Today, the world uses more cotton than any other fibre. Cotton comes from cultivated plants from the genus Gossypium. They have been cultivated since ancient times for their fibres which are used as textiles. Cotton is a part of our daily lives from the time we dry our faces on a soft cotton towel in the morning until we slide between fresh cotton sheets at night.

It has hundreds of uses, from blue jeans to shoe strings. Clothing and household items are the largest uses, but industrial products account from many thousands of bales. Cotton has other, more surprising uses too from medicines and mattresses to seed oil.


The hallmark of all Indian festivities is the golden glitter of the sarees and similarly-adorned dresses worn on such occasions. All that glitters may not be gold and the ‘zari’ (metallic yarn), responsible for this lustrous appearance, may or may not contain any gold. Metalized yarns are either yarn made from thinly drawn metals (gold, silver, nitinol, stainless steel, nickel, etc.) flexible enough to be woven, or yarns that have been metalized through the bonding of a metal to the yarn. Typical examples of metalized yarns are silver or copper bonded to nylon. Metallic fibres of this type are now widely used in the textile industry, and are produced in a range of colours and forms by many manufacturers. They remain, however, essentially decorative materials and their applications are restricted to this type of use.