The Many Faces of Cotton

Based on industry information, cotton is the most widely used fiber for apparel production in the world.  The properties of cotton lend itself to multiple uses along with clothing such as bedding, draperies, towels, rugs, etc. We like it because it absorbs moisture, retains its shape, has a high comfort level, and is easy to care for.
There are several varieties of cotton; some are named after the places they were developed or where they are grown. And since we know that cotton comes from a plant, it is possible to experiment with these fibers to produce variations. 

Origin of Cotton Production

Cotton was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians for thousands of years. It became a source of income for the country during the 1800s when Europeans began to establish trade routes for fibers such as silk, cotton, and linen for apparel.

Different Types of Cotton

  • Egyptian cotton is considered the finest and most popular cotton because of its soft hand and long shiny, thin fibers. Used for making bedding and fine garments.
  • Sea Island cotton – another strain of cotton which has extra long fibers. Developed in the sea islands just off South Carolina and Georgia during the early 1800s.
  • Pima cotton- Has long and smooth fibers that also fall into the category of Extra Long Staple fiber. It is similar to the Egyptian cotton in quality. Also strong, soft, and durable. Named after the Pima Indians in southwest United States who were the people cultivating these crops in the early 1900s.
  • All of these originated in Egypt and were brought to America and became variations as they were cultivated.

Boho Chic

Cotton can take on the boho trend!  Make this look using Cornflower Blue/Sable Brown Paisley Pima Cotton Shirting and Butterick 6519 Pair with Classic Brown Tropical Stretch Wool for basic pants. 

Mix It Up For Weekend Events 

Red/Maize Paisley Pima Cotton Shirting will work great for weekend events as a top using McCalls 7682 and make basic tapered pants like Butterick 6327 using the Red Faux Leather.

Daytime to Dinner 

Use Grape/Teal Paisley Pima Cotton Shirting to make a soft feminine dress with Pine Green Laser Cut Faux Leather as an accessory vest. Try Butterick 6514 and Butterick 5359 for this look that can go from daytime into dinner after work.

Dare to be Different for Evening

Make these oversized flowy pants using Vogue 8955 and Dark Ginger Silk Double Georgette.  Pair the pants with  Rust/French Navy Paisley Pima Cotton Shirting for a show-stopper blouse, Burda Style 12/2016 #122. 

Check all the cottons out, both print and solids at Sew Much Fabric!

Fabric ideas posted by Beverly Gatterson, who teaches fashion design at the Art Institute of Houston.

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