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Cotton From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search For other uses, see Cotton (disambiguation). Cotton plants as imagined and drawn by John Mandeville in the fourteenth century Cotton was cultivated by the inhabitants of the Indus Valley Civilization by the 5th millennium BC - 4th millennium BC.[2] 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.[3] Well b
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  Cotton From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to:navigation, search For other uses, seeCotton (disambiguation).Cotton plants as imagined and drawn byJohn Mandevillein the fourteenth century Cotton was cultivated by the inhabitants of the Indus Valley Civilizationby the 5th millennium BC-4th millennium BC. [2] The Indus cotton industry was well developed and some methodsused in cotton spinning and fabrication continued to be used until the modern Industrialization of India. [3] Well before the Common Erathe use of cotton textiles had spread from India to the Mediterraneanand beyond. [4] According to The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition: [5] Cotton has been spun, woven, and dyed since prehistoric times. It clothed the people of ancient India, Egypt, and China. Hundreds of years before the Christian era cotton textileswere woven in India with matchless skill, and their use spread to theMediterraneancountries. In the 1st cent.Arabtraders brought fine muslin and calico to Italy and Spain.TheMoors introduced the cultivation of cotton into Spain in the 9th cent. Fustians and dimities were woven there and in the 14th cent. in Venice and Milan, at first with a linenwarp. Little cotton cloth was imported to Cultivation  Successful cultivation of cotton requires a longfrost-free period, plenty of sunshine, and amoderate rainfall, usually from 600 to 1200 mm (24 to 48 inches).Soils usually need to be fairly heavy, although the level of  nutrientsdoes not need to be exceptional. In general, these conditions are met within the seasonally dry tropics and subtropics in the Northern and Southernhemispheres, but a large proportion of the cotton grown today is cultivated in areas with lessrainfall that obtain the water from irrigation. Production of the crop for a given year usuallystarts soon after harvesting the preceding autumn. Planting time in spring in the Northernhemisphere varies from the beginning of February to the beginning of June. The area of theUnited States known as theSouth Plainsis the largest contiguous cotton-growing region in theworld. It is heavily dependent onirrigationwater drawn from theOgallala Aquifer . Cotton is a thirsty crop, and aswater resources get tighter around the world, economies that rely on it face difficulties and conflict, as well as potential environmental problems. [12][13][14][15][16]  For example, the cultivation of cotton has led to desertification in areas of Uzbekistan,where it is a major export. In the days of theSoviet Union, theAral Seawas tapped for agricultural irrigation, largely of cotton, and nowsalinationis widespread. [15][16] Genetically modified cotton England before the 15th cent., although small amounts were obtained chiefly for candlewicks.By the 17th cent. theEast India Companywas bringing rare fabrics from India. Native Americansskillfully spun and wove cotton into fine garments and dyed tapestries. Cotton fabricsfound inPeruviantombs are said to belong to a pre-Inca culture. In color and texture the ancientPeruvian and Mexican textiles resemble those found in Egyptian tombs. According to the Foods and Nutrition Encyclopedia, the earliest cultivation of cotton discoveredthus far in the Americas occurred in Mexico, some 8,000 years ago. The indigenous species was Gossypium hirsutum which is today the most widely planted species of cotton in the world,constituting about 90% of all production worldwide. The greatest diversity of wild cotton speciesis found in Mexico, followed by Australia and Africa. [6]  Genetically modified(GM) cotton was developedto reduce the heavy reliance on pesticides. The bacterium Bacillus thuringiensisnaturally  produces a chemical harmful only to a small fraction of insects, most notably the larvae of mothsand butterflies, beetles,andflies,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 itstissues. In many regions the main pests in commercial cotton are lepidopteran larvae, which arekilled by the BT protein in the transgenic cotton that they eat. This eliminates the need to uselarge amounts of broad-spectrum insecticides to kill lepidopteran pests (some of which havedeveloped pyrethroid resistance). This spares natural insect predators in the farm ecology and further contributes to non-insecticide pest management.Picking cotton inOklahoma, USA, in the 1890s Cotton is a soft, staplefiber  that grows in a form known as a boll around theseedsof the cotton  plant, a shrubnative to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including the Americas,IndiaandAfrica. The fiber most often is spun intoyarnor threadand used to make a soft, breathabletextile, which is the most widely used natural-fiber cloth inclothingtoday. The English namederives from theArabic  (al) qutn ط ْق ُن , which began to be used circa 1400. [1] Cotton is used to make a number of textile products. These includeterrycloth, used to makehighly absorbent bathtowelsandrobes;denim, used to make  blue jeans;chambray,popularly used in the manufacture of blue work shirts (from which we get the term  blue-collar  ); andcorduroy, seersucker , and cottontwill. Socks,underwear , and mostT-shirtsare made from cotton. Bed sheets often are made from cotton. Cotton also is used to make yarn used incrochet and knitting. 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 madecompletely of cotton, some materials blend cotton with other fibers, includingrayon and synthetic fiberssuch as polyester . 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 things such as stretch jeans.In addition to thetextile industry, cotton is infishnets, coffee filters, tents,gunpowder (see  Nitrocellulose   ),cotton paper , and in bookbinding. The first Chinese  paper  was made of cotton fiber.Fire hoseswere once made of cotton.  The cottonseed which remains after the cotton is ginned is used to produce cottonseed oil, which, after refining, can be consumed by humans like any other vegetable oil. Thecottonseed mealthat is left generally is fed toruminantlivestock; thegossypolremaining in the meal is toxic to monogastric animals. Cottonseed hulls can be added to dairy cattle rations for roughage. Duringthe American slavery period, cotton root bark was used in afolk remedyas anabortifacient, that is, to provoke abortion. [ citation needed    ] 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 thelonger 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 themanufacture of cellulose. In the UK, linters are referred to as cotton wool . This can also be arefined product ( absorbent cotton inU.S.usage) which hasmedical,cosmeticand many other   practical uses. The first medical use of cotton wool was by Dr Joseph Sampson Gamgeeat the Queen's Hospital (later the General Hospital) inBirmingham, England. Shiny cotton is a processed version of the fiber that can be made into cloth resembling satin for  shirts and suits. However, its hydrophobic property of not easily taking up water makes it unfitfor the purpose of bath and dish towels (although examples of these made from shiny cotton areseen).The term Egyptian cotton refers to the extra long staple cotton grown in Egypt and favored for the luxury and upmarket brands worldwide. During the U.S. Civil War, with heavy Europeaninvestments, Egyptian-grown cotton became a major alternate source for British textile mills.Egyptian cotton is more durable and softer than American Pima cotton , which is why it is moreexpensive. Pima cotton is American cotton that is grown in the southwestern states of  International trade The United States, with sales of $4.9 billion, and Africa, with sales of $2.1 billion, are the largestexporters of raw cotton. Total international trade is $12 billion. Africa's share of the cotton tradehas doubled since 1980. Neither area has a significant domestic textile industry, textilemanufacturing having moved to developing nations in Eastern and South Asia such as India andChina. In Africa cotton is grown by numerous small holders. Dunavant Enterprises, based inMemphis, Tennessee,is the leading cotton broker in Africa with hundreds of purchasing agents.It operatescotton gins 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 onfarming methods.Cargillalso purchases cotton in Africa for export.Hoeing a cotton field to remove weeds,Greene County, Georgia, USA, 1941The cotton industry relies heavily on chemicals such asfertilizers and insecticides, although a very small number of farmers are moving toward an organicmodel of production and organic cotton products are now available for purchase at limited locations. These are popular for babyclothes anddiapers. Under most definitions, organic products do not usegenetic engineering. Historically, in North America, one of the most economically destructive pests in cotton production has been the boll weevil. Due to theUS Department of Agriculture's highly
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