Creative Cotton Fabric

a versatile material

Cotton fabrics

Cotton fabric was an important material and has been around for many centuries. The Indus valley and Peru were the places that this fibre was first used. Gradually other places around the world began to grow it as well like the Persian Gulf, Egypt, China, India, North America, and Australia.

This fabric is one of natures natural fibres, the others being wool, linen and silk.

These fibres grow on a plant as a flower similar to a hollyhock. The seeds are planted in the ground each spring and is ready to be picked about 160 days later. The picking needs to be done on time to avoid the crop being spoiled.

The flowers come in red, white or yellow and when the flowers die, the seed pod or bolls burst and opens to show the white hairy down.

The long hairs that cover the seeds look like fine wool and these hairs have to be separated from the seeds to make the material.

In the USA years ago this was done by hand and in India and China it is still produced this way. In the USA this process has now been mechanised  and a cotton picker machine takes the balls or bolls off the plant stalks.

After the cotton has been picked it is put into large cubes and stored until it can be taken to a special machine called a "gin". This was developed to remove the seeds from the fibres and made this process quicker.

There are many varieties and those grown in one country will not grow properly in others as the temperature and humidity all play a part.

Cotton Fabric in the Beginning

This fabric was not grown in Britain because it needs a wam temperature, but this country had a thriving cotton industry with the raw cotton arriving from the USA. a

Manufacturing inventions such as "The Spinning Jenny" by Hargreaves, the "Mule" by Crompton and the power loom by Cartwright changed the way cotton cloth was produced.

The many cotton mills in Lancashire and around the midlands turned it into threads and then cloth.

Before the fibres can be turned into cloth they have to be spun together to make long threads either by hand or machine. These threads are then woven on a loom to get the final fabric.

Cotton was important in the development of India, America and Britain and is still a commodity.

Some Types of Cotton Fabric


This fabric is a coarse plain weave fabric. It comes in different weight but is unbleached and may still have some bits of the husk as it is intreated.


This was founded in the 16 Century and is a calico with woodblock print, stains or paints on a light background.

This is made by mixing cotton and linen. It was easier to print onto the velvet so was made into patterned clothes.


This started out being made from 100% cotton but is now made as a cotton mix.


This fabric can be made out of cotton as well as other fibres. It is woven in a reversible pattern.


This is a sturdy cotton fabric and has been made into jeans because of this.


These are made from dyed cotton or cotton blend fabrics and is woven alongside white fabric to produce the check effect.


This cotton fabric is puckered and thin for making into clothes worn in hot countries.


This fabric is know to be used for babies. It is named from the place it was first made and comes in different weights.

Uses of Cotton Fabric

Cotton fabric is ideal material for many things as it is hard wearing and washes well. 

When it is in its pure form of 100% cotton it is known to crease a lot  and may be difficult to iron.

This fabric mixes well with synthetic fabric fibres like polyester which help to reduce the creasing.

This comes in a variety of different colours and weights. There is a wonderful choice of plain and patterned material to please most tastes.

It has a lot of uses in many of its different forms from bed covers, curtains, cushions and clothing for all the family.

It is pure form of 100% cotton it is lovely and cool to wear on a hot day or on bedcovers in the summer but on the opposite side it can feel cold on a chilly wintery night when first getting into bed.

The winter bed clothes can be changed to a brushed cotton which has a warmer feel.

The other types of material with this fabric base are Brocade, Corduroy and Lace.

Cotton fabric is also great for crafts such as patchwork as the fabric tends not to stretch very much and when ironed it gives crisp edges so the patchwork pattern stays true to what it should be.

Cotton wool or yarn is great for knitting cooler summer clothes and for household items was well.

There is a wealth of choice of this fabric both on line and in shops.

Enjoy finding the cotton to suit your needs.

Affiliate offers

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Please take care with any soft furnishing that it does not come into contact with any heat source. 

If you have found an error on this page or want some more information on sewing cushions.

Please contact me . Thank you