We all know that cotton is an amazing natural fibre that is soft, light, breathable and hypoallergenic.
But there are so many other interesting facts about cotton that most of us don’t know, even though we use cotton in one form or another almost every day.
This collection of fun facts could be a great conversation starter in any group of fibre enthusiasts.
1. Cotton is not only used for making yarns and fabrics. It is also found in fishing nets, coffee filters, tents and even as a part of a highly flammable compound called nitrocellulose or guncotton.
2. The first evidence of cotton use was found in India and Pakistan, and dates back to around 6,000 B.C. That means cotton’s been keeping people dressed for over 8,000 years.
3. When cotton fibre was first imported to Europe in late medieval period, Europeans only knew that it was made from a plant. Because at that time wool was the main fibre used in Europe, they assumed that that magical plant had sheep growing inside its buds, as it is shown in this picture drawn in the 14th century.
4. The three largest producers of cotton are China, India and the United States.
5. The first light bulb manufactured by Thomas Edison in the late 1800s used a cotton thread filament.
6. US paper money is made with 75% cotton and 25% linen.
7. Cotton fibre is measured in bales. One bale weights 480 to 500 pounds and is enough to make 215 Jeans or 1,217 Men’s T-Shirts.
8. The word ‘cotton’ comes from an Arabic word ‘qutun’ used to describe any fine textile.
9. Not all cotton is white. Some varieties of cotton plants produce brown, chocolate, dirty gray, tan, red and even green fibre.
10. People learned to use all of the cotton plant. The fibre is used in textiles and other industries. Cotton seeds are pressed to make cottonseed oil and additives to animal food. The plant stalks are tilled into the soil after harvesting. There is no waste.