Egyptian cotton facts which makes it
superior than any kind of cotton
Cotton is a white or yellow-white vegetable fiber grown anciently in
both the Old and New Worlds. The fibers come from a plant, related to
the hollyhock, that ranges in height from 2 feet to 20 feet, depending
upon the variety. Cotton plants 15 to 20 feet tall are called tree
cottons. The plant requires a warm climate with about six months of
summer weather for full development. It blossoms and produces bolls or
pods of cotton fibers.
Classification of cotton according to length of staple is probably
more logical than a geographical classification, as the length of staple
and fineness of fiber are criteria in judging the quality of cotton.
Egyptian cotton has the longest fiber of the ancient species. This type
of cotton was grown along the Nile delta. It is a light tan or brown in
color and therefore must usually be bleached. It averages 1-3/8 inches
in length of fibers. Cotton grown in India has a fiber averaging between
about an inch in length - such a short fiber that it is difficult to
use. African cotton, aside from Egyptian, has a short-staple fiber about
one inch in length.
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Cotton is classified, not only according to length and strength of
fiber, but also according to the condition of the cotton on a basis
called middling. Middling cotton is creamy white, with no evidence of
dirt or gin-cuts (fibers matted and cut) and with only a few pieces of
leaf and immature seeds. Middling-fair, the best, has a perfect,
lustrous, silky, clean fiber, whereas good-ordinary contains leaf
particles, sticks, hulls, dirt, sand, gin-cuts, and spots. To indicate
the degree of whiteness of the cotton, six distinct color groups are
used: extra-white, white, spotted, tinged, yellow stained, and gray.
Although the grades given above are significant to the manufacturer, a
difference of 1/8 of an inch in the length of fibers is generally much
more important than the difference between one grade and the next.
Untreated cotton has no pronounced luster.
The diameter of the cotton fiber ranges from .0005 to .009 of an
inch. Egyptian fibers have the smallest diameters and so can be spun
into the finest yarns. A single cotton fiber will sustain a dead weight
of from 2 to 8 grams. Such a fiber is not very strong, but the finished
cotton cloth can be made very strong if tightly twisted.
The unripe cultivated cotton fiber is a tube-like structure. In the
tube or canal of this fiber is a substance called lumen, which either
dries as the cotton ripens or shrinks back to the stalk of the plant.
The disappearance of this substance causes the fiber to flatten and
twist so that under the microscope it appears like a twisted ribbon. In
studying the feeling of different textile fabrics, it was found that
cottons have more elasticity or give than linens. but not so much as the
animal fibers. The natural twist in cotton increases the elasticity and
makes it easier to spin the fiber into yarn.
Fibers that carry heat away from the body and thus keep it cool are
said to have good conductivity. Cotton is a better conductor of heat
than wool or silk, but not so good as linen. Cotton is the whitest and
cleanest natural fiber. It can be laundered easily, for it withstands
high temperatures well (boiling water does not hurt the fiber) and it
can be ironed with a hot iron because it does not scorch easily. Weak
alkalis, such as ammonia, borax, and silicate of soda, and cold dilute
bleaching agents, such as hypo chlorites or chlorine bleach are not
detrimental to the fiber. Bleaching agents must be used only under
controlled conditions, since too high temperatures and concentrations
destroy the fiber.
The chief constituent of cotton is cellulose (87 to 90 per cent).
Cellulose is a solid, inert substance that is a part of plants. The fact
that it is the chief component of cotton fibers and is an inert
substance explains cotton's lifeless feel. Water (5 to 8 per cent) and
natural impurities (4 to 6 per cent) are the other components of a
cotton fiber. Cotton takes dyes that are fast to washing and to
sunlight. For a vegetable fiber, cotton has a fair affinity for dye.
Vegetable fibers do not take dye so readily as do animal fibers.
If cotton is continuously exposed to sunlight, it loses strength.
This fact is particularly true of curtains, which may appear in perfect
condition when hanging at the windows but when taken down may fall apart
in spots where sunlight has reached them. Cotton is subject to rotting
caused by mildew, which is a parasitic fungus. Heat and dampness further
the growth of mildew
Historical facts about spinning and weaving industry in Egypt
According to archaeological discoveries, the spinning and weaving
industry had its origins in Ancient Egypt some thousands of years ago.
Arabs introduced the planting of cotton in Andalusia, Spain and were the
first to name this plant as "cotton". During the reign of Mohammad Ali,
the founder of Modern Egypt, more attention was given to silk industry.
In 1811, a silk factory was established, followed by other factories to
manufacture blankets for the army, ropes, as well as canvas for ship
sails. In 1899, the first mechanical cotton spinning and weaving plant
was built, but was soon shut down, as the machines were out of date. In
1911, the plant was re-built under the National Spinning Company in
Alexandria, which also broke down.
The real start of this industry was in 1921, when Tal'at Harb, "the
Liberator of Egyptian Economy", started building national industries in
the country, based on sound economic principles and 100% financed by
Egyptian capital through Bank Misr.
On May 17, 1927, the Misr Spinning and Weaving Company, in Al-Mehalla
Al-Kobra, was founded, which is indeed the backbone of spinning and
weaving industry in Egypt.
The city of Al-Mehalla Al-Kobra was selected as the venue of the
plants, due to its proximity to the cotton growing areas in the
mid-Delta, and availability of manpower