Cotton

Cotton

Overview


Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber
Fiber
Fiber is a class of materials that are continuous filaments or are in discrete elongated pieces, similar to lengths of thread.They are very important in the biology of both plants and animals, for holding tissues together....

 that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seed
Seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

s of cotton plants of the genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 Gossypium
Gossypium
Gossypium is the cotton genus. It belongs to the tribe Gossypieae, in the mallow family, Malvaceae, native to the tropical and subtropical regions from both the Old and New World. The genus Gossypium comprises around 50 species , making it the largest in species number in the tribe Gosssypioieae....

. The fiber is almost pure cellulose
Cellulose
Cellulose is an organic compound with the formula , a polysaccharide consisting of a linear chain of several hundred to over ten thousand β linked D-glucose units....

. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal.

The plant is a shrub
Shrub
A shrub or bush is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 5–6 m tall. A large number of plants may become either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience...

 native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including the Americas, Africa, and India. The greatest diversity of wild cotton species is found in Mexico, followed by Australia and Africa.
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Encyclopedia


Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber
Fiber
Fiber is a class of materials that are continuous filaments or are in discrete elongated pieces, similar to lengths of thread.They are very important in the biology of both plants and animals, for holding tissues together....

 that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seed
Seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

s of cotton plants of the genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 Gossypium
Gossypium
Gossypium is the cotton genus. It belongs to the tribe Gossypieae, in the mallow family, Malvaceae, native to the tropical and subtropical regions from both the Old and New World. The genus Gossypium comprises around 50 species , making it the largest in species number in the tribe Gosssypioieae....

. The fiber is almost pure cellulose
Cellulose
Cellulose is an organic compound with the formula , a polysaccharide consisting of a linear chain of several hundred to over ten thousand β linked D-glucose units....

. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal.

The plant is a shrub
Shrub
A shrub or bush is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 5–6 m tall. A large number of plants may become either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience...

 native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including the Americas, Africa, and India. The greatest diversity of wild cotton species is found in Mexico, followed by Australia and Africa. Cotton was independently domesticated in the Old and New Worlds. The English name derives from the Arabic (al) qutn قُطْن, which began to be used circa 1400 AD.

The fiber most often is spun into yarn
Yarn
Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery and ropemaking. Thread is a type of yarn intended for sewing by hand or machine. Modern manufactured sewing threads may be finished with wax or...

 or thread and used to make a soft, breathable textile
Textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

. The use of cotton for fabric is known to date to prehistoric times; fragments of cotton fabric dated from 5000 BC have been excavated in Mexico and Pakistan. Although cultivated since antiquity, it was the invention of the cotton gin
Cotton gin
A cotton gin is a machine that quickly and easily separates cotton fibers from their seeds, a job formerly performed painstakingly by hand...

 that so lowered the cost of production that led to its widespread use, and it is the most widely used natural fiber
Natural fiber
Fibers or fibres are a class of hair-like materials that are continuous filaments or are in discrete elongated pieces, similar to pieces of thread. They can be spun into filaments, thread, or rope. They can be used as a component of composite materials. They can also be matted into sheets to...

 cloth in clothing today.

Current estimates for world production are about 25 million tonnes annually, accounting for 2.5% of the world's arable land. China is the world's largest producer of cotton, but most of this is used domestically. The United States has been the largest exporter for many years.

Types of cotton


There are four commercially-grown species of cotton, all domesticated in antiquity:
  • Gossypium hirsutum
    Gossypium hirsutum
    Gossypium hirsutum, known as Upland Cotton or Mexican Cotton, is the most widely planted species of cotton in the United States, constituting some 95% of all cotton production and is native to Central America and possibly Mexico Worldwide, the figure is about 90% of all production for this...

    – upland cotton, native to Central America
    Central America
    Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

    , Mexico
    Mexico
    The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

    , the Caribbean and southern Florida, (90% of world production)
  • Gossypium barbadense
    Gossypium barbadense
    Gossypium barbadense, also known as extra long staple cotton as it generally has a staple of at least 1 3/8" or longer, is a species of cotton plant. Some types of ELS cotton are American Pima, Egyptian Giza, Indian Suvin, Chinese Xiniang, Sudanese Barakat, and Russian Tonkovoloknistyi...

    – known as extra-long staple cotton, native to tropical South America
    South America
    South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

     (8% of world production)
  • Gossypium arboreum
    Gossypium arboreum
    Gossypium arboreum, commonly called tree cotton, is a species of cotton native to India and Pakistan and other tropical and subtropical regions of the Old World. There is evidence of its cultivation as long ago as the Harappan civilization of the Indus Valley for the production of cotton textiles...

    – tree cotton, native to India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

     and Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

     (less than 2%)
  • Gossypium herbaceum
    Gossypium herbaceum
    Gossypium herbaceum, also called Levant cotton, is a species of cotton native to the semi-arid regions of sub-Saharan Africa and Arabia where it still grows in the wild as a perennial shrub...

    – Levant cotton, native to southern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula
    Arabian Peninsula
    The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

     (less than 2%)


The two New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

 cotton species account for the vast majority of modern cotton production, but the two Old World
Old World
The Old World consists of those parts of the world known to classical antiquity and the European Middle Ages. It is used in the context of, and contrast with, the "New World" ....

 species were widely used before the 1900s. While cotton fibers occur naturally in colors of white, brown, and green, fears of contaminating the genetics of white cotton has led many cotton-growing locations to ban growing of colored cotton varieties which remain a specialty product.

History




Cotton fabrics discovered in a cave near Tehuacán, Mexico
Tehuacán
Tehuacán is the second largest city in the Mexican state of Puebla, nestled in the Southeast Valley of Tehuacán, bordering the states of Oaxaca and Veracruz. The 2010 census reported a population of 248,716 in the city and 274,906 in its surrounding municipality of the same name, of which it serves...

 have been dated to around 5800 BC, although it is difficult to know for certain due to fiber decay. Other sources date the domestication of cotton in Mexico to approximately 5000 to 3000 BC.

Cotton was first cultivated in the Old World
Old World
The Old World consists of those parts of the world known to classical antiquity and the European Middle Ages. It is used in the context of, and contrast with, the "New World" ....

 7,000 years ago (5th millennium BC), by the inhabitants of western Pakistan, for example as the site of Mehrgarh
Mehrgarh
Mehrgarh , one of the most important Neolithic sites in archaeology, lies on the "Kachi plain" of Balochistan, Pakistan...

 where early cotton thread has been preserved in copper beads. Cotton cultivation became more widespread during the Indus Valley Civilization
Indus Valley Civilization
The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that was located in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, consisting of what is now mainly modern-day Pakistan and northwest India...

, which covered a huge swath of the northwestern part of the South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

, comprising today parts of eastern Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 and northwestern India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. The Indus cotton industry was well developed and some methods used in cotton spinning and fabrication continued to be used until the modern industrialization of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. Between 2000 and 1000 BC cotton became widespread in much of India. For example, it has been found at the site of Hallus in Karnataka
Karnataka
Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

 around 1000 BC. Well before the Common Era
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

, the use of cotton textiles had spread from India to the Mediterranean and beyond.

The Greeks and the Arabs were not familiar with cotton until the Wars of Alexander the Great, as his contemporary Megasthenes
Megasthenes
Megasthenes was a Greek ethnographer in the Hellenistic period, author of the work Indica.He was born in Asia Minor and became an ambassador of Seleucus I of Syria possibly to Chandragupta Maurya in Pataliputra, India. However the exact date of his embassy is uncertain...

 told Seleucus I Nicator
Seleucus I Nicator
Seleucus I was a Macedonian officer of Alexander the Great and one of the Diadochi. In the Wars of the Diadochi that took place after Alexander's death, Seleucus established the Seleucid dynasty and the Seleucid Empire...

 of "there being trees on which wool grows" in "Indica".

According to the Columbia Encyclopedia
Columbia Encyclopedia
The Columbia Encyclopedia is a one-volume encyclopedia produced by Columbia University Press and sold by the Gale Group. First published in 1935, and continuing its important relationship with Columbia University, the encyclopedia underwent major revisions in 1950 and 1963; the current edition is...

:
In Iran (Persia), the history of cotton dates back to the Achaemenid era (5th century BC); however, there are few sources about the planting of cotton in pre-Islamic Iran. The planting of cotton was common in Merv
Merv
Merv , formerly Achaemenid Satrapy of Margiana, and later Alexandria and Antiochia in Margiana , was a major oasis-city in Central Asia, on the historical Silk Road, located near today's Mary in Turkmenistan. Several cities have existed on this site, which is significant for the interchange of...

, Ray
Ray, Iran
Rey or Ray , also known as Rhages and formerly as Arsacia, is the capital of Rey County, Tehran Province, Iran, and is the oldest existing city in the province....

 and Pars of Iran. In the poems of Persian poets, especially Ferdowsi
Ferdowsi
Ferdowsi was a highly revered Persian poet. He was the author of the Shahnameh, the national epic of Iran and related societies.The Shahnameh was originally composed by Ferdowsi for the princes of the Samanid dynasty, who were responsible for a revival of Persian cultural traditions after the...

's Shahname, there are references to cotton ("panbe" in Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

). Marco Polo
Marco Polo
Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently...

 (13th century) refers to the major products of Persia, including cotton. John Chardin, a French traveler of 17th century, who had visited the Safavid Persia, has approved the vast cotton farms of Persia.

During the Han dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

, cotton was grown by non Chinese peoples in the southern Chinese province of Yunnan
Yunnan
Yunnan is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the far southwest of the country spanning approximately and with a population of 45.7 million . The capital of the province is Kunming. The province borders Burma, Laos, and Vietnam.Yunnan is situated in a mountainous area, with...

.

In Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, cultivation of the indigenous cotton species Gossypium barbadense
Gossypium barbadense
Gossypium barbadense, also known as extra long staple cotton as it generally has a staple of at least 1 3/8" or longer, is a species of cotton plant. Some types of ELS cotton are American Pima, Egyptian Giza, Indian Suvin, Chinese Xiniang, Sudanese Barakat, and Russian Tonkovoloknistyi...

was the backbone of the development of coastal cultures, such as the Norte Chico
Norte Chico civilization
The Norte Chico civilization was a complex pre-Columbian society that included as many as 30 major population centers in what is now the Norte Chico region of north-central coastal Peru...

, Moche
Moche
'The Moche civilization flourished in northern Peru from about 100 AD to 800 AD, during the Regional Development Epoch. While this issue is the subject of some debate, many scholars contend that the Moche were not politically organized as a monolithic empire or state...

 and Nazca
Nazca
Nazca is a system of valleys on the southern coast of Peru, and the name of the region's largest existing town in the Nazca Province. It is also the name applied to the Nazca culture that flourished in the area between 300 BC and AD 800...

. Cotton was grown upriver, made into nets and traded with fishing villages along the coast for large supplies of fish. The Spanish who came to Mexico and Peru in the early 16th century found the people growing cotton and wearing clothing made of it.

During the late medieval period, cotton became known as an imported fiber in northern Europe, without any knowledge of how it was derived, other than that it was a plant; noting its similarities to wool, people in the region could only imagine that cotton must be produced by plant-borne sheep. John Mandeville
John Mandeville
"Jehan de Mandeville", translated as "Sir John Mandeville", is the name claimed by the compiler of The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, a book account of his supposed travels, written in Anglo-Norman French, and first circulated between 1357 and 1371.By aid of translations into many other languages...

, writing in 1350, stated as fact the now-preposterous belief: "There grew there [India] a wonderful tree which bore tiny lambs on the endes of its branches. These branches were so pliable that they bent down to allow the lambs to feed when they are hungrie ." (See Vegetable Lamb of Tartary
Vegetable Lamb of Tartary
The Vegetable Lamb of Tartary is a legendary zoophyte of central Asia, believed to grow sheep as its fruit. The sheep were connected to the plant by an umbilical cord and grazed the land around the plant...

.) This aspect is retained in the name for cotton in many European languages, such as German Baumwolle, which translates as "tree wool" (Baum means "tree"; Wolle means "wool"). By the end of the 16th century, cotton was cultivated throughout the warmer regions in Asia and the Americas.


India's cotton-processing sector gradually declined during British expansion in India and the establishment of colonial rule
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This was largely due to aggressive colonialist mercantile policies of the British East India Company
British East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

, which made cotton processing and manufacturing workshops in India uncompetitive. Indian markets were increasingly forced to supply only raw cotton and were forced, by British-imposed law, to purchase manufactured textiles from Britain.

Industrial Revolution in Britain


The advent of the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 in Britain provided a great boost to cotton manufacture, as textiles emerged as Britain's leading export. In 1738, Lewis Paul
Lewis Paul
Lewis Paul was the original inventor of roller spinning, the basis of the water frame for spinning cotton in a cotton mill.-Life and work:Lewis Paul was of Huguenot descent. His father was physician to Lord Shaftesbury...

 and John Wyatt
John Wyatt (inventor)
John Wyatt , an English inventor, was born near Lichfield and was related to Sarah Ford, Doctor Johnson's mother. A carpenter by trade he began work in Birmingham on the development of a spinning machine...

, of Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, England, patented the roller spinning machine, and the flyer-and-bobbin system for drawing cotton to a more even thickness using two sets of rollers that traveled at different speeds. Later, the invention of the spinning jenny
Spinning jenny
The spinning jenny is a multi-spool spinning frame. It was invented c. 1764 by James Hargreaves in Stanhill, Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire in England. The device reduced the amount of work needed to produce yarn, with a worker able to work eight or more spools at once. This grew to 120 as technology...

 in 1764 and Richard Arkwright
Richard Arkwright
Sir Richard Arkwright , was an Englishman who, although the patents were eventually overturned, is often credited for inventing the spinning frame — later renamed the water frame following the transition to water power. He also patented a carding engine that could convert raw cotton into yarn...

's spinning frame
Spinning frame
The spinning frame is an Industrial Revolution invention for spinning thread or yarn from fibers such as wool or cotton in a mechanized way. It was developed in 18th century Britain by Richard Arkwright and John Kay.-Historical context:...

 (based on the roller spinning machine) in 1769 enabled British weavers to produce cotton yarn and cloth at much higher rates. From the late 18th century onwards, the British city of Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

 acquired the nickname "Cottonopolis
Cottonopolis
Cottonopolis denotes a metropolis of cotton and cotton mills. It was inspired by Manchester, in England, and its status as the international centre of the cotton and textile processing industries during the 19th century...

"
due to the cotton industry's omnipresence within the city, and Manchester's role as the heart of the global cotton trade. Production capacity in Britain and the United States was improved by the invention of the cotton gin
Cotton gin
A cotton gin is a machine that quickly and easily separates cotton fibers from their seeds, a job formerly performed painstakingly by hand...

 by the American Eli Whitney
Eli Whitney
Eli Whitney was an American inventor best known for inventing the cotton gin. This was one of the key inventions of the Industrial Revolution and shaped the economy of the Antebellum South...

 in 1793. Improving technology and increasing control of world markets allowed British traders to develop a commercial chain in which raw cotton fibers were (at first) purchased from colonial plantations, processed into cotton cloth in the mills of Lancashire
Lancashire
Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...

, and then exported on British ships to captive colonial markets in West Africa
British West Africa
British West Africa was the collective name for British colonies in West Africa during the colonial period, either in the general geographical sense or more specifically those comprised in a formal colonial administrative entity...

, India
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

, and China (via Shanghai and Hong Kong).

By the 1840s, India was no longer capable of supplying the vast quantities of cotton fibers needed by mechanized British factories, while shipping bulky, low-price cotton from India to Britain was time-consuming and expensive. This, coupled with the emergence of American cotton as a superior type (due to the longer, stronger fibers of the two domesticated native American species, Gossypium hirsutum
Gossypium hirsutum
Gossypium hirsutum, known as Upland Cotton or Mexican Cotton, is the most widely planted species of cotton in the United States, constituting some 95% of all cotton production and is native to Central America and possibly Mexico Worldwide, the figure is about 90% of all production for this...

and Gossypium barbadense
Gossypium barbadense
Gossypium barbadense, also known as extra long staple cotton as it generally has a staple of at least 1 3/8" or longer, is a species of cotton plant. Some types of ELS cotton are American Pima, Egyptian Giza, Indian Suvin, Chinese Xiniang, Sudanese Barakat, and Russian Tonkovoloknistyi...

), encouraged British traders to purchase cotton from plantations in the United States and the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

. By the mid-19th century, "King Cotton
King Cotton
King Cotton was a slogan used by southerners to support secession from the United States by arguing cotton exports would make an independent Confederacy economically prosperous, and—more important—would force Great Britain and France to support the Confederacy because their industrial economy...

" had become the backbone of the southern American economy. In the United States, cultivating and harvesting cotton became the leading occupation of slaves.

During the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, American cotton exports slumped due to a Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

 blockade
Blockade
A blockade is an effort to cut off food, supplies, war material or communications from a particular area by force, either in part or totally. A blockade should not be confused with an embargo or sanctions, which are legal barriers to trade, and is distinct from a siege in that a blockade is usually...

 on Southern
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 ports, also because of a strategic decision by the Confederate government to cut exports, hoping to force Britain to recognize the Confederacy or enter the war, prompting the main purchasers of cotton, Britain
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 and France to turn to Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

ian cotton. British and French traders invested heavily in cotton plantations and the Egyptian government of Viceroy Isma'il
Isma'il Pasha
Isma'il Pasha , known as Ismail the Magnificent , was the Khedive of Egypt and Sudan from 1863 to 1879, when he was removed at the behest of the United Kingdom...

 took out substantial loans from European bankers and stock exchanges. After the American Civil War ended in 1865, British and French traders abandoned Egyptian cotton and returned to cheap American exports, sending Egypt into a deficit spiral that led to the country declaring bankruptcy
Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a legal status of an insolvent person or an organisation, that is, one that cannot repay the debts owed to creditors. In most jurisdictions bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor....

 in 1876, a key factor behind Egypt's annexation by the British Empire in 1882.
During this time, cotton cultivation in the British Empire, especially India, greatly increased to replace the lost production of the American South. Through tariffs and other restrictions, the British government discouraged the production of cotton cloth in India; rather, the raw fiber was sent to England for processing. The Indian Mahatma Gandhi described the process:
  1. English people buy Indian cotton in the field, picked by Indian labor at seven cents a day, through an optional monopoly.
  2. This cotton is shipped on British ships, a three-week journey across the Indian Ocean, down the Red Sea, across the Mediterranean, through Gibraltar, across the Bay of Biscay and the Atlantic Ocean to London. One hundred per cent profit on this freight is regarded as small.
  3. The cotton is turned into cloth in Lancashire. You pay shilling wages instead of Indian pennies to your workers. The English worker not only has the advantage of better wages, but the steel companies of England get the profit of building the factories and machines. Wages; profits; all these are spent in England.
  4. The finished product is sent back to India at European shipping rates, once again on British ships. The captains, officers, sailors of these ships, whose wages must be paid, are English. The only Indians who profit are a few lascars who do the dirty work on the boats for a few cents a day.
  5. The cloth is finally sold back to the kings and landlords of India who got the money to buy this expensive cloth out of the poor peasants of India who worked at seven cents a day. (Fisher 1932 pp 154–156)


In the United States, Southern cotton provided capital for the continuing development of the North. The cotton produced by enslaved African Americans not only helped the South, but also enriched Northern merchants. Much of the Southern cotton was transshipped through the northern ports.

Cotton remained a key crop in the Southern economy after emancipation
Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation is an executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War using his war powers. It proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves, and immediately freed 50,000 of them, with nearly...

 and the end of the Civil War in 1865. Across the South, sharecropping
Sharecropping
Sharecropping is a system of agriculture in which a landowner allows a tenant to use the land in return for a share of the crop produced on the land . This should not be confused with a crop fixed rent contract, in which a landowner allows a tenant to use the land in return for a fixed amount of...

 evolved, in which free black farmers and landless white farmers worked on white-owned cotton plantations of the wealthy in return for a share of the profits. Cotton plantations required vast labor forces to hand-pick cotton, and it was not until the 1950s that reliable harvesting machinery was introduced into the South (prior to this, cotton-harvesting machinery had been too clumsy to pick cotton without shredding the fibers). During the early 20th century, employment in the cotton industry fell, as machines began to replace laborers, and the South's rural labor force dwindled during the First and Second World Wars. Today, cotton remains a major export of the southern United States, and a majority of the world's annual cotton crop is of the long-staple American variety.

Tangüis cotton



In 1901, Peru's cotton industry suffered because of a fungus
Fungus
A fungus is a member of a large group of eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and molds , as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified as a kingdom, Fungi, which is separate from plants, animals, and bacteria...

 plague caused by a plant disease known as "cotton wilt" (more correctly, "fusarium wilt") caused by the fungus
Fungus
A fungus is a member of a large group of eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and molds , as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified as a kingdom, Fungi, which is separate from plants, animals, and bacteria...

 Fusarium vasinfectum. The plant disease, which spread throughout Peru, entered plant's roots and worked its way up the stem until the plant was completely dried up. Fermín Tangüis
Fermín Tangüis
Fermín Tangüis , was a Puerto Rican businessman, agriculturist and scientist who developed the seed that would eventually produce the Tanguis cotton in Peru and save that nation's cotton industry.-Early years:...

, a Puerto Rican
Puerto Rican people
A Puerto Rican is a person who was born in Puerto Rico.Puerto Ricans born and raised in the continental United States are also sometimes referred to as Puerto Ricans, although they were not born in Puerto Rico...

 agriculturist who lived in Peru, studied some species of the plant that were affected by the disease to a lesser extent and experimented in germination
Germination
Germination is the process in which a plant or fungus emerges from a seed or spore, respectively, and begins growth. The most common example of germination is the sprouting of a seedling from a seed of an angiosperm or gymnosperm. However the growth of a sporeling from a spore, for example the...

 with the seeds of various cotton plants. In 1911, after 10 years of experimenting and failures, Tangüis was able to develop a seed which produced a superior cotton plant resistant to the disease. The seeds produced a plant that had a 40% longer (between 29 mm and 33 mm) and thicker fiber that did not break easily and required little water. The Tangüis cotton, as it became known, is the variety which is preferred by the Peruvian national textile industry. It constituted 75% of all the Peruvian cotton production, both for domestic use and apparel exports. The Tangüis cotton crop was estimated at 225,000 bales that year.

Cultivation




Successful cultivation of cotton requires a long frost
Frost
Frost is the solid deposition of water vapor from saturated air. It is formed when solid surfaces are cooled to below the dew point of the adjacent air as well as below the freezing point of water. Frost crystals' size differ depending on time and water vapour available. Frost is also usually...

-free period, plenty of sunshine, and a moderate rainfall, usually from 600 to 1200 mm (24 to 48 inches). Soil
Soil
Soil is a natural body consisting of layers of mineral constituents of variable thicknesses, which differ from the parent materials in their morphological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical characteristics...

s usually need to be fairly heavy, although the level of nutrient
Nutrient
A nutrient is a chemical that an organism needs to live and grow or a substance used in an organism's metabolism which must be taken in from its environment. They are used to build and repair tissues, regulate body processes and are converted to and used as energy...

s does not need to be exceptional. In general, these conditions are met within the seasonally dry tropics and subtropics in the Northern and Southern hemispheres, but a large proportion of the cotton grown today is cultivated in areas with less rainfall that obtain the water from irrigation. Production of the crop for a given year usually starts soon after harvesting the preceding autumn. Planting time in spring in the Northern hemisphere varies from the beginning of February to the beginning of June. The area of the United States known as the South Plains
South Plains
South Plains is a vernacular term that refers to a region in West Texas consisting of the portion of the Llano Estacado extending south of the Texas Panhandle, centered at Lubbock. While prominent in the area of petroleum production, the South Plains is mainly an agricultural region, producing a...

 is the largest contiguous cotton-growing region in the world. While dryland (non-irrigated) cotton is successfully grown in this region, consistent yields are only produced with heavy reliance on irrigation
Irrigation
Irrigation may be defined as the science of artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall...

 water drawn from the Ogallala Aquifer
Ogallala Aquifer
The Ogallala Aquifer, also known as the High Plains Aquifer, is a vast yet shallow underground water table aquifer located beneath the Great Plains in the United States...

.
Since cotton is somewhat salt and drought tolerant, this makes it an attractive crop for arid and semiarid regions. As water resources
Water resources
Water resources are sources of water that are useful or potentially useful. Uses of water include agricultural, industrial, household, recreational and environmental activities. Virtually all of these human uses require fresh water....

 get tighter around the world, economies that rely on it face difficulties and conflict, as well as potential environmental problems. For example, improper cropping and irrigation practices have led to desertification
Desertification
Desertification is the degradation of land in drylands. Caused by a variety of factors, such as climate change and human activities, desertification is one of the most significant global environmental problems.-Definitions:...

 in areas of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

, where cotton is a major export. In the days of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, the Aral Sea
Aral Sea
The Aral Sea was a lake that lay between Kazakhstan in the north and Karakalpakstan, an autonomous region of Uzbekistan, in the south...

 was tapped for agricultural irrigation, largely of cotton, and now salination is widespread.

Cotton can also be cultivated to have colors other than the yellowish off-white typical of modern commercial cotton fibers. Naturally colored cotton
Naturally colored cotton
Naturally colored cotton is cotton that has been bred to have colors other than the yellowish off-white typical of modern commercial cotton fibers. Colors grown include red, green and several shades of brown. The cotton's natural color does not fade...

 can come in red, green, and several shades of brown.

Genetic modification


Genetically modified (GM) cotton was developed to reduce the heavy reliance on pesticides. The bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bacillus thuringiensis is a Gram-positive, soil-dwelling bacterium, commonly used as a biological pesticide; alternatively, the Cry toxin may be extracted and used as a pesticide. B...

(Bt) naturally produces a chemical harmful only to a small fraction of insects, most notably the larvae of moths and butterflies
Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera is a large order of insects that includes moths and butterflies . It is one of the most widespread and widely recognizable insect orders in the world, encompassing moths and the three superfamilies of butterflies, skipper butterflies, and moth-butterflies...

, beetles, and flies
Diptera
Diptera , or true flies, is the order of insects possessing only a single pair of wings on the mesothorax; the metathorax bears a pair of drumstick like structures called the halteres, the remnants of the hind wings. It is a large order, containing an estimated 240,000 species, although under half...

, and harmless to other forms of life. The gene coding for Bt toxin has been inserted into cotton, causing cotton to produce this natural insecticide in its tissues. In many regions, the main pests in commercial cotton are lepidoptera
Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera is a large order of insects that includes moths and butterflies . It is one of the most widespread and widely recognizable insect orders in the world, encompassing moths and the three superfamilies of butterflies, skipper butterflies, and moth-butterflies...

n larvae, which are killed by the Bt protein in the transgenic cotton they eat. This eliminates the need to use large amounts of broad-spectrum insecticides to kill lepidopteran pests (some of which have developed pyrethroid
Pyrethroid
A pyrethroid is an organic compound similar to the natural pyrethrins produced by the flowers of pyrethrums . Pyrethroids now constitute a major commercial household insecticides...

 resistance). This spares natural insect predators in the farm ecology and further contributes to noninsecticide pest management.

Bt cotton is ineffective against many cotton pests, however, such as plant bugs, stink bugs, and aphid
Aphid
Aphids, also known as plant lice and in Britain and the Commonwealth as greenflies, blackflies or whiteflies, are small sap sucking insects, and members of the superfamily Aphidoidea. Aphids are among the most destructive insect pests on cultivated plants in temperate regions...

s; depending on circumstances it may still be desirable to use insecticides against these. A 2006 study done by Cornell researchers, the Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy and the Chinese Academy of Science on Bt cotton farming in China found that after seven years these secondary pests that were normally controlled by pesticide had increased, necessitating the use of pesticides at similar levels to non-Bt cotton and causing less profit for farmers because of the extra expense of GM seeds. However a more recent 2009 study by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Stanford University and Rutgers University refutes this. They concluded that the GM cotton effectively controlled bollworm. The secondary pests were mostly miridae (plant bugs) whose increase was related to local temperature and rainfall and only continued to increase in half the villages studied. Moreover, the increase in insecticide use for the control of these secondary insects was far smaller than the reduction in total insecticide use due to Bt cotton adoption. The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications
International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications
The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications is a non-profit, industry and government funded international organization that promotes the use of agricultural biotechnology, with a special focus on resource-poor farmers in developing countries...

 (ISAAA) said that, worldwide, GM cotton was planted on an area of 16 million hectares in 2009. This was 49% of the worldwide total area planted in cotton. The U.S. cotton crop was 93% GM in 2010 and the Chinese cotton crop was 68% GM in 2009.

The initial introduction of GM cotton proved to be a success in Australia – the yields were equivalent to the no transgenic varieties and the crop used much less pesticide to produce (85% reduction). The subsequent introduction of a second variety of GM cotton led to increases in GM cotton production until 95% of the Australian cotton crop was GM in 2009.

Cotton has mainly been genetically modified for resistance to glyphosate (marketed as Roundup in North America) a broad-spectrum herbicide sold by Monsanto, the same company that sells some of the Bt cotton seeds to farmers. There are now a number of different cotton seed companies selling GE cotton around the world. Farmers buy new seed every year under a licensing agreement between the farmer and the company that has created the GE cotton.

GM cotton acreage in India continues to grow at a rapid rate, increasing from 50,000 hectares in 2002 to 8.4 million hectares in 2009. The total cotton area in India was 9.6 million hectares (the largest in the world or, about 35% of world cotton area), so GM cotton was grown on 87% of the cotton area in 2009. This makes India the country with the largest area of GM cotton in the world, surpassing China (3.7 million hectares in 2009).

Cotton has gossypol
Gossypol
Gossypol is a natural phenol derived from the cotton plant . Gossypol is a phenolic aldehyde that permeates cells and acts as an inhibitor for several dehydrogenase enzymes. It is a yellow pigment....

, a toxin that makes it inedible. However, scientists have silenced the gene that produces the toxin, making it a potential food crop.

Organic production


Organic cotton
Organic cotton
Organic cotton is generally understood as cotton and is grown in subtropical countries such as America and India, from non genetically modified plants, that is to be grown without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides. Its production also promotes and...

 is generally understood as cotton, from plants not genetically modified, that is certified to be grown without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals, such as fertilizers or pesticides. Its production also promotes and enhances biodiversity and biological cycles. United States cotton plantations are required to enforce the National Organic Program (NOP). This institution determines the allowed practices for pest control, growing, fertilizing, and handling of organic crops. As of 2007, 265,517 bales of organic cotton were produced in 24 countries, and worldwide production was growing at a rate of more than 50% per year.

Pests and weeds




The cotton industry relies heavily on chemicals, such as herbicide
Herbicide
Herbicides, also commonly known as weedkillers, are pesticides used to kill unwanted plants. Selective herbicides kill specific targets while leaving the desired crop relatively unharmed. Some of these act by interfering with the growth of the weed and are often synthetic "imitations" of plant...

s, fertilizers and insecticides, although a very small number of farmers are moving toward an organic
Organic farming
Organic farming is the form of agriculture that relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and control pests on a farm...

 model of production, and organic cotton products are now available for purchase at limited locations. These are popular for baby clothes and diapers. Under most definitions, organic products do not use genetic engineering
Genetic engineering
Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification, is the direct human manipulation of an organism's genome using modern DNA technology. It involves the introduction of foreign DNA or synthetic genes into the organism of interest...

.

Historically, in North America, one of the most economically destructive pests in cotton production has been the boll weevil
Boll weevil
The boll weevil is a beetle measuring an average length of six millimeters, which feeds on cotton buds and flowers. Thought to be native to Central America, it migrated into the United States from Mexico in the late 19th century and had infested all U.S. cotton-growing areas by the 1920s,...

. Due to the US Department of Agriculture's highly successful Boll Weevil Eradication Program
Boll Weevil Eradication Program
The Boll Weevil Eradication Program is a program sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture that has sought to eradicate the boll weevil in the cotton-growing areas of the United States. It is one of the world's most successful implementations of integrated pest management...

 (BWEP), this pest has been eliminated from cotton in most of the United States. This program, along with the introduction of genetically engineered Bt
Bacillus thuringiensis
Bacillus thuringiensis is a Gram-positive, soil-dwelling bacterium, commonly used as a biological pesticide; alternatively, the Cry toxin may be extracted and used as a pesticide. B...

 cotton (which contains a bacteria
Bacteria
Bacteria are a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a wide range of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals...

l gene that codes for a plant-produced protein
Protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

 that is toxic to a number of pests such as cotton bollworm and pink bollworm
Pink bollworm
The pink bollworm , , is an insect known for being a pest in cotton farming. The adult is a small, thin, gray moth with fringed wings. The larva is a dull white, eight-legged caterpillar with conspicuous pink banding along its dorsum...

), has allowed a reduction in the use of synthetic insecticides.

Other significant global pests of cotton include the pink bollworm, Pectinophora gossypiella; the chili thrips, Scirtothrips dorsalis
Scirtothrips dorsalis
The chilli thripsThis is the more common international spelling of "chilli" outside of the United States. This spelling has been preserved in the common name for the insect by entomologists in the United States in deference to the body of literature already published for this species by...

; the cotton seed bug, Oxycarenus hyalinipennis; the tarnish plant bug, Lygus lineolaris; and the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda.

Harvesting


Most cotton in the United States, Europe, and Australia is harvested mechanically, either by a cotton picker
Cotton picker
The mechanical cotton picker is a machine that automates cotton harvesting in a way that reduces harvest time and maximizes efficiency.-History:...

, a machine that removes the cotton from the boll without damaging the cotton plant, or by a cotton stripper, which strips the entire boll off the plant. Cotton strippers are used in regions where it is too windy to grow picker varieties of cotton, and usually after application of a chemical defoliant
Defoliant
A defoliant is any chemical sprayed or dusted on plants to cause its leaves to fall off. A classic example of a highly toxic defoliant is Agent Orange, which the United States armed forces used abundantly to defoliate regions of Vietnam during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1970.Defoliants differ...

 or the natural defoliation that occurs after a freeze. Cotton is a perennial crop in the tropics, and without defoliation or freezing, the plant will continue to grow.

Cotton continues to be picked by hand in developing countries
Developing country
A developing country, also known as a less-developed country, is a nation with a low level of material well-being. Since no single definition of the term developing country is recognized internationally, the levels of development may vary widely within so-called developing countries...

.

Competition from synthetic fibers


The era of manufactured fibers began with the development of rayon
Rayon
Rayon is a manufactured regenerated cellulose fiber. Because it is produced from naturally occurring polymers, it is neither a truly synthetic fiber nor a natural fiber; it is a semi-synthetic or artificial fiber. Rayon is known by the names viscose rayon and art silk in the textile industry...

 in France in the 1890s. Rayon is derived from a natural cellulose and cannot be considered synthetic, but requires extensive processing in a manufacturing process, and led the less expensive replacement of more naturally derived materials. A succession of new synthetic fibers were introduced by the chemicals industry in the following decades. Acetate
Cellulose acetate
Cellulose acetate , first prepared in 1865, is the acetate ester of cellulose. Cellulose acetate is used as a film base in photography, as a component in some adhesives, and as a frame material for eyeglasses; it is also used as a synthetic fiber and in the manufacture of cigarette filters and...

 in fiber form was developed in 1924. Nylon
Nylon
Nylon is a generic designation for a family of synthetic polymers known generically as polyamides, first produced on February 28, 1935, by Wallace Carothers at DuPont's research facility at the DuPont Experimental Station...

, the first fiber synthesized entirely from petrochemicals, was introduced as a sewing thread by DuPont in 1936, followed by DuPont's acrylic
Acrylic fiber
Acrylic fibers are synthetic fibers made from a polymer with an average molecular weight of ~100,000, about 1900 monomer units. To be called acrylic in the U.S, the polymer must contain at least 85% acrylonitrile monomer. Typical comonomers are vinyl acetate or methyl acrylate...

 in 1944. Some garments were created from fabrics based on these fibers, such as women's hosiery
Hosiery
Hosiery, also referred to as legwear, describes garments worn directly on the feet and legs. The term originated as the collective term for products of which a maker or seller is termed a hosier; and those products are also known generically as hose...

 from nylon, but it was not until the introduction of polyester
Polyester
Polyester is a category of polymers which contain the ester functional group in their main chain. Although there are many polyesters, the term "polyester" as a specific material most commonly refers to polyethylene terephthalate...

 into the fiber marketplace in the early 1950s that the market for cotton came under threat. The rapid uptake of polyester garments in the 1960s caused economic hardship in cotton-exporting economies, especially in Central American countries, such as Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

, where cotton production had boomed tenfold between 1950 and 1965 with the advent of cheap chemical pesticides. Cotton production recovered in the 1970s, but crashed to pre-1960 levels in the early 1990s.

Beginning as a self-help program in the mid-1960s, the Cotton Research and Promotion Program (CRPP) was organized by U.S. cotton producers in response to cotton's steady decline in market share. At that time, producers voted to set up a per-bale assessment system to fund the program, with built-in safeguards to protect their investments. With the passage of the Cotton Research and Promotion Act of 1966, the program joined forces and began battling synthetic competitors and re-establishing markets for cotton. Today, the success of this program has made cotton the best-selling fiber in the U.S. and one of the best-selling fibers in the world.

Administered by the Cotton Board
Cotton Board
The Cotton Board is the oversight and administrative arm of the Cotton Research and Promotion Program. The Cotton Board is based in Memphis, Tennessee and represents American Upland cotton. It is the commodity checkoff organization for the American cotton industry...

 and conducted by Cotton Incorporated, the CRPP works to greatly increase the demand for and profitability of cotton through various research and promotion activities. It is funded by U.S. cotton producers and importers.

Uses



Cotton is used to make a number of textile products. These include terrycloth
Terrycloth
There are two types of terry fabrics# Towell Terry is a [woven] fabric with long loops that can absorb large amounts of water. Its content is usually 100% cotton, but may sometimes contain polyester....

 for highly absorbent bath towels and robes
Robes
Robes is an electronic indie new wave synth band from Carrboro, North Carolina. Members include Patrick Cudahy and Chris Williams. They've been in various bands over the last decade or so with lots of funny names: Joby's Opinon, Jacuzzi Brothers, Smooth Hedges, The Soft Drink. Sound reference...

; denim
Denim
Denim is a rugged cotton twill textile, in which the weft passes under two or more warp threads. This produces the familiar diagonal ribbing identifiable on the reverse of the fabric, which distinguishes denim from cotton duck. Denim has been in American usage since the late 18th century...

 for blue jeans
Blue Jeans
"Blue Jeans" is a sentimental popular song written by Harry D. Kerr and Lou Traveller in 1920. In the song, the singer is reminiscing about a long-ago young love that happened somewhere in the "hills of the old Cumberland." The chorus echoes the singer's longing:* The Parlor Songs Collection.* by...

; chambray
Cambric
Cambric, pronounced , "one of the finest and most dense species of the cloth manufacture", is a lightweight plain weave cloth, originally from Cambrai, woven in greige, then bleached and piece-dyed, often glazed or calendered. Initially made from flax, then cotton in the 19th century, it is also...

, popularly used in the manufacture of blue work shirts (from which we get the term "blue-collar"); and corduroy
Corduroy
Corduroy is a textile composed of twisted fibers that, when woven, lie parallel to one another to form the cloth's distinct pattern, a "cord." Modern corduroy is most commonly composed of tufted cords, sometimes exhibiting a channel between the tufts...

, seersucker
Seersucker
Seersucker is a thin, puckered, all-cotton fabric, commonly striped or checkered, used to make clothing for spring and summer wear. The word came into English from Hindustani , which originates from the Persian words "shir o shekar", meaning "milk and sugar", probably from the resemblance of its...

, and cotton twill
Twill
Twill is a type of textile weave with a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs . This is done by passing the weft thread over one or more warp threads and then under two or more warp threads and so on, with a "step" or offset between rows to create the characteristic diagonal pattern. Because of this...

. Socks
SOCKS
SOCKS is an Internet protocol that routes network packets between a client and server through a proxy server. SOCKS5 additionally provides authentication so only authorized users may access a server...

, underwear, and most T-shirt
T-shirt
A T-shirt is a style of shirt. A T-shirt is buttonless and collarless, with short sleeves and frequently a round neck line....

s are made from cotton. Bed sheets often are made from cotton. Cotton also is used to make yarn used in crochet
Crochet
Crochet is a process of creating fabric from yarn, thread, or other material strands using a crochet hook. The word is derived from the French word "crochet", meaning hook. Hooks can be made of materials such as metals, woods or plastic and are commercially manufactured as well as produced by...

 and knitting
Knitting
Knitting is a method by which thread or yarn may be turned into cloth or other fine crafts. Knitted fabric consists of consecutive rows of loops, called stitches. As each row progresses, a new loop is pulled through an existing loop. The active stitches are held on a needle until another loop can...

. Fabric also can be made from recycled or recovered cotton that otherwise would be thrown away during the spinning, weaving, or cutting process. While many fabrics are made completely of cotton, some materials blend cotton with other fibers, including rayon
Rayon
Rayon is a manufactured regenerated cellulose fiber. Because it is produced from naturally occurring polymers, it is neither a truly synthetic fiber nor a natural fiber; it is a semi-synthetic or artificial fiber. Rayon is known by the names viscose rayon and art silk in the textile industry...

 and synthetic fiber
Synthetic fiber
Synthetic fibers are the result of extensive research by scientists to improve on naturally occurring animal and plant fibers. In general, synthetic fibers are created by forcing, usually through extrusion, fiber forming materials through holes into the air, forming a thread...

s such as polyester
Polyester
Polyester is a category of polymers which contain the ester functional group in their main chain. Although there are many polyesters, the term "polyester" as a specific material most commonly refers to polyethylene terephthalate...

. It can either be used in knitted or woven fabrics, as it can be blended with elastine to make a stretchier thread for knitted fabrics, and apparel such as stretch jeans.

In addition to the textile industry
Textile industry
The textile industry is primarily concerned with the production of yarn, and cloth and the subsequent design or manufacture of clothing and their distribution. The raw material may be natural, or synthetic using products of the chemical industry....

, cotton is used in fishing net
Fishing net
A fishing net or fishnet is a net that is used for fishing. Fishing nets are meshes usually formed by knotting a relatively thin thread. Modern nets are usually made of artificial polyamides like nylon, although nets of organic polyamides such as wool or silk thread were common until recently and...

s, coffee filter
Coffee filter
A coffee filter is a coffee-brewing utensil, usually made of disposable paper. A stainless steel filter is used to prepare Indian filter coffee, the form of coffee common in India....

s, tent
Tent
A tent is a shelter consisting of sheets of fabric or other material draped over or attached to a frame of poles or attached to a supporting rope. While smaller tents may be free-standing or attached to the ground, large tents are usually anchored using guy ropes tied to stakes or tent pegs...

s, gunpowder
Gunpowder
Gunpowder, also known since in the late 19th century as black powder, was the first chemical explosive and the only one known until the mid 1800s. It is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate - with the sulfur and charcoal acting as fuels, while the saltpeter works as an oxidizer...

 (see nitrocellulose
Nitrocellulose
Nitrocellulose is a highly flammable compound formed by nitrating cellulose through exposure to nitric acid or another powerful nitrating agent. When used as a propellant or low-order explosive, it is also known as guncotton...

), cotton paper
Cotton paper
Cotton paper is made from cotton linters or cotton from used cloths were the primary material source, hence the name rag paper. Cotton paper is superior in both strength and durability to wood pulp-based paper, which may contain high concentrations of acids.-Properties:Certain cotton fibre paper...

, and in bookbinding
Bookbinding
Bookbinding is the process of physically assembling a book from a number of folded or unfolded sheets of paper or other material. It usually involves attaching covers to the resulting text-block.-Origins of the book:...

. The first Chinese paper
Papermaking
Papermaking is the process of making paper, a substance which is used universally today for writing and packaging.In papermaking a dilute suspension of fibres in water is drained through a screen, so that a mat of randomly interwoven fibres is laid down. Water is removed from this mat of fibres by...

 was made of cotton fiber. Fire hose
Fire hose
A fire hose is a high-pressure hose used to carry water or other fire retardant to a fire to extinguish it. Outdoors, it is attached either to a fire engine or a fire hydrant. Indoors, it can be permanently attached to a building's standpipe or plumbing system...

s were once made of cotton.

The cottonseed which remains after the cotton is ginned is used to produce cottonseed oil
Cottonseed oil
Cottonseed oil is a cooking oil extracted from the seeds of cotton plant of various species, mainly Gossypium hirsutum and Gossypium herbaceum...

, which, after refining, can be consumed by humans like any other vegetable oil. The cottonseed meal
Cottonseed meal
Cottonseed meal is the byproduct remaining after cotton is ginned and the seeds crushed and the oil extracted. The remaining meal is usually used for animal feed and in organic fertilizers. However, the meal can be fed only to adult ruminants because it contains a compound called gossypol...

 that is left generally is fed to ruminant
Ruminant
A ruminant is a mammal of the order Artiodactyla that digests plant-based food by initially softening it within the animal's first compartment of the stomach, principally through bacterial actions, then regurgitating the semi-digested mass, now known as cud, and chewing it again...

 livestock; the gossypol
Gossypol
Gossypol is a natural phenol derived from the cotton plant . Gossypol is a phenolic aldehyde that permeates cells and acts as an inhibitor for several dehydrogenase enzymes. It is a yellow pigment....

 remaining in the meal is toxic to monogastric
Monogastric
A monogastric organism has a simple single-chambered stomach, whereas ruminants have a four-chambered complex stomach. Examples of monogastric animals include omnivores such as humans, rats and pigs, carnivores such as dogs and cats, and herbivores such as Horses and rabbits. Herbivores with...

 animals. Cottonseed hulls can be added to dairy cattle rations for roughage. During the American slavery period, cotton root bark was used in folk remedies as an abortifacient
Abortifacient
An abortifacient is a substance that induces abortion. Abortifacients for animals that have mated undesirably are known as mismating shots....

, that is, to induce a miscarriage.

Cotton linters are fine, silky fibers which adhere to the seeds of the cotton plant after ginning. These curly fibers typically are less than 1/8 in (3 mm) long. The term also may apply to the longer textile fiber staple lint as well as the shorter fuzzy fibers from some upland species. Linters are traditionally used in the manufacture of paper and as a raw material in the manufacture of cellulose
Cellulose
Cellulose is an organic compound with the formula , a polysaccharide consisting of a linear chain of several hundred to over ten thousand β linked D-glucose units....

. In the UK, linters are referred to as "cotton wool". This can also be a refined product (absorbent cotton in U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 usage) which has medical, cosmetic
Cosmetics
Cosmetics are substances used to enhance the appearance or odor of the human body. Cosmetics include skin-care creams, lotions, powders, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail and toe nail polish, eye and facial makeup, towelettes, permanent waves, colored contact lenses, hair colors, hair sprays and...

 and many other practical uses. The first medical use of cotton wool was by Dr. Joseph Sampson Gamgee
Sampson Gamgee
Dr Joseph Sampson Gamgee, MRCS, FRSE was a surgeon at the Queen's Hospital in Birmingham, England. He pioneered aseptic surgery , and, in 1880 invented Gamgee Tissue, an absorbent cotton wool and gauze surgical dressing...

 at the Queen's Hospital (later the General Hospital) in Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, England.

Shiny cotton is a processed version of the fiber that can be made into cloth resembling satin
Satin
Satin is a weave that typically has a glossy surface and a dull back. It is a warp-dominated weaving technique that forms a minimum number of interlacings in a fabric. If a fabric is formed with a satin weave using filament fibres such as silk, nylon, or polyester, the corresponding fabric is...

 for shirts and suits. However, it is hydrophobic (does not absorb water easily), which makes it unfit for use in bath and dish towels (although examples of these made from shiny cotton are seen).

The name Egyptian cotton is broadly associated with quality products, however only a small percentage of Egyptian cotton production is actually of superior quality. Most products bearing the name are not made with the finest cottons from Egypt.

International trade




The largest producers of cotton, currently (2009), are China and India, with annual production of about 34 million bales and 24 million bales, respectively; most of this production is consumed by their respective textile industries. The largest exporters of raw cotton are the United States, with sales of $4.9 billion, and Africa, with sales of $2.1 billion. The total international trade is estimated to be $12 billion. Africa's share of the cotton trade has doubled since 1980. Neither area has a significant domestic textile industry, textile manufacturing having moved to developing nations in Eastern and South Asia such as India and China. In Africa, cotton is grown by numerous small holders. Dunavant Enterprises, based in Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

, is the leading cotton broker in Africa, with hundreds of purchasing agents. It operates cotton gin
Cotton gin
A cotton gin is a machine that quickly and easily separates cotton fibers from their seeds, a job formerly performed painstakingly by hand...

s in Uganda, Mozambique, and Zambia. In Zambia, it often offers loans for seed and expenses to the 180,000 small farmers who grow cotton for it, as well as advice on farming methods. Cargill
Cargill
Cargill, Incorporated is a privately held, multinational corporation based in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Founded in 1865, it is now the largest privately held corporation in the United States in terms of revenue. If it were a public company, it would rank, as of 2011, number 13 on the Fortune 500,...

 also purchases cotton in Africa for export.

The 25,000 cotton growers in the United States of America are heavily subsidized
Subsidy
A subsidy is an assistance paid to a business or economic sector. Most subsidies are made by the government to producers or distributors in an industry to prevent the decline of that industry or an increase in the prices of its products or simply to encourage it to hire more labor A subsidy (also...

 at the rate of $2 billion per year. The future of these subsidies is uncertain and has led to anticipatory expansion of cotton brokers' operations in Africa. Dunavant expanded in Africa by buying out local operations. This is only possible in former British colonies and Mozambique; former French colonies continue to maintain tight monopolies, inherited from their former colonialist masters, on cotton purchases at low fixed prices.

Leading producer countries

Top ten cotton producers—2011
(480-pound bales)
33.0 million bales
27.0 million bales
18.0 million bales
10.3 million bales
9.3 million bales
4.6 million bales
4.2 million bales
2.8 million bales
1.6 million bales
1.4 million bales
Source:

The five leading export
Export
The term export is derived from the conceptual meaning as to ship the goods and services out of the port of a country. The seller of such goods and services is referred to as an "exporter" who is based in the country of export whereas the overseas based buyer is referred to as an "importer"...

ers of cotton in 2011 are (1) the United States, (2) India, (3) Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, (4) Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, and (5) Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

. The largest nonproducing import
Import
The term import is derived from the conceptual meaning as to bring in the goods and services into the port of a country. The buyer of such goods and services is referred to an "importer" who is based in the country of import whereas the overseas based seller is referred to as an "exporter". Thus...

ers are Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

, Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

.

In India, the states of Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

 (26.63%), Gujarat (17.96%) and Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

 (13.75%) and also Madhya Pradesh are the leading cotton producing states, these states have a predominantly tropical wet and dry climate.

In Pakistan, cotton is grown predominantly in the provinces of Punjab and Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

. The leading city in cotton production is the Punjabi city of Faisalabad
Faisalabad
Faisalabad , formerly known as Lyallpur, is the third largest metropolis in Pakistan, the second largest in the province of Punjab after Lahore, and a major industrial center in the heart of Pakistan. Before the foundation of the city in 1880, the area was very thinly populated. The population has...

 which is also leading in textiles within Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. The Punjab has a tropical wet and dry climate throughout the year therefore enhancing the growth of cotton.

In the United States, the state of Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 led in total production as of 2004, while the state of California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 had the highest yield per acre
Crop yield
In agriculture, crop yield is not only a measure of the yield of cereal per unit area of land under cultivation, yield is also the seed generation of the plant itself...

.

Fair trade


Cotton is an enormously important commodity throughout the world. However, many farmers in developing countries receive a low price for their produce, or find it difficult to compete with developed countries.

This has led to an international dispute (see United States – Brazil cotton dispute):

On 27 September 2002, Brazil requested consultations with the US regarding prohibited and actionable subsidies provided to US producers, users and/or exporters of upland cotton, as well as legislation, regulations, statutory instruments and amendments thereto providing such subsidies (including export credits), grants, and any other assistance to the US producers, users and exporters of upland cotton.

On 8 September 2004, the Panel Report recommended that the United States "withdraw" export credit guarantees and payments to domestic users and exporters, and "take appropriate steps to remove the adverse effects or withdraw" the mandatory price-contingent subsidy measures.


In addition to concerns over subsidies, the cotton industries of some countries are criticized for employing child labor and damaging workers' health by exposure to pesticides used in production. The Environmental Justice Foundation
Environmental Justice Foundation
The Environmental Justice Foundation is a [non-governmental organisation]] founded in 2001 by Steve Trent and Juliette Williams that promotes the non-violent resolution of human rights abuses and related environmental issues in the Global South...

 has campaigned against the prevalent use of forced child and adult labor in cotton production in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

, the world's third largest cotton exporter. The international production and trade situation has led to "fair trade
Fair trade
Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries make better trading conditions and promote sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as higher social and environmental standards...

" cotton clothing and footwear, joining a rapidly growing market for organic clothing, fair fashion or "ethical fashion". The fair trade system was initiated in 2005 with producers from Cameroon
Cameroon
Cameroon, officially the Republic of Cameroon , is a country in west Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Cameroon's coastline lies on the...

, Mali
Mali
Mali , officially the Republic of Mali , is a landlocked country in Western Africa. Mali borders Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Côte d'Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west. Its size is just over 1,240,000 km² with...

 and Senegal
Senegal
Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...

.

Trade


Cotton is bought and sold by investors and price speculators as a tradable commodity on 2 different stock exchanges in the United States of America .
  • Cotton futures contracts are traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) under the ticker symbol TT. They are delivered every year in March, May, July, October, and December.
  • Cotton #2 futures contracts are traded on the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT) under the ticker symbol CT. They are delivered every year in March, May, July, October, and December.

Critical temperatures

  • Favorable travel temperature range: below 25 °C (77 °F)
  • Optimum travel temperature: 21 °C (70 °F)
  • Glow temperature: 205 °C (401 °F)
  • Fire point
    Fire point
    The fire point of a fuel is the temperature at which it will continue to burn for at least 5 seconds after ignition by an open flame. At the flash point, a lower temperature, a substance will ignite briefly, but vapor might not be produced at a rate to sustain the fire...

    : 210 °C (410 °F)
  • Autoignition temperature
    Autoignition temperature
    The autoignition temperature or kindling point of a substance is the lowest temperature at which it will spontaneously ignite in a normal atmosphere without an external source of ignition, such as a flame or spark. This temperature is required to supply the activation energy needed for combustion...

    : 407 °C (765 °F)
  • Autoignition temperature
    Autoignition temperature
    The autoignition temperature or kindling point of a substance is the lowest temperature at which it will spontaneously ignite in a normal atmosphere without an external source of ignition, such as a flame or spark. This temperature is required to supply the activation energy needed for combustion...

     (for oily cotton): 120 °C (248 °F)


Cotton dries out, becomes hard and brittle and loses all elasticity at temperatures above 25°C (77°F). Extended exposure to light causes similar problems.

A temperature range of 25 °C (77 °F) to 35 °C (95 °F) is the optimal range for mold development. At temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F), rotting of wet cotton stops. Damaged cotton is sometimes stored at these temperatures to prevent further deterioration.

British standard yarn measures

  • 1 thread = 55 inches (about 137 cm)
  • 1 skein or rap = 80 threads (120 yards or about 109 m)
  • 1 hank = 7 skeins (840 yards or about 768 m)
  • 1 spindle = 18 hanks (15,120 yards or about 13.826 km)

Fiber properties

Property Evaluation
Shape Fairly uniform in width, 12–20 micrometers; length varies from 1 cm to 6 cm (½ to 2½ inches); typical length is 2.2 cm to 3.3 cm (⅞ to 1¼ inches).
Luster high
Tenacity (strength)
Dry
Wet

3.0–5.0 g/d
3.3–6.0 g/d
Resiliency low
Density 1.54–1.56 g/cm³
Moisture absorption
raw: conditioned
saturation
mercerized: conditioned
saturation

8.5%
15–25%
8.5–10.3%
15–27%+
Dimensional stability good
Resistance to
acids
alkali
organic solvents
sunlight
microorganisms
insects

damage, weaken fibers
resistant; no harmful effects
high resistance to most
Prolonged exposure weakens fibers.
Mildew and rot-producing bacteria damage fibers.
Silverfish damage fibers.
Thermal reactions
to heat
to flame

Decomposes after prolonged exposure to temperatures of 150˚C or over.
Burns readily.

The chemical composition of cotton is as follows:
  • cellulose
    Cellulose
    Cellulose is an organic compound with the formula , a polysaccharide consisting of a linear chain of several hundred to over ten thousand β linked D-glucose units....

     91.00%
  • water
    Water
    Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

     7.85%
  • protoplasm
    Protoplasm
    Protoplasm is the living contents of a cell that is surrounded by a plasma membrane. It is a general term of the Cytoplasm . Protoplasm is composed of a mixture of small molecules such as ions, amino acids, monosaccharides and water, and macromolecules such as nucleic acids, proteins, lipids and...

    , pectins 0.55%
  • waxes, fatty substances 0.40%
  • mineral salts 0.20%

Cotton genome



A public genome sequencing effort of cotton was initiated in 2007 by a consortium of public researchers. They agreed on a strategy to sequence the genome of cultivated, tetraploid cotton. "Tetraploid" means that cultivated cotton actually has two separate genomes within its nucleus, referred to as the A and D genomes. The sequencing consortium first agreed to sequence the D-genome relative of cultivated cotton (G. raimondii, a wild Central American cotton species) because of its small size and limited number of repetitive elements. It is nearly one-third the number of bases of tetraploid cotton (AD), and each chromosome is only present once. The A genome of G. arboreum would be sequenced next. Its genome is roughly twice the size of G. raimondiis. Part of the difference in size between the two genomes is the amplification of retrotransposons (GORGE). Once both diploid genomes are assembled, then research could begin sequencing the actual genomes of cultivated cotton varieties. This strategy is out of necessity; if one were to sequence the tetraploid genome without model diploid genomes, the euchromatic DNA sequences of the AD genomes would co-assemble and the repetitive elements of AD genomes would assembly independently into A and D sequences respectively. Then there would be no way to untangle the mess of AD sequences without comparing them to their diploid counterparts.

The public sector effort continues with the goal to create a high-quality, draft genome sequence from reads generated by all sources. The public-sector effort has generated Sanger reads of BACs, fosmids, and plasmids as well as 454 reads. These later types of reads will be instrumental in assembling an initial draft of the D genome. In 2010, two companies (Monsanto
Monsanto
The Monsanto Company is a US-based multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation. It is the world's leading producer of the herbicide glyphosate, marketed in the "Roundup" brand of herbicides, and in other brands...

 and Illumina
Illumina (company)
Illumina, Inc. is a company incorporated in April 1998 that develops, manufactures and markets integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and biological function. Using its technologies, the company provides a line of products and services that serve the sequencing, genotyping and...

), completed enough Illumina sequencing to cover the D genome of G. raimondii about 50x. They announced that they would donate their raw reads to the public. This public relations effort gave them some recognition for sequencing the cotton genome. Once the D genome is assembled from all of this raw material, it will undoubtedly assist in the assembly of the AD genomes of cultivated varieties of cotton, but a lot of hard work remains.

See also


  • BBCH-scale (cotton)
    BBCH-scale (cotton)
    In biology, the BBCH-scale for cotton describes the phenological development of cotton plants Gossypium hirsutum using the BBCH-scale.The phenological growth stages and BBCH-identification keys of cotton are:...

  • Cash crop
    Cash crop
    In agriculture, a cash crop is a crop which is grown for profit.The term is used to differentiate from subsistence crops, which are those fed to the producer's own livestock or grown as food for the producer's family...

  • China Cotton Association
    China Cotton Association
    China Cotton Association is a China non-profit federation in the area of cotton, which is voluntarily established by cotton farmers, cotton farmers' cooperative organizations, enterprises engaged in cotton production, purchase, processing and operation, cotton textile enterprises, cotton research...

     (CCA)
  • Cotton gin
    Cotton gin
    A cotton gin is a machine that quickly and easily separates cotton fibers from their seeds, a job formerly performed painstakingly by hand...

  • Cotton manufacturing
  • Cotton mill
    Cotton mill
    A cotton mill is a factory that houses spinning and weaving machinery. Typically built between 1775 and 1930, mills spun cotton which was an important product during the Industrial Revolution....

  • The Cotton Museum
    The Cotton Museum
    The Cotton Museum, located in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., is an historical and cultural museum that opened in March 2006 on the former trading floor of the Memphis Cotton Exchange at 65 Union Avenue in downtown Memphis....

  • Gossypium
    Gossypium
    Gossypium is the cotton genus. It belongs to the tribe Gossypieae, in the mallow family, Malvaceae, native to the tropical and subtropical regions from both the Old and New World. The genus Gossypium comprises around 50 species , making it the largest in species number in the tribe Gosssypioieae....

  • International Cotton Advisory Committee
    International Cotton Advisory Committee
    The International Cotton Advisory Committee is an association of governments of cotton producing, consuming and trading countries which acts as the international commodity body for cotton and cotton textiles.-Structure and history:...

  • International Year of Natural Fibres
    International Year of Natural Fibres
    The United Nations General Assembly declared 2009 as the International Year of Natural Fibres, as well as the International Year of Astronomy.The proposal for this international year originated in FAO at a joint meeting of the Intergovernmental Group on Hard Fibres and the Intergovernmental Group...

  • Java cotton (kapok)
    Kapok
    Ceiba pentandra is a tropical tree of the order Malvales and the family Malvaceae , native to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, northern South America, and to tropical west Africa...

  • Madapolam
    Madapolam
    Madapolam is a soft cotton fabric manufactured from fine yarns with a dense pick laid out in linen weave. Linen weave is the simplest and thickest interlaced, reversible basic weave, in which the appearance of the face and back of the woven fabric is the same. Its smallest repeat is 2/2, where two...

  • Mercerized cotton
    Mercerized cotton
    Mercerization is a treatment for cotton fabric and thread that gives fabric or yarns a lustrous appearance and strengthens them. The process is applied to cellulosic materials like cotton or hemp.-History:...

  • Mobile Cotton Exchange
    Mobile Cotton Exchange
    The Mobile Cotton Exchange was a commodities exchange that operated from 1871 until 1942 in the Alabama port city of Mobile to enable key local cotton factors and merchants to maintain control over cotton sales, warehousing, and shipping from Mobile Bay. It was the third cotton exchange founded in...

  • New Orleans Cotton Exchange
    New Orleans Cotton Exchange
    The New Orleans Cotton Exchange was established in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1871 as a centralized forum for the trade of cotton. It operated in New Orleans until closing in 1964...

  • New York Cotton Exchange
    New York Cotton Exchange
    The New York Cotton Exchange was a commodities exchange founded in 1870 by a group of one hundred cotton brokers and merchants at 1 Hanover Square in New York City.- History :...

  • Organic cotton
    Organic cotton
    Organic cotton is generally understood as cotton and is grown in subtropical countries such as America and India, from non genetically modified plants, that is to be grown without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides. Its production also promotes and...

  • Sea Island Cotton
  • Wool
    Wool
    Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

  • Recycling Cotton
    Recycling Cotton
    Otherwise wasted cotton rags can be broken down and be used again. Cotton waste can be made into a stronger, more durable paper than traditional wood-pulp based paper, which may contain high concentration of acids. Cotton paper is often used for important documents and also for bank notes since it...



Further reading

  • Adas, Michael (January 2001). Agricultural and Pastoral Societies in Ancient and Classical History. Temple University Press
    Temple University Press
    Temple University Press is a university press publishing house that is part of Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.The press was founded in 1969....

    . ISBN 1566398320.
  • Brown, D. Clayton. King Cotton: A Cultural, Political, and Economic History since 1945 (University Press of Mississippi, 2011) 440 pp. isbn 978-1-60473-798-1
  • Ensminger, Audrey H. and Konlande, James E. Foods and Nutrition Encyclopedia, Second Edition. Published by CRC Press, 1993. ISBN 0849389801, 9780849389801
  • Environmental Justice Foundation
    Environmental Justice Foundation
    The Environmental Justice Foundation is a [non-governmental organisation]] founded in 2001 by Steve Trent and Juliette Williams that promotes the non-violent resolution of human rights abuses and related environmental issues in the Global South...

    , February 2010, Slave Nation – A report exposing the continued use of state-sponsored forced child labour in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan ISBN 1904523218
  • Fisher, F.B., 1932 That Strange Little Brown Man Gandhi, New York: Ray Long & Richard Smith, Inc.,
  • USDA – Cotton Trade
  • Faragher, J.M., 2006 Out Of Many, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.
  • Moseley, W.G. and L.C. Gray (eds). (2008). Hanging by a Thread: Cotton, Globalization and Poverty in Africa. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press
    Ohio University Press
    Ohio University Press is part of Ohio University. It publishes under its own name and the imprint Swallow Press....

    and Nordic Africa Press. ISBN 978-0-89680-260-5.
  • Yafa, Stephen H. Big Cotton: How A Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations, and Put America on the Map (2004) excerpt and text search

External links