Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt
Ralph Lauren polo shirts have been in production since the 1970s. I am writing about polo shirts because I own many of them in different colors so I am interested in how they are made. Polos are composed of 100% cotton. I like to wear these shirts mainly because they are comfortable and look good, but also because they are easy to maintain. Cotton is machine washable and can also be dried in a standard dryer, even though they may shrink if over-dried. Cotton is made up of fibrous cellulose, which is a carbohydrate, and the molecular makeup is a long chain of glucose molecules. Glucose molecules are made up of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen with reactive hydroxyl groups. There are as many as 10,000 glucose monomers per molecule. The molecular chains are arranged in long spiral linear chains within the fiber. The strength of a fiber is directly related to chain length. Hydrogen bonding occurs between cellulose chains in a cotton fiber. Hydrogen bonding occurs when hydroxyl groups within the chain are polar, meaning the electrons surrounding the atoms are not evenly distributed. As a consequence, hydrogen atoms of the hydroxyl group are attracted to many of the oxygen atoms of the cellulose. The bonding of hydrogen within the fibrils causes the molecules to draw closer together which increases the strength of the fiber. Cotton's comfort and absorbency is also due to hydrogen bonding. A picture of cotton's chemical structure is shown below. Cotton is a natural fiber and is grown in temperate climates. Cotton plants live for at least two years in good conditions which makes it a perennial crop. Geographically, Antarctica is the only continent where cotton is not grown. In the United States, cotton has been continually produced for hundreds of years, mainly in the southeastern region but also throughout the southern part of the country stretching all the way to California. Cotton is considered a stable investment since it has...
Cited: Understanding Textiles
Collier, Billie J., Bide, Martin, and Tortora, Phyllis G. Understanding Textiles. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. 2001. Print.
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