cotton is grown in warm and humid climates”. Following steps are adopted to grow the cotton crop
To prepare the farm soil is very important job in growing the cotton. “The farmers who use conventional process to prepare the soil, they cut down and chop the cotton stalk after harvesting the cotton crop”. Now remaining residue of cotton stalk is turned dowm just below the soil surface. In other type of soil preparation the stalks are left standing and leave the plant residue on the surface of the soil. “These stalks and plant residue make soil enrich after bio-degradation”. Fertility of soil improves. Farmers plow the land into rows forming firm seed-bed for planting.
Seeding is done with mechanical planters which ver as many as 10 to 24 rows at a time. The planter opens a small trench or furrow in each row, drops in the right amount of seeds, covers them and packs the earth on top of them. The seeds are planted at equal distance in either small group of plant or singularly (drilled). Machines called cultivators are used to pull out weeds and grass from soil which is harmfull for plant. These weeds and grass can take fertilizers,sunlight and water surrounding the plants.
• Square appearing:
After two months of planting, flower buds(flowerlet) called squares begin to appear on the cotton plants. About in next three to four weeks, the flowers open. The petals(each of the segments of the corolla of a flower, which are modified leaves and are typically coloured) of flowers are change from creamy white colour into yellow, then pink and finally dark red. Three days later, petals become dry and fall in the farm. Now only green seed vessels remain on the plants which are called cotton bolls(a rounded seed capsule).
Development of cotton bolls:
Round seed capsules are begun to change into cotton bolls. Slowly the size of cotton boll increases. Cotton boll now looks like a small spungy ball. Moist fibres grow inside the boll and push out from the newly developed seeds. Now cotton bolls begin to ripe. Its colour changes into brown. The fibres continue to expand under warm conditions. Atlast the boll is opened and it divided into many parts. Now fluffy cotton fibres come out. It looks like a white cotton candy.
• Harvesting of cotton:
“Harvesting of cotton crop is done manually and by modern machines both”. In india where manual labour is still cheaper than other places, farmers pick seed cotton by hand. It is then collected and dumped at one place. In developed countries like USA harvesting of cotton is performed by harvesting machines known as picker or stripper. Picking machine has spindles. These spindles pick(twist) the seed cotton from the burrs that are attached to plants stems. Doffers then remove the seed cotton from the spindles and knock the seed cotton into the conveying system.Conventional cotton stripping machines use rollers equipped with alternating bats and brushes to knock the open bolls from the plants into a conveyor.A second kind of stripper harvester uses a broadcast attachment that looks similar to a grain header on a combine. All harvesting systems use air to convey and elevate the seed cotton into a storage bin referred to as a basket. Once the basket is full, the stored seed cotton is dumped into a boll buggy, trailer or module builder.
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