Most people know that clothes come from cotton. But what about other cotton products, like cottonseed oil or book bindings? Those are much less well-known. The life cycle of cotton is even less understood. But this display is here to change both of those things.
People have cultivated cotton for thousands of years, and the United States is the #3 producer of cotton in the world. So it’s an important crop to know about.
Cotton fibers are used in dozens of cloth products: shirts, towels, jeans, sheets, bandages, cotton balls (of course), and many more. But although people have to remove the seeds from the fibers in order to use them, that doesn’t mean the seeds are useless. They make a high-protein animal feed, and can be crushed to produce cottonseed oil. The cholesterol-free oil is good for cooking, and also for making cosmetic or plastic products.
Tracking the Life Cycle of Cotton
This display offers a visual approach to understanding cotton. It features a circular panel divided into four sections, each with a photo of one stage in the life cycle of cotton. The first photo shows a cotton seedling; the next shows a mature cotton plant. The third photo shows several round cotton bales sitting in a field of dry, harvest-ready cotton. And the last photo is a collage of cotton products, from towels and sweaters to coffee filters.
Visitors turn the wheel on the front of the display to spin the panel and watch cotton’s life cycle. We build the life cycle display out of sturdy birch plywood panels covered with a scuff-guard laminate. This makes it a reliable choice for museum exhibits that might stay up for decades.
Like this display, but wish it highlighted a different crop? No problem; we’ve adapted this concept for several other cash crops before. Check out our pre-existing options, and if your crop still isn’t there, we can easily make a new design for you.