Naturally Colored Organic Cotton and Naturally Colored Cotton Fiber Production

  • Gizem Karakan Günaydin
  • Ozan Avinc
  • Sema Palamutcu
  • Arzu Yavas
  • Ali Serkan SoydanEmail author
Part of the Textile Science and Clothing Technology book series (TSCT)


Processing of fibers into textile materials requires the usage of extensive water, energy, chemical and other related resources. Dyeing processes may cause environmental pollution due to its chemical dyestuff and dyeing process auxiliary usage. There are some new considerable efforts for reducing the ecological hazard and waste generated during textile processing or developing sustainable and green materials. One of these promising approaches is to promote the usage of naturally colored cotton fiber usage and its production. As the world is moving towards to the pollution-free organic textiles and products, the naturally colored cotton fiber is going to be the next buzz word in the textile market. Since, the production process of naturally colored cotton skips the most polluting activity (dyeing) of the textile product manufacturing. Indeed, naturally colored cotton fiber usage for textile materials can eliminate the need for dyeing process due to their inherent color characteristics leading to water, chemical and energy savings with no synthetic dye usage for coloration. Not only the cultivation and the usage of the naturally colored cotton fiber but also the cultivation and the usage of naturally colored organic cotton fiber have also recently been increased. For example, brown and green naturally colored cotton fibers can be grown organically or conventionally. Naturally colored cotton growers have less requirement for the pesticides, insecticides since these varieties have already insect and disease-resistant, salt-tolerant qualities as well as they exhibit property for drought. Organic agriculture is a production management system which increases biodiversity as well as soil biological activity. This production is based on the applications of maintaining and enhancing the ecological harmony. Naturally colored organic cotton fiber (NACOC) has been a conspicuous textile fiber as the social trend of eco-friendly living has increased. NACOC fibers are naturally pigmented fibers for some limited color shades such as green, brown, mocha and red and their relevant shades. The color variety depends on the gene of the fiber as well as the seasons and geographical locations due to climate and soil variations. NACOC has high resistance to insects and diseases. There have been some investigations for an improvement for the genetic properties of naturally colored cotton fibers in respect of better yield and better fiber qualities regarding strength, length and micronaire since natural colored cottons are desired to be more competitive against conventional white cottons. NACOC has a cost advantage with the elimination of dyeing process in fabric manufacturing. Additionally, instead of color fading problem which can be encountered in the case of dyed white cotton fibers, the color of the naturally colored cotton fiber becomes stronger after laundering. It has also been declared that clothes made from NACOC have been successful for preventing skin diseases as well as protecting skin from ultraviolet radiation. A significant number of research works have been carried out on white cottons, while naturally colored cottons were used to be left behind. Though, when environmental pollution has started to be one of the most urgent and important problem of the world, naturally colored cotton fibers are one of the more preferred options for more sustainable, renewable and ecological textile production. White cotton fiber is one of the most chemically intensive crops cultivated. Though grown on 3–5% of the world’s farmland, it is liable for the usage of 25% of the world’s pesticides. For these aforementioned reasons, organically grown naturally colored cotton fiber has attracted a massive attention over the last few years. In this chapter, an elaborative review of naturally colored organic cotton fibers, naturally colored cotton fiber types, their properties, their production and their recent developments from a broad perspective and with many different angles is given in detail.


Naturally colored cotton Organic cotton NACOC Brown cotton Green cotton Gossypium hirsutum 


  1. 1.
    Wakelyn P, Chaudry M (2007) Organic cotton. In: Gordon S, Hsieh YL (ed) Cotton: science and technology. Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge, England, pp 130–174Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Limitations on Organic Cotton Production (2003) International Cotton Advisory Committee, Washington. Available Accessed 2 Apr 2018
  3. 3.
    Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Organic Cotton (2014) Textile exchange. Germany. Available Accessed 2 Apr 2018
  4. 4.
    Unsal A Organic Cotton Production and Marketing in Turkey (2013) International cotton advisory committee. USA. Available Accessed 2 Apr 2018
  5. 5.
    Devrent N, Palamutçu S (2017) Organic cotton. Paper presented at the international conference on agriculture, Forest Food Sciences and Technologies, Cappadocia/Turkey, 15–17 May 2017Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Palamutcu S (2017) Sustainable textile technologies. In: Muthu S (eds) Textiles and clothing sustainability. Textile science and clothing technology. Springer, SingaporeGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Horstmann G (1995) Dyeing as a new environmental challenge. J Soc Dyers Col 111:182–184.
  8. 8.
    Nascimento ARB, Ramalho FDS et al (2011) Feeding and life history of Alabama argillacea (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on cotton cultivars producing colored fibers. Ann Entomol Soc Am 104(4):613–619Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Apodaca JK (1990) Naturally colored cotton: a new niche in the Texas natural fibers market. Working paper series, Bureau of Business Research, paper number 1990-2. Bureau of Business Research, Austin, TXGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fox S Naturally coloured cottons. Spinoff, pp 29–31Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Campbell JR, Harvey C (1994, 1995, 1998) BC cotton, Inc. Personal communication, 1–12–94, 2–16–95 and 6–98Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Elesini US, Čuden AP, Richards A (2002) Study of the green cotton fibers. Acta Chim Slov 49:815–833Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Percy R, Kohel R (1999) Qualitative genetics. In: Smith CW, Cothren JT (ed) Cotton: Origin, history, technology, and production. Wiley, New York, pp 319–360Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Dickerson DK, Lane EF, Rodriguez DF (1999) Naturally colored cotton: resistance to changes in color and durability when refurbished with selected laundry aids. California Agricultural Technology Institute, California State University, Fresno, 1–42Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Taris Cotton and Oil Seeds Agricultural Sales Cooperatives Union. Available Accessed 10 July 2017
  16. 16.
    Organic Cotton Market Report (2014) Organic cotton market report—the textile think tank. Available Accessed 1 Sep 2017
  17. 17.
    Carvalho L, Farias F, Lima M, Rodrigues J (2014) Inheritance of different fiber colors in cotton (Gossypium barbadense L). Crop Breed Appl Biotechnol 14(4):256–260.
  18. 18.
    Chaudry MR (1992) Natural colors of cotton. ICAC Recorder Wash 10(4):3–5 (Technical Information SectionGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Dickerson D, Lane E, Rodrigues D (1999) Naturally coloured cotton: resistance to changes in color and durability when refurbished with selected laundry aid. California State University, Agricultural Technology Institute, Fresno, USAGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Parmar MS, Sharma S (2002) Development of various colours and shades in naturally coloured cotton fabrics. Indian J Fibre Text Res 27:397–407Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Rediscovering the value of naturally colored cotton. Available Accessed 3 Sep 2017
  22. 22.
    Değirmenci Z, Kireççi A, Kaynak H (2010) Investigation of fastness properties of woven and knitted fabrics. Electron J Text Technol 4(2):30–42Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Cotton Research Institute (2017) Nazilli, Aydın, TurkeyGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Basaravadder AB, Maralappanavar MS (2014) Evaluation of eco-friendly naturally coloured Gossypium hirsutum L. cotton genotypes. Int J Plant Sci 9(2):414–419Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Cotton Association of India (2014) How colourful is the future of naturally coloured cotton. Cotton Statistics and News, Available Accessed 3 Sep 2017
  26. 26.
    Souza MCM (2000) Produção de algodão orgânico colorido: possibilidades e limitações. Informações Econômicas, Spain 30(6)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Republic of Turkey Ministry of Customs and Trade, Directorate General of Cooperatives (2016) Cotton report. Republic of Turkey Ministry of Customs and Trade, AnkaraGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ahuja SH, Dhayal LS, Monga D (2009) Performance of upland coloured cotton germplasm lines in line x tester crosses. Euphytica 169(3):303–312Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Xiao Y, Zhang ZS, Yin MH, Luo M, Li XB, Hou L, Pei Y (2007) Cotton flavonoid structural genes related to the pigmentation in brown fibers. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 358:73–78Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ma M, Hussain M, Memon H, Zhou W (2016) Structure of Pigment compositions and radical scavenging activity of naturally green-coloured cotton fiber. Cellulose 23(1):955–963Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Yatsu L, Espelie K, Kollatukudy P (1983) Ultrastructural and chemical evidence that the cell wall of green cotton fiber is suberized. Plant Physiol 73:521–524Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Zhang L, He J, Wang S (2008) Structure and thermal properties of natural colored cottons and bombax cotton. J Therm Anal Calorim 95(2):653–659Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ryser U, Meter H, Holloway P (1983) Identification and localization of suberin in the cell walls of green cotton fibers (Gossypium hirsutum L., var. green lint). Protoplasma 117(3):196–205Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Ioelovich M, Leykin A (2008) Structural investigations of various cotton fibers and cotton celluloses. Bioresour 3(1):170–177Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Li YJ, Zhang XY, Wang FX, Yang C-L, Liu F et al (2013) A comparative proteomic analysis provides insights into pigment biosynthesis in brown color fiber. J Proteomics 78(14):374–388Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Feng H, Tian X, Liu Y, Li Y, Zhang X et al (2013) Analysis of flavonoids and the flavonoid structural genes in brown fiber of upland cotton. PLoS One 8(3):e58820Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Hua S, Yuan S, Shamsi IH, Zhao X, Zhang X et al (2009) A comparison of three isolines of cotton differing in fiber color for yield, quality, and photosynthesis. Crop Sci 49(3):983–989Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Xiao Y-H, Zhang Z-S, Yin M-H, Luo M, Li X-B et al (2007) Cotton flavonoid structural genes related to the pigmentation in brown fibers. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 358(1):73–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Hua S, Wang X, Yuan S, Shao M, Zhao X et al (2007) Characterization of pigmentation and cellulose synthesis in colored cotton fibers. Crop Sci 47(4):1540–1546CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    He F, Pan Q-H, Shi Y, Duan C-Q (2008) Biosynthesis and genetic regulation of proanthocyanidins in plants. Molecules 13(10):2674–2703CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Winkel-Shirley B (2001) Flavonoid biosynthesis. A colorful model for genetics, biochemistry, cell biology, and biotechnology. Plant Physiol 126:485–493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Santos-Buelga C, Scalbert A (2000) Proanthocyanidins and tannin-like compounds—nature, occurrence, dietary intake and effects on nutrition and health. J Sci Food Agric 80(7):1094–1117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Yokozawa T, Cho EJ, Park CH, Kim JH (2012) Protective effect of proanthocyanidin against diabetic oxidative stress. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2012.
  44. 44.
    Xiao Y-H, Yan Q, Ding H, Luo M, Hou L, et al (2014) Transcriptome and biochemical analyses revealed a detailed proanthocyanidin biosynthesis pathway in brown cotton fiber. PLOS One 9(1)
  45. 45.
    Richards A, Rowe T, Elesini U (1999) Structure of naturally coloured cottons. J Text Inst 90(4):493–499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Gu H (2005) Research on the improvement of the moisture absorbency of naturally self-coloured cotton. J Text Inst 96(4):247–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Lewin M, Sello SB (1975) Technology and test methods of flameproofing of cellulosics. In: Lewin M, Atlas SM, Pearce EM (eds) Flame-retardant polymeric materials. Springer, Boston, MA, pp 19–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Lewin M (1984) Chemical processing of fibers and fabrics. Part B: functional finishes. In: Lewin M, Sello S Handbook of fiber science and technology. Marcel Dekker, New York, pp 1–41Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Miller B, Martin J, Meiser C (1973) The autoignition of polymers. J Appl Polym Sci 17(2):629–642CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Parmar MS, Chakraborty M (2001) Thermal and burning behavior of naturally colored cotton. Text Res J 71(12):1099–1102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Crews PC, Hustvedt G (2005) The ultraviolet protection factor of naturally-pigmented cotton. J Cotton Sci 9(1):47–55Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Ma M, Li R, Du Y, Tang Z, Zhou W (2013) Analysis of antibacterial properties of naturally colored cottons. Text Res J 83(5):462–470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    de Morais TE, Corrêa AC, Manzoli A, de Lima LF, de Oliveira CR, Mattoso LHC (2010) Cellulose nanofibers from white and naturally colored cotton fibers. Cellulose 17(3):595–606CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Chen C, Cluver K (2010) Biodegradation and mildew resistance of naturally colored cottons. Text Res J 80(20):2188–2194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Matusiak M, Kechagia U, Tsaliki E, Frydrych I (2007) Properties of the naturally coloured cotton and its application in the ecological textiles. Fourth World Cotton Research Conference, Lubbock, pp 10–14Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Rathinamoorthy R, Parthiban M (2017) Colored cotton: Novel eco-friendly textile material for the future. In: Martínez LMT et al (eds) Handbook of ecomaterials. pp 1–21Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Sanches RA, Takamune K, Guimarães B, Alonso R et al (2014) Wearbility Analysis of knited fabrics produced with colored organic cotton. Bamboo rayon, corn, recycled pet/cotton and recycled pet/polyester. Am Int J Contemp Res 4(4):28–37Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Chae Y, Lee M, Cho G (2011) Mechanical properties and tactile sensation of naturally colored organic cotton fabrics. Fibers Polym 12(8):1042–1047CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Church J, Cho G (2007) Determining the psychoacoustic parameters that affect subjective sensation of fabric sounds at given sound pressures. Text Res J 77(1):29–37Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Kang S, Epps H (2008) Effect of scouring on the colour of naturally-coloured cotton and mechanism of colour change. AATCC Rev 8(7):38–43Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Park J, Chang Y, Hong W, Lee M, Chae A, Cho G, You H (2012) Effect of colour, scouring method and age on the visual sensibility of naturally colored organic cotton (NACOC). Hum Factors and Ergon Manuf Servi Ind 24(3):1–10Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Williams BL, Horridge P (1996) Effects of selected laundering and drycleaning pretreatments on the colors of naturally colored cotton. Fam Consum Sci Res J 25(2):137–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Williams BLM (1994) Fox fibre naturally colored cotton, green and brown (coyote): resistance to changes in color when exposed to selected stains and fabric care chemicals. Ph.D. thesis. Available Accessed 3 Sep 2017
  64. 64.
    Han A, Chae Y, Lee M, Cho G (2011) Effect of color changes of naturally colored organic cotton fibers on human sensory perception. Fibers Polym 12(7):939CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gizem Karakan Günaydin
    • 1
  • Ozan Avinc
    • 2
  • Sema Palamutcu
    • 2
  • Arzu Yavas
    • 2
  • Ali Serkan Soydan
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Buldan Vocational SchoolPamukkale UniversityBuldan-DenizliTurkey
  2. 2.Textiles Engineering DepartmentPamukkale UniversityDenizliTurkey

Personalised recommendations