COTTON :
 

COTTON HISTORY

No one knows exactly how old cotton is. Scientists searching caves in Mexico found bits of cotton bolls and pieces of cotton cloth that proved to be at least 7,000 years old. They also found that the cotton itself was much like that grown in America today.

In the Indus River Valley in Pakistan, cotton was being grown, spun and woven into cloth 3,000 years BC. At about the same time, natives of Egypt’s Nile valley were making and wearing cotton clothing.

The gin made it possible to supply large quantities of cotton fiber to the fast-growing textile industry. Within 10 years, the value of the U.S. cotton crop rose from $150,000 to more than $8 million.

 

IMPORTANCE OF COTTON

Cotton is a part of our daily lives from the time we dry our faces on a soft cotton towel in the morning until we slide between fresh cotton sheets at night. It has hundreds of uses, from blue jeans to shoe strings. Clothing and household items are the largest uses, but industrial products account from many thousands of bales.

All parts of the cotton plant are useful. The most important is the fiber or lint, which is used in making cotton cloth. Linters – the short fuzz on the seed – provide cellulose for making plastics, explosives and other products. Linters also are incorporated into high quality paper products and processed into batting for padding mattresses, furniture and automobile cushions.

The cottonseed is crushed in order to separate its three products – oil, meal and hulls. Cottonseed oil is used primarily for shortening, cooking oil and salad dressing. The meal and hulls that remain are used either separately or in combination as livestock, poultry and fish feed and as fertilizer. The stalks and leaves of the cotton plant are plowed under to enrich the soil.

Some cottonseed also is used as high-protein concentrate in baked goods and other food products.



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