Textiles: cotton: stronger when wet?

Self-tutoring about textiles: the tutor visits an interesting quality of cotton.

Cotton is stronger wet than dry, by up to 20%. The reason is due to hydrogen bonds between the water and the cotton.

Hydrogen bonds aren’t structural, but instead are attractions: a hydrogen atom will become attracted to other non-metals similar to the one it’s already bonded to. Since both those non-metal atoms feel pull from the shared hydrogen, they become cohesive.

Such is the effect of water on cotton: the water molecules form hydrogen bonds that fortify covalent bonds already present in the cotton polymers.




Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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