COTTON (botanical name Gossypium) is a strong, versatile fiber that comes in many forms. It is a 'seed hair' as it surrounds the seed in the cotton ball. When the cotton is ginned, the long 'staple' fibers are separated from the seeds, these fibers are Raw Cotton. Most of this fiber is used to make cloth. It is cooked and cleaned. Cotton scraps from the garment industry are an economical source for cotton rag, which we call Cotton Rag , as it is ready for beating. After ginning, the remaining seeds are covered with a fuzz of cotton fiber. When cut away from the seeds, this is the source for cotton linters.
COTTON LINTERS are the young cotton fibers closest to the seed. It can be made into any type of paper from thick, absorbent sheets to thin, rattley ones; it is the primary fiber used for machine made 'cotton content' paper. Cotton linters are relatively short with thick walls, when compared to cotton rag or linen, and is particularly suited to thick, opaque papers.
COTTON RAG This is 100% Staple Cotton that is called 'rag' because it is made from new garment cuttings. Staple cotton is a much longer fiber than linters and makes a stronger, harder sheet of paper that shrinks more in drying. It is well-suited for water color and book papers.