Cotton is a plant that is used primarily to make fabric. Cotton also refers to the fiber grown in bolls on the plant and sometimes the fabric woven from that fiber or clumps of it used for various purposes like cleaning.
One bale of cotton can make 1,217 men's T-shirts or 313,600 $100 bills.
Cotton fabric is used to make lightweight summer clothing. It tends to "breath", allowing more air circulation than many other fabrics and wicking away perspiration. The fabric is generally smooth and soft as well as absorbent, so it is popular for towels, sheets, and clothing worn next to the skin, such as underwear.
Cotton will shrink if washed in hot water or completely dried in a hot dryer. Some clothing is "pre-shrunk" which reduces the additional amount of size change. Clothing that is 100% cotton will normally wrinkle if its dried completely in a clothes dryer or let sit in a wrinkled state while drying. Hanging cotton clothing while it's warm and still damp will reduce wrinkling. Cotton can be ironed, usually at a setting that's near the hottest for most electric irons. (Linen is usually the hottest setting.) New techniques are now being used to produce wrinkle resistant cotton clothes.
- cotton balls
- cotton buds (commonly known by one of the trade-names Q-tip)
- natural vs. synthetic