The world of feminine hygiene and baby care products has not always been a happy one. Consumer research (from Cotton Incorporated and other industry stakeholders) has shown that women, many of whom are also mothers, have experienced irritation, painful skin rashes, and even infections from the industry’s use of extruded films and artificial fibers used in topsheet applications for products like panty liners, feminine pads, and diapers. Continue reading
There are different types of cotton that are grown around the world, all of which have been in circulation in a variety of products to improve the human condition since ancient times. Types of cotton are primarily known by their different species, grown everywhere from the USA and Central America to South America, India and Pakistan, and southern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Continue reading
Sir Francis Bacon was the first person attributed with saying, “Knowledge is power.” What was true in 1597 is certainly even truer still today!
The fact that knowledge is power is no more evident than what we witness in the buying behavior of today’s consumer. With the universe of information in the palms of our hands today, consumers are much more educated about the products they purchase. They seek to know more about how a product is made, where and when it’s created, and what it’s made from. Consumers are demanding transparency from brands in order to build trust and earn their loyalty. Continue reading
People expect their cotton to be white. In fact, they want it very white, especially when it’s used in medical and nonwoven hygiene products. You may already be picturing a cotton ball, a baby wipe, or cotton rounds used for removing makeup.
Many of us don’t realize that cotton isn’t ultra-white in the field. In fact, it’s quite dirty, and there are many grades of color available. But even the whiter variations aren’t white enough to pass consumer scrutiny. So what are manufacturers to do when they want to reach a standard for whitened cotton? Continue reading
The history of cotton ginning is a fascinating one. While many of us learn in history classes about inventor Eli Whitney’s breakthrough design for the modern cotton gin, most of us may not know that the cotton industry is writing new chapters in the story of ginning, even today. Continue reading
As with many businesses, the wipes sector is facing challenges on multiple fronts. Of particular concern for many discerning consumers and environmentally-focused companies is how the industry is striving to become more sustainable.
Global brands and private label manufacturers are developing new products to meet new sustainability and biodegradability demands by consumers and government agencies. We know from our work that cotton meets those requirements and many more such as product needs for materials that are natural, soft, safe, and hypoallergenic. Not only does purified cotton qualify for these needs, it’s also high-performing, with greater wet strength, high absorbency, and its ability to pick up and track dirt.
New product opportunities for sustainable, purified cotton include new consumer choices for baby, cosmetic, and femcare wipes. Let’s take a deeper dive on the issue of sustainability and wipes. Continue reading
In the latest installment of our Know Your Fibers series, we’re taking a look at two of the dominant fibers used in multiple industry applications: cotton and polyester. Most people know that cotton is a natural fiber and polyester is a man-made, synthetic fiber. These differences are just the beginning, however, so let’s take a deeper dive on the unique properties of these fibers and how they’re processed. Continue reading
After cotton is harvested from the fields and is initially cleaned in the ginning process, it must be further cleaned and prepared for its use in the production of nonwoven and unspun applications. The processes for this stage of cleaning typically involve further mechanical cleaning to remove finer pieces of stem, stalk, and leaf and extraneous field matter as well as processes to remove potentially harmful bacteria, molds, and other contaminations from the fiber. The specific technologies and sophistication of the processes used in cleaning the fibers will differentiate the product’s final level of quality and usefulness. Methods vary from supplier to supplier, some will use mechanical cleaning alone or add a sterilization process at the end. But there’s only one way to get cotton to its cleanest, whitest state that’s preferred by consumers worldwide, and that’s through a process called purification. Continue reading
It would certainly be nice if cotton came to us purified and ready to use, right out of the field. But this simply isn’t reality. Freshly-picked cotton has roughly 650,000 harmful colony-forming units (CFUs) within it; this means natural cotton, straight from the field, is filled with molds, fungi, bacteria, and other impurities. Thus, it has to be purified. Continue reading