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How Much Do You Really Know About Cotton?


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How Much Do You Really Know About Cotton?
Written By: Heather Snow ~ 11/18/2020


Is cotton the fabric of our lives? How do you determine what is the fabric of your life? To determine this we must start at the beginning. We don’t really know when it became used in fabrics and textiles, but did you know cotton has been around for more than 7,000 years? Cotton is most commonly grown in India and the US. In today's modern era the cotton balls are put into a gin where it's mechanically separated from the seeds and chaff. It’s then cleaned and combed and ready for weaving on a loom. Once woven its treated with either bleach, printing, or dyeing before being shipped off to be sewn into garments.

Thread count. We've all seen and heard the term, but what does it mean? Thread count is a measure of the coarseness or fineness of the cotton. It is measured by counting the number of threads contained in one square inch of fabric, including both the length and width threads. The higher the thread count the softer the fabric. A t-shirt with a thread count of 15 is soft, but a t-shirt with a thread count of 30 is incredibly soft and also lighter weight. Cotton is naturally absorbent, has exceptional breathability, and pulls moisture away from the body.

Now that you know where cotton comes from and how it's produced into textiles, let's break down how you choose the right cotton t-shirt for you.

  • 100% Cotton is made from a less expensive and less refined open-ended cotton for a less expensive price.
  • Ring-Spun Cotton is a smoother, stronger fabric. The spinning process smooths and strengthens the fibers.
  • Combed Ring-Spun Cotton is even more refined and removes imperfect strands through a combing process making it super soft and cozy feeling.
  • Cotton Blends such as polyester improve its durability and enhance moisture-wicking. Blending cotton with synthetics such as polyester keeps the shape and color of the fibers, will have less shrinking and wrinkling, is lighter in weight, and has a softer feel than 100% cotton.
  • Pigment Dyed is a coloring process. Pigment is insoluble, so it can't naturally bind to fibers. If treated with resin or adhesive agents it becomes a pigment dye. The pigment dye is on the outside layer of the fabric, but doesn't absorb into the fabric. This gives that faded look. With each wash and wear it will continue to fade giving it a one of a kind look vintage look.

You can take a look at some of the cotton t-shirts we use more regularly in our Product Catalog. There are over 40 manufacturers that make cotton t-shirts. Knowing what qualities you want and like in a cotton t-shirt helps us narrow down the options and serve you better.

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