What is Cotton, What are the Plant Characteristics?
Cotton is an annual plant. It is planted in the spring. The length of the cotton plant grows up to 1-1.5 m. It blooms in light pink or yellow colors after 50-60 days. When these flowers dry and fall, a small dark green, pyramid-shaped and walnut-sized pod (cocoon) is formed. There are 16-60 seeds in the cocoons. During the maturity period of this seed coat, called the cocoon, long and thin fibers form on the seeds. There are 10,000-20,000 fibers on each seed. As the fibers mature in a compacted state in the closed cocoon, they begin to gain their folds. With the elongation of the fibers in the cocoon, the volume of the cocoon becomes insufficient and the cocoon cracks and opens. Cotton seeds are exposed even though they are covered with fiber. The fibers lose water with the effect of the hot air, and the fibers stuck together swell, allowing the cocoon to open.
The cotton plant is harvested by hand or by machinery between August and October. Cotton seeds are called seeds. Cigitized cotton is called seed cotton. In the textile industry, cotton is not used with its core. The fibers are separated from the core by a gin machine. The cotton separated from its core is called mahlaç. There are also cotton varieties in Africa, which are in the form of perennial trees. Cotton stems are erect, branched and very hairy. The leaves are long-stalked, segmented and have a heart-shaped base. The flowers are stalked and located singly in the axils of the leaves. The outer sepals are three-part, and the petals are five-part free. The fruit is a 3-5 eyed capsule that opens or remains closed at maturity. This capsule is also called a cocoon. Each eye contains 5-10 seeds of blackish color, oval shape and covered with long, dense and white hairs. The cotton seed is called 'bulky' with these hairs or fibers around it.
History and Etymology of Cotton
Archaeological evidence shows that different types of cotton were cultivated and used for clothing in both India and South America independently between 6,000 and 7,000 years ago. To the ancient world, cotton came from the Harappan civilization in India. It passed from Mesopotamia to Ancient Egypt. The name of cotton in Arabic, Kutun ('al Kutun'), was translated into English as cotton, and in Spanish as algodón. It is possible that the name 'pambuk' and 'bambuk' used by the local producers in Turkey for cotton comes from the different pronunciations of the city of Manbij (manbij) (Hierapolis Bambyce or Bambyke) in northern Syria today. Cotton likes alluvial and strong soils. It is planted in deeply plowed and well fertilized soils. October; It is done in February in warm regions and in March-April in cold regions. It is harvested in August and September. The biggest danger for cotton is rains. Rains cause a decrease in yield and quality. BC in Turkey Although it has a long history going back to 330 BC, its main development was during the time of the Seljuk Turks in the 11th century and the Ottoman Turks in the 14th century. After the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey, cotton agriculture was given great importance.
Chemical structure and properties
The chemical structure of cotton fiber varies according to growing conditions. In its chemical structure; Cellulose, Hemicellulose and pectin, Protein and colored matter, Inorganic substances, Wax and oils. Since cotton fiber contains nearly 100% cellulose, it shows all the chemical properties of cellulose. It decomposes with concentrated and strong acids in hot and cold, It is completely soluble in concentrated sulfuric acid, Dilute bases have little effect on cotton. It starts to decompose at temperatures above 150 °C. It is roasted at 170°C in a short time, if it is in contact with oxidizing bleaches for a long time, it decomposes with the formation of oxycellulose. Polymer decomposes in cotton that is exposed to UV rays in sunlight, air oxygen, humidity and polluted air conditions. Direct sunlight, especially in hot and very humid weather, affects the cotton material, reducing its durability.
Products obtained from cotton fiber are widely used in our daily life. Due to its high ability to absorb liquids, it can be used in underwear, t-shirts, swith-shirts, jackets, vests, shirts, trousers, etc. in home textiles; drapery, upholstery, towels, bathrobes, ornaments, table and coffee table covers, etc. as well as for medical and industrial purposes, it has a wide range of uses. For example; such as bandages, bandages, cotton.