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Security Paper: Cotton's use in Manufacturing

What is Security Paper?

Security paper is essential in preventing the tampering and counterfeiting of sensitive documents and critical world currencies. The need for improved security paper is a continuous cycle due to the ongoing development of technology and accessibility, which increases fraud cases. Cotton has long been a crucial raw material feedstock in the creation of security paper, and despite increasing competition from synthetic-based materials, it is still highly regarded given its technical outputs and consistent supply.

This post explores cotton’s relevance in the production of security paper and details how cotton-based security paper plays a vital role in everyday life. 

Why is Cotton used in Security Paper?

The first key factor in cotton use in Security Paper production is the ability to endure a variety of environmental factors, and physical stress is one of the most important criteria for security paper, given its often daily handling and environmental changes. Cotton fibres offer paper integrity against frequent folding, handling, and ageing factors, due to their endurance of the cotton fibres. Since of its resilience, cotton-based security paper is a dependable option for long-term document protection since it guarantees that security features will hold up over time.

The second key factor for cotton use in manufacturing security paper is the built-in security characteristics. Cotton fibres have a certain structure and makeup that naturally resist tearing and chemical alterations. Because of this, it is more challenging for counterfeiters to alter or reproduce security papers made on cotton-based paper. Further strengthening its security capabilities, cotton-based security paper can contain cutting-edge anti-counterfeiting technology, including watermarks, UV-reactive fibres, and embedded security threads.

The security paper industry is witnessing a transition from traditional cotton-based paper to polymer fibre-based alternatives, with the Bank of England’s introduction of polymer banknotes in 2016 marking a significant milestone in this shift. This shift is driven by advancements in technology, evolving security requirements, and the need for enhanced durability and counterfeit resistance; however, there is still a place for using cotton feedstock, given its occurring properties and guarantee of supply with a robust and mature supply chain and predictable crop cycles.

Types of Cotton for Security Paper Production

Different cotton fibre varieties, each with unique properties, can be utilised by various producers to manufacture security paper, diversifying their supply chain, building sustainability and risk mitigation. The following are some typical cotton varieties used in the manufacture of security paper:

Long-Staple Cotton: Cotton with a long staple is prized for its length and tensile power. These fibres, which are normally 1 3/8 inches or longer, provide outstanding durability and tearing resistance. For applications that require greater strength and durability, long-staple cotton is frequently preferred.

Extra-Long-Staple Cotton: These cotton fibres, which often measure 1 7/16 inches or longer, are even longer than regular long-staple cotton fibres. These fibres are silky, fine, and incredibly strong. The suppleness of extra-long-staple cotton is highly praised and helps the tactile features of security paper, such as banknotes.

Pima Cotton: A form of cotton with long and fine fibres, Pima cotton is often referred to as ELS (Extra-Long Staple) cotton. It is well regarded for its strength, toughness, and softness, and is predominantly cultivated in the United States. Pima cotton is frequently used in the creation of security paper due to its excellent quality and resilience to the rigours of regular handling and use.

Cotton Comber Noil: This by-product of cotton yarn manufacturing, with the shorter fibres removed during the combing process. Comber lends strength and durability to the paper, suitable for various security paper applications.

Cotton at TP-Exports

At TP-Exports, we deliver a wide range of cotton grades ideal for security paper production. This includes various cuts of cotton comber, raw staple cotton, and cotton Pima, each contributing unique properties to the finished security paper.

Our industry-focused approach ensures every bale we deliver carriers the assurance of traceability and risk mitigation. With farm origin tracking and individual bale HVI testing, we bring resilience to your supply chain.

Explore our grade-specific information here to understand how each type can enhance your paper production process. For quotations or additional details, please click here to contact us. With TP-Exports, you’re choosing a supply partner dedicated to delivering de-risked and sustainable feedstock.