Cotton in the old world and Now


Cotton is a soft fluffy staple fiber that grows in a capsule around the seeds of cotton plants. The cotton plant is a shrub native to tropical areas around the world, including the Asia, America, and Africa.  The fibre most often is spun into yarn or thread and used to make a soft, breathable textile. 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 Pakistan and Mexico.  Cotton was first cultivated in the Old World 7,000 years ago by the inhabitants’ western Pakistan. Cotton cultivation became more widespread during the Indus Valley Civilization, which covered a huge swath of the north-western part of the South Asia, comprising today parts of eastern Pakistan and north-western India. The Indus cotton industry was well developed and some methods used in cotton spinning and fabrication continued to be used until the modern industrialization.

The 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 top 5 producers of cotton in 2011 according to the National Cotton Council, USA are, China, India, United States, Pakistan and Brazil. Below are the stats of production where each bale is of 480 pound.

  • China    . . . 33.00 million bales
  • India     . . . 27.0 million bales
  • USA      . . . 18.0 million bales
  • Pakistan . . .  10.3 million bales
  • Brazil    . . .  9.3 million bales
Helen Roberto is a freelance writer and loves to participate in discussion of textile industry globally. In her spare time, she works as an admin to maintain this blog and few others. Her knowledge on the subject has benefited many associated to home textile manufacturing and marketing.