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cotball.gif (325044 bytes)Cotton, natural vegetable fibre of great economic importance as a raw material for cloth. Its widespread use is largely due to the ease with which its fibres are spun into yarns. Cotton's strength, absorbency, and capacity to be washed and dyed also make it adaptable to a considerable variety of textile products. 
Cotton Itís fashional, natural and versatile.


Cotton is produced by small trees and shrubs which bears the botanical name Gossypium. One or two Weeks after sowing shoots appear and 50 to 80 days later flowering begins. First buds are formed. After three weeks blossoms
appear after blossoming the petals fall of and the offspring or the boll developes. The boll is divided by partision in to 3-5 sections containg seeds. Fibre grows on the seeds. The plant has certainly been grown and used in India for at least 5000 years and probably for much longer. Cotton was used also by the ancient chinese, Egyptians, and North and South Americans.


Cultivation Process

Successful cultivation of cotton requires a long growing season, plenty of sunshine and water during the period of growth, and dry weather for harvest. It is cultivated in countries with hot climate as India, China ,Egypt, USA, Afganistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan ect.

 Cotton producing areas in India are spread throughout the country. Panjab, Hariyana, Rajasthan, Maharastra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh,Andra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are the major cotton producing states. 

Cotton is sown around May & June and harvested around sept. to Dec. in different parts of the country

A number of methods, chemical and mechanical, have been used to control weeds and grass, including intensive spraying of herbicide before and after planting. The cultivator, rotary hoe, and flame cultivator are also used to destroy weeds.

Approximately 95 percent of the cotton in the United States is now harvested mechanically with spindle-type pickers or strippers.  How ever in India still maximum cotton is harvested by manual plucking.  


Cotton Boll Showing Destruction from the Bollworm

In addition to the flowers, the underside of each leaf of the cotton plant contains a small cuplike structure holding nectar. These deposits and the succulent stem make the plant attractive to a variety of insect pests. Chief among these is the boll weevil. The use of early maturing strains of cotton plus the application of several chemicals and control methods have greatly reduced losses from boll-weevil infestation. The bollworm, the pink larva of a small moth, is believed to have been a native of India but is now parasitic on cotton all over the world. Quarantine, fumigation of seed, and destruction of trash removed from the cotton in ginning are control measures. The bollworm-tobacco budworm also is one of the most damaging cotton pests in terms of losses and control costs. Armyworm, thrips, lygus, and red spider are among other significant pests.

Among the serious diseases to which the cotton plant is subject is the wilt caused by a fungus which enters the roots from the soil and manufactures a poison. No treatment is known, but wilt-resistant strains of cotton have been developed. Another fungus disease is boll rot or anthracnose, caused by sac fungus. The best control is using seed from fungus-free fields.


Cotton Textile Mill

Raw cotton or Kapas which is picked from fields contains seed.  To seprate the seed from raw cotton it is taken to machine called gins.  Where seed is separated from kapas.  The kapas without seed so generated is called lint.  It is in loose form.  The above lint is pressed and packed in bale form in hydraulic / pneumatic press and taken to mills.


In determining the value of cotton samples are drawn from random bale and evaluated according to staple, grade, and character. Staple refers to fibre length. Fibre length can be classified in to three grades i.e. 1) Short staple  2) Medium staple 3) Long and Extra long staple.

Grade refers to color, brightness, and amount of foreign matter.  Color groupings indicate the degree of whiteness. Character refers to the diameter, strength, body, maturity (that is, ratio of mature to immature fibres), uniformity, and smoothness of the fibres.


seeds.gif (361834 bytes)

Once a waste-disposal problem for gins, cottonseed is now a valuable by-product. The seed goes to oil mills, where it is delinted of its linters in an operation similar to ginning. The bare seed is then cracked and the kernel removed. The meal that remains after the oil has been extracted is high in protein. Linters are used for padding in furniture and automobiles, for absorbent cotton swabs, and for manufacture of many cellulose products such as rayon, plastics, lacquers, and smokeless powder for munitions. The hulls, or husks, are used as feed for cattle. Kernels, or meats, provide cottonseed oil. The cake and meal are used for feed and flour. Foots, the sediment left by cottonseed oil refining, provides fatty acids for industrial products. Also in india cotton seed is directly expelled and cotton seed cake containing oil upto 6% is directly used as a cattle feed.  The oil is refind to make it edible.


Cotton is still a principal raw material for the world's textile industry, but its dominant position has been seriously eroded by synthetic fibres.  Increased globle production, emergence of synthetics as an alternative to cotton textiles and improved productivity are mainly contributing for world supply.  World demand for cotton continued to be erratic, and some groups lobbied for increased price-supports, but an upward trend began in the 1980s.

World production of cotton in the early 1990s stood at 18.9 million metric tons annually. The leading producers include China, India, USA, Pakistan, Brazil, and Turkey.  Cotton textile commands a significant share in exports from India.  It accounts for nearly 22% of the total exports. 

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