In February, Valentine’s Day is a reminder that love is all around us. The same can be said of cotton – every day of the year.
We all know that there’s cotton in the clothes we wear and the towels we use. But did you know that there was cotton in your computer, your car tyres and, quite possibly, the dressing on your salad?
According to the National Cotton Council of America, the world uses more cotton today than any other fibre, and all parts of the cotton plant are useful.
• Textiles and yarns for clothing, towels, bedding and other household items.
• Cordage (cords and ropes)
• Cord for car tyres
• Plastic reinforcing
• Stuffing inside pill bottles
Linters – the short fuzz on the seed – provide cellulose that is used in:
• High quality paper products
• Batting for padding mattresses, furniture and automobile cushions
• Computer chip boards
• Flat-panel television screens
The cottonseed is crushed to separate its three products, namely oil, meal and hulls.
• Oil – refined oil is used in shortening, margarine, cooking oil, salad dressing and cosmetics. Less refined grades are used to manufacture soap, candles, detergents, artificial leather, oilcloth, and many other commodities.
• Meal – livestock, poultry and fish feed, and fertiliser.
• Hulls – fertiliser, fuel, packing.
STALKS and LEAVES
• Ploughed under to enrich the soil.
• Fibre from stalks is used for pressed paper and cardboard.