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branch of a cotton plantThe Story of Cotton-Can It Be denim?

Can you hum a tune or sing the song, cotton fields back home?

Everyone knows the song: In the cotton fields back home. 

“When I was a little bitty baby my momma would rock me in the cradle. 

In them old cotton fields back home.”

 The last verse goes like this.

“It was down in Louisiana Just about a mile from Texarkana,    

In old cotton fields back home! 

 

When I was a little bitty baby.  In them old cotton fields back home.”

 

 

A cotton field back home

 

Lyric shorts:  The cotton fields back home.
1.  Who wrote the song Cotton Fields Back Home?

Lead Belly  |  Cotton Fields/Lyricists

 

2.  Who sang the Cotton Fields Back Home?

Creedence Clearwater Revival   |Cotton Fields/Artists

 

3.  Are there still cotton fields in the US?

Cotton is grown in 17 states stretching across the southern half of the United States:

Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi,

Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

4.  What are cotton fields?

According to Wikipedia, Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll or protective case,

around the seeds of the cotton plants.

It is of the genus Gossypium in the mallow family Malvaceae. 

The fiber is almost pure cellulose.   In a field of cotton, when it is ready to harvest,

big machines, such as a picker or stripper are used.

Wikipedia contributors. “Cotton.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 8 Feb. 2018. Web. 11 Apr. 2018.


One can say they have a field a corn or a field of potatoes, but a field of cotton is beautiful.

5.  How is cotton processed into fabric?

These mills start with raw bales of cotton and process them in stages

until they produce yarn (fibers twisted into threads used in weaving or knitting)

Or a cloth (fabric or material) constructed from weaving.

The Story of Cotton

Denim is a sturdy cotton.   To answer most people’s question, all denim blue jeans are made of 100% cotton.  A true set of blue jeans is blue on the outside and white thread is seen on the inside. 

We begin with the field that has the cotton plants.

It is a plant that is commercially grown for cotton products.

The seeds of the cotton produce oil and protein-rich flour.   The seeds of a cotton plant have many uses.                                                                                                                                                                                                    seeds from a cotton plant

Cottonseed oil is one of the products.   It is used oil production, planting, and animal feed.

There are different colors of the flower to tell the progress of the cotton.

The colors that help the cotton farmer to gauge when

the cotton will be ready for harvesting.

This Youtube video explains much better than I about cotton, its production, and uses of cotton.

 

 

The flowers:

  •   A white flower-First day a bloom opens.
  •   Pink flower-Once pollinated, the flower turns pink, becoming a beautiful fuschia.
  •   Save
  •   Crack boil– as the cotton flower matures, the boil slowly opens-cracks and separates.
  •   Open boil-now ready for harvesting.

I particularly liked this video since it shows so many of the colors of the blooms.  It also talks about a “boil”.

The textile, or the breathable cloth, comes from the fiber that grows in a boil, or a protective case

and is spun into thread or yarn.

 

Here is the cotton plant showing a boil that is cracked.

                                                                                   The boil-a cotton seed plant

 

branch of a cotton plant

 

A fluffy cotton from a cotton branch

Cotton: a major part of our daily lives.

We use a cotton cloth to wash our face and dry with a cotton towel. We slide in the cotton sheets at night

and in the morning, we put on some cotton clothes.

What are a weft and a warp?

Fibers from the cotton plant in weaving terms have the weft passes under two or more warp threads.

These terms or just one of them can refer to knitting and embroidery.

 

Wool, linen, silk, and alpaca.  The alpaca is a long-haired domesticated mammal related to the Llama.

The alpaca from South America is valued for its wool.

 

The term weft is used as a term for temporary hair extension which can be attached to cornrow braiding.

Basket weaving is a basic term for weft and warp.

warp and weft in weaving

 

Warp and weft are the basic elements of all textile   Cotton are used to make a particular weave. 

The basic elements are used in weaving to turn the thread into yarn and then into fabric.

Using the warp and the weft on a loom.

The warp yarns are stationary on a loom and the weft is inserted over and under the warp.  

A loom is a device to weave the cloth.  There are many types of looms that are too detailed and numerous to mention here.

If interested (I am always interested) a Search can be made or perhaps a Youtube video can be found.  There were many videos about the looms, and I hope someday to go and see one in progress.  I am talking about the larger looms.

They may be a different type of looms is the early times, but the basic purpose of any loom is to

hold the warp threads tightly to make it easier for the interweaving of the weft threads.

 

There are countries that use a basic look to make the certain material.  Here is one lady from a place where she is weaving from a loom.  This was an image I found that was free to use here.  I do not know what country she is from.

Woman weaving on a hand made loom

 What are some of the Cotton Products?

The cotton fiber can be woven or knitted into fabrics, such as corduroy, velvet, flannel. 

It is also useful for bookbinding, fishnets, and coffee filters.   The video above, “The story of Cotton talks about some cotton products.  We all know about sheets, but we can not get away from the fabric of life known as cotton; there are just too many uses.

Cotton is the leading cash product in America.  

 

 

What are some facts about the zipper?

This zipper has the initial YKK.  What does that stand for? 

It is the Japanese zipper that makes almost half of the zippers in the world.   

It was founded by Tadao Yoshida in 1934.   

The YKK stands for Yoshida Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha which translate as best as possible as Yoshida Company

Unlimited.

an initial YKK zipper

The modern metal zipper was invented in 1914.  They were used in galoshes and bags.   

The belt loops were first used in the early 1920’s along with the suspender buttons for years.

Zippers were used in men’s trousers after 1927.    A zipper or the zip fastener was formerly known as a clasp locker.

In the late 1930’s, women wore zippers with their dresses.

The most significant fact about zippers was that was originally made of metal.  Eventually, zippers were made of aluminum, nickel, and brass.  They were used for everyday wear, such as denim.

This short video is a reiteration of what was written here but did not cover the full history.  I liked her presentation.

Is indigo dye used today?

Synthetic Indigo dye is used these days to color the denim.   

The blue is considered to be the same used in blue jeans

Indigo dye has a distinctive blue color.  It is an organic compound extracted from the leaves of certain plants.

It is considered to be a natural dye.

 

Synthetic Indigo dye is used these days to color the denim.   The blue is considered to be the same used in blue jeans. 

A thousand ton of synthetic dye is used today. 

An organic dye has a blue color, but it is expensive.

Indigo dye Pigment powder in blue color 

 

This is a picture of Indio Dye Pigment Powder with the blue color.

Both the synthetic and the organic dye make the distinctive color of Levi jeans blue.

The original dye was manufactured in India and in ancient days has a long history there. 

Organic indigo was used until the discovery of synthetic indigo.   

It is cheaper to use than the organic indigo.  I believe there are many countries that still use the organic dye. 

LS&Co uses the synthetic dye.

The Denim Story

Denim is a material made of 100% cotton.  It is not blue jeans unless you also see the white with the predominant blue color.

Sheets are made of 100% cotton and are cool in the summer and warm in the winter.  They are great.  But they are not blue jeans!

 

Denim is made from uncolored yarn.  Denim is dried many times so that the color will not fade easily.

It is washed to prevent shrinkage.  So, when you get your Levi jeans, it will shrink only about 1%.

That is why it is sent true to size; that is if the measurements are correct.

If you want fairly tight jeans, measure yourself, and get one size smaller.

The fit will certainly squeeze you, but after two washing or so, the jeans will be a perfect fit. 

 

However, if you measure your jeans correctly and analyze your jeans, you can find your true size.

 

The warp threads of denim fabric are dyed in synthetic indigo   Weft threads remain plain white.

That is why you see blue on one side and white on the other.

 

Raw denim is not washed or dried.

It is a good idea to be careful where you place your jeans because some of the dye will seep through to other fabric.

It also takes a lot longer for raw denim to fade.

Raw denim is beautiful, but care must be taken to get the jean just right. 

 

There is quite a process and many people are turning again to Vintage jeans. This post is excellent for learning about raw denim.  The young man tells it all.

The story about Raw Jeans

Raw jeans are considered to be a serious commitment 

 

Sanforized jeans are simply jeans that have been washed many times in the factory.

There is no washing beforehand in the factory with raw denim.  I used to be confused with these two terms.

The word “denim” comes from the fabric, “Serge d′e Niˆmes”  that was actually corduroy called geˆnes made in Italy in the city Genoa of Neˆmes, where it originated in 1685-1689.

Question Extracts

What are the properties of jeans?

“We (from the article) studied the characteristics of fabric such as abrasion resistance; deformation;

breaking load and fabric tear resistance.

We successfully obtained denim fabrics with high rigidities,  better tear characteristics, moderately sufficient tensile

and elevated performance.”  From the article, “The comparative studies of the properties of denim fabrics—”

What are the different types if denim?

  1. Colored denim: Colored denim fabrics are woven, manufacturing with dyed yarn either warp or weft. …
  2. Bubblegum denim: …
  3. Denim from fox fiber: …
  4. Crushed denim: …
  5. Vintage denim: …
  6. Ecru denim: …
  7. Marble denim: …
  8. Reverse denim:

There is not enough space to write all the descriptions of the different types of denim.

The article is, “The Different Types Denim Fabric in Garment Manufacturing.”

Why are blue jeans?

Warp threads of denim fabric are dyed indigo while weft tread remains white.

“That is why blue is one side and white on the other.   When used for jeans, denim is turned blue on the outside and

because of the way it is made, it fades in a characteristic way.”

“History of Denim-Origins of Denim and Blue Jeans.”

The Looms and Name of Person who Invented them.

The invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney secured a patent on his cotton gin in 1793. 

Widespread use of cotton and the expanded use of slaves led indirectly to the Civil war.

The growing of cotton became highly profitable to the South.

While it was true that the cotton gin reduced the labor of removing seeds, it did not reduce the need for slaves to grow and pick the cotton. In fact, the opposite occurred. Cotton growing became so profitable for the planters that it greatly increased their demand for both land and slave labor.  Eli Whitney’s patent on the cotton gin|national archives
 Slaves-if you enlarge this picture, you can see the women slaves and how hard everyone works while “some men” look by standing and watching.                  Slaves in a plantation

 

Eli Whitney was born in 1765 and died in 1825.   He was born in Massachusetts and was graduated from Yale University.   He had 4 children. 

The cotton gin was one of the most important inventions of the industrial revolution.   It strengthened the agricultural and economy of the South. 

It provided a plantation society and the profitable use of the slave.   See his story of his invention, the cotton gin.  It was important since his gin was responsible for removing the seeds from cotton fiber.

Eli Whitney had a lot of legal battles and lost money due to the infringement of the gin.   He finally got his patent, but he was so bitter. 

He then secured contracts with the Government for the manufacture of muskets for the Army that was newly formed..

He never stopped inventing.  His son and grandson were famous in their lifetime too. 

James Hargreaves in 1720.  Another inventor.

                                                               James Hargreaves the young 20 year old man

He was born Lancashire. England and his family were very poor.  Hargreaves received no formal education.   

He worked as a weaver and a carpenter in Lancashire.

He could not read nor write as a result of having no education.   He must have had skill in measurements, however.

James was married at the age of 20 to a woman named Elizabeth and together they had 27 children.

James Hargreaves invented the Spinning Jenny in 1780.   

It was a device in which multiple threads of cotton could be woven together.  

This was done with a spindle and a wheel.   The invention was before the industrial revolution and because of the textile industry was poor at the time, the invention helped extremely well.

James's spinning Jenny

The machine reduced the amount of work needed to make cloth. 

The worker was able to use eight spools of thread.  Later, when technology advanced the spools of thread became 120.

 In 1696 AD. Irish weavers produced cloth less expensively than the English. In 1733 AD. John Kay, an Englishman, invented the flying shuttle loom. This invention was called “flying shuttle” because of its speed.

         Hargreaves Flying Shuttle

The invention of the Flying Shuttle in 1733 was an important step toward automatic weaving.

Before this invention, the shuttle was thrown, or passed, through the threads by hand, and wide fabrics required two weavers seated side by side passing the shuttle between them.

It was the invention of the Spinning Jenny by James Hargreaves that is credited with moving the textile industry from homes to factories.

 

The people who migrated to America in the 1600’s from Ireland, Scotland and England brought with them the basic styles of music that are generally considered to be the roots of bluegrass music as it is known today.

“Cotton Fields” is a song written by American blues musician Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly, who made the first recording of the song in 1940. It can be a blues or/and bluegrass music.   There are other groups who have sung the “Cotton Fields.”

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Judy’s Website is findmejeans.com     “A man looks in his closet and sees his line of beautiful shirts, but NO jeans.   He is upset and yells, find me jeans!!!

On that note, Let us listen to “Cotton Fields”

By by,
Judy K. Owner of the Website, findmejeans.com

 

 

 

 

 

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