Cotton is a part of our daily lives from the moment we dry our faces on a soft cotton towel in the morning until we slide between fresh cotton sheets at night. However, no one knows exactly how old cotton is. Scientists searching caves in Mexico found bits of cotton bolls that proved to be 7,000 years old. It was also found that cotton was grown, pun and woven into cloth in the Indus River Valley in Pakistan, 3,000 years B.C. The first US cotton plantation dates to the year 1556 in Florida. It wasn’t until after the Industrial Revolution that cotton was fist spun by machinery in England in 1730.
Cotton comes from the Gossypium species. Cotton flowers are white or yellow when they are open, turning pink after pollination. The pods of the pollinated flower open after a few weeks and the hairy cotton seeds spring up. Raw cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber, almost pure cellulose. Every cotton boll contains about 30 seeds each. Depending on the climate and cotton variety, the cotton plants needs 175 to 225 days from sowing to maturation. The image below shows the cycle of growth of the plant, form the cotton seeds to the cotton ball ready to harvest.
All parts of the cotton plant are useful. The most important is the fiber, which is used to make cotton cloth. Linters provide cellulose for making plastics, explosives and other products. Linters are also used to make high quality paper and processed into battling for padding furniture, mattresses and cushions. The cotton seed is crushed in order to separate three different products: oil, meal and hulls. Lastly, the stalks and leaves of the cotton plant are plowed under to enrich the soil.
Statistics state cotton is the most often used natural fiber worldwide, and thus an important component of the textile industry. In 2017, the total global production of cotton added to million bales. India, China and United States are the largest producers, responsible for more than half of the world’s total production volume.
The Tunisian fouta has been part of the Tunisian’s culture. The fouta is a very thin and light as its made of lightweight cotton. Each piece is made by hand and takes between 2 and 3 days to finish, depending on the model and size. At DE LA SOL we carry the product in different varieties, all handmade in Tunisia. In the first place, the Amal Towel Set is made of 100% cotton. This set is the perfect addition for your kitchen or bathroom. Its sand tones make this product versatile for any type of decoration. Similarly, the Manel Towel Set gets softer and more absorbent as you wash them. The clear tones of this set will add style to any of your rooms. Lastly, the Hiba Towel is as absorbent and unique as the other towel sets. However, this set will add the perfect boho vibes to your interiors due to its bright colors. The Hiba Towel is available in pink, blue and black.