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Cotton is one of the most used types of natural fibers in the world. It is from these that ITJV designs its excellent circular knitted fabrics. This is an ancient art. So old that traces of this raw material have been found in some archaeological excavations carried out both in Pakistan and Mexico.

Observations and studies carried out have concluded that cotton was already produced and used for textile production for about seven thousand years. 

And records have also shown that this type of natural fiber was essential to Egyptian and Indian cultures for over five thousand years.

But the truth is cotton remains an essential material for the textile industry today. From the moment we wake up, wash our faces and dry them with a towel, right until we go to bed at night and cover ourselves within our beautiful sheets, cotton is a part of our daily lives.

This is a natural fiber with hundreds of applications. Alongside fashion, it is in home decor that cotton finds its most uses.

However, cotton is a raw material that was able to find its place even in areas such as medicine or the food industry.

It adapts to all types of consumers, classes, and needs. The annual production of cotton involves thousands upon thousands of hectares farmed around the world and can be produced both in a more traditional way or through the latest technological innovations.

What is cotton?

Cotton is a natural fiber. It comes from the cotton plant and its fibers are a very soft, organic, and biodegradable compound. 

Its cultivation is quite demanding and complex, namely due to the climatic needs in which it needs to grow.

Cotton is a plant that needs a season plenty of sunshine, followed by a season of heavy rain. Therefore, it grows mostly in tropical or subtropical regions, such as South America or the South of Asia.Once the cotton seeds are planted, their fibers develop inside a husk or pod, which protects them from external threats, as they keep on growing until they are ready for harvest.

After harvested, cotton is first spun and then processed on circular looms. At ITJV we make sure our circular looms are on par with technological evolution. 

But this was all done by hand, many, many years ago. As society developed, so did the methods and innovations for the production of cotton.

The first machine, or technology, appeared in India during the 13th century, and it made the process so much easier, that cotton began to truly spread throughout the world.

Fast forwards to the Industrial Revolution. Spinning machines developed in the UK allowed producers to spin in even greater quantities than ever before. Today, it is in digital technology that we find the latest innovations that allow for the continued development of circular knitted fabrics created from cotton.

 

Types of cotton fibers

When we talk about the different types of circular knitted fabrics, in truth, we are talking about the size of cotton natural fibers that can be found all over the world. There are three main different categories.

The first category includes the finest and most delicate of the natural fibers. Its size lands somewhere between 2.5 cm and 6.5 cm – (1 inch and 2.6 inches). These are the fibers that give origin to a soft circular knitted fabric made from Pima, Giza, or Sea Island cotton.

Pima, for example, is a fiber very difficult to cultivate and maintain. For this reason, it exists on the market in much smaller quantities than other types of cotton. Therefore, its price is much higher, and given its underlying qualities, it is a type of natural fiber mainly used for the creation of premium circular knitted fabrics of magnificent quality.

Egyptian cotton, such as Giza, is one of the best-known fibers in this category. Its fame is recognized worldwide. But it is in South America and the Southwest of the United States that we find the biggest productions of Pima.

As a way of distinguishing themselves from all the others, the North American producers have joined together to form an association of producers of Pima cotton that is of superior quality than that of the competition.

Pima then got another name. When coming from the U.S.A., it became known as SUPIMA®.

The name is easy to understand – Superior Pima – and gives rise to a quality circular knitted fabric, highly sought after by the biggest brands in the world. This is precisely the type of cotton in which ITJV specializes when creating its circular knitted fabrics.

In the second category of fibers, we find fibers whose sizes vary between 1.3 cm and 3.3 cm – or 0.5 inches and 1.3 inches. It represents about 90% of all world production and is mostly cultivated in Central and North America.

In this category, the most recognized type is called Upland, also produced in the United States.

Finally, in the third category are the shortest cotton fibers, used in other, more common pieces or the fabrication of rugs, for example.

Early in human history did we discover the potential of these fibers for the textile industry. Very soft and fluffy, this raw material has been with us for millennia.

This was only possible thanks to its ability to adapt to the latest trends and concerns of human society, as well as human ingenuity. 

Thus, within each of these three categories, there are two other types of cotton that deserve to be mentioned: organic and recycled. 

Both reflect the concern with climate change and the benefits of a sustainable and robust economy. Organic cotton is cultivated and produced without the application of any kind of chemical products or any genetic modification of the cotton plant.

Recycled cotton, as its name indicates, seeks to make use of the best sustainable practices, giving new life to inevitable production surpluses for the creation of new pieces.

 

Where to buy cotton fiber?

Due to its specific characteristics and needs, cotton is cultivated in practically all tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

The circular knitted fabrics created from cotton fiber are soft, resistant, and with great absorption capacity, making it one of the most sold types of materials in the world.

At ITJV, we create circular knitted fabrics of the highest quality made from cotton, including SUPIMA®, Sea Island, or Giza types, as well as other recycled options.

They are only available through catalogue requests and sample validation.

 


This text was written and published in 2021

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