The first thing we are going to indicate about the word at hand is that cotton is derived from Arabic. Specifically, it comes from the term “al-qutun”, which means “cotton”. What’s more, it refers to the plant that arrived in Andalusia in the 12th century.
Cotton is the name given to various species of the genus Gossypium, which belong to the family group of mallow. These are plants with green stalks that, when giving yellowish flowers, turn reddish. Its main feature is the fruit that has seeds covered by a white fluff that, when the capsule is opened, comes out.
The cotton lint is used to make a very popular textile fiber. In addition, after a cleaning and sterilization process, it is marketed in different formats for multiple uses.
About half of the fibers used in the textile industry are cotton. With cotton all kinds of clothing are made: T-shirts, shirts, pants, etc. For example: “Yesterday I bought a cotton blouse with an animal print that I plan to wear on my birthday”, “During the ceremony, the actor wore green pants and a very casual cotton jersey”, “The model impressed with her sensual cotton t-shirt ”.
It must be said that cotton has played a very important role in history. And we cannot forget that, for example, its cultivation became a focus of slavery in the United States during the 19th century. There were many families that thanks to the land they owned where that plant was cultivated, managed to become rich and they did so because the work of their collection was entrusted to slaves, people of color who were mistreated and had poor working conditions.
Cotton is used for various purposes in medicine and nursing. It is common to take pieces of cotton to clean a wound. Cotton can also be used to soak it with a medicinal substance (such as alcohol or hydrogen peroxide) and then apply it to the skin.
It should be noted that there is transgenic cotton, generated by the alteration of seeds in laboratories. In this way, cotton of different colors or plants that better resist the attack of pests or the action of agrochemicals can be obtained.
However, we cannot overlook the existence of what is known as cotton candy. This is a candy that has a great popularity throughout the world and is identified as being threads of melted sugar that are wound around a stick and is called cotton because it looks like that.
It seems that this product, which is so common at fairs, began to be made in Italy around the 15th century. However, it was at the end of the 19th century, specifically in the year 1897, when inventors who were also candy makers managed to shape the first machine capable of preparing cotton candy.