The cotton fiber is predominantly cellulose and its chemical reactivity is the same as that of

the cellulose polymer, a b-(1!4)-linked glucan (Figure 6.1). The chemical structure shows that the 2-OH, 3-OH, and 6-OH sites are potentially available

for the same chemical reactions that occur with alcohols. If the glucan were water soluble, the

primary 6-OH, for steric reasons, would be the most available hydroxyl for the reaction.

However, as discussed earlier, the chains of cellulose molecules associate with each other by

forming intermolecular hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic bonds. These coalesce to form micro-

fibrils that are organized into macrofibrils. The macrofibrils are organized into fibers.