Cotton fabric is made from the fibers of the cotton plant. Grown naturally and harvested as a cash crop, cotton comes from all over the world, but notably from Africa, South America, and the southern part of the United States. Once the cotton plant is harvested, the fibers of cotton are gleaned from the rest of the plant. The soft, squishy cotton fibers are then washed, dried, and woven into yarn by a machine. The yarn is brushed to remove further impurities, and the yarn is then put on a loom and woven into cotton fabric.
Polyester fibers, unlike cotton fibers, are made from petrochemicals. Dimethyl teraphthalate is reacted with ethylene glycol with a catalyst at a temperature between 150 and 210 degrees C. The chemical that results from this (which is an alcohol) is then combined with terephthalic acid, and the resulting, molten polyester is siphoned off in ribbons from the reaction. The ribbons are allowed to dry completely, then they are cut into chips, and melted at 260 to 270 degrees C. Then once again molten polyester is poured through a met spinner, which forces the polyester through small, round openings to turn the polyester into yarn. Other chemicals may be added to it at this point to strengthen it, if necessary.
Poly Cotton fabric is made of a combination of cotton and polyester. It combines the benefits of cotton, such as its absorbency and breathing qualities, with the toughness and lack of wrinkling that polyester possesses. In order to weave a poly cotton blend, yarn of both cotton and polyester are put on a loom. The loom is then used to weave a single fabric out of both the cotton and the polyester yarn, creating a new fabric that is sometimes called poly cotton. Most common types of poly cotton fabric boast slightly more cotton content than polyester content in the end.
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Learn all about natural fibers and fabrics with expert textiles tips in this free fashion design video clip.
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