24 Facts About Cotton


Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus Gossypium in the mallow family Malvaceae.

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Cotton was independently domesticated in the Old and New Worlds.

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Cotton fabric was known to the ancient Romans as an import, but cotton was rare in the Romance-speaking lands until imports from the Arabic-speaking lands in the later medieval era at transformatively lower prices.

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Cotton bolls discovered in a cave near Tehuacan, Mexico, have beendated to as early as 5500 BC, but this date has been challenged.

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Cotton was grown upriver, made into nets, and traded with fishing villages along the coast for large supplies of fish.

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Cotton has been spun, woven, and dyed since prehistoric times.

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Cotton manufacture was introduced to Europe during the Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula and Sicily.

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In 1860 the slogan "Cotton is king" characterized the attitude of Southern leaders toward this monocrop in that Europe would support an independent Confederate States of America in 1861 in order to protect the supply of cotton it needed for its very large textile industry.

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Cotton remained a key crop in the Southern economy after slavery ended in 1865.

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Cotton remains a major export of the United States, with large farms in California, Arizona and the Deep South.

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Cotton is naturally a perennial but is grown as an annual to help control pests.

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Cotton can be cultivated to have colors other than the yellowish off-white typical of modern commercial cotton fibers.

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Cotton has been genetically modified for resistance to glyphosate a broad-spectrum herbicide discovered by Monsanto which sells some of the Bt cotton seeds to farmers.

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Cotton industry relies heavily on chemicals, such as fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides, although a very small number of farmers are moving toward an organic model of production.

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Cotton yield is threatened by the evolution of new biotypes of insects and of new pathogens.

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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 or the natural defoliation that occurs after a freeze.

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

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Cotton continues to be picked by hand in developing countries and in Xinjiang, China, by forced labor.

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Cotton production recovered in the 1970s, but crashed to pre-1960 levels in the early 1990s.

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Cotton can be blended with linen producing fabrics with the benefits of both materials.

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Cotton linters are fine, silky fibers which adhere to the seeds of the cotton plant after ginning.

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The four introduced a "Sectoral Initiative in Favour of Cotton", presented by Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore during the Trade Negotiations Committee on 10 June 2003.

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Cotton is bought and sold by investors and price speculators as a tradable commodity on 2 different commodity exchanges in the United States of America.

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Cotton has a more complex structure among the other crops.

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