Cotton is a saft, fluffy staple feebre that growes in a bowe, or pertective capsule, aroond the seeds o cotton plants o the genus Gossypium in the faimily o Malvaceae. The feebre is awmaist pure cellulose. Unner naitural condeetions, the cotton bowes will increase the dispersal o the seeds.

Manually decontaminatin cotton afore processin at an Indian spinning mill (2010)

The plant is a shrub native tae tropical an subtropical regions aroond the warld, includin the Americas, Africae, an Indie. The greatest diversity o wild cotton species is foond in Mexico, follaed bi Australie an Africae.[1] Cotton wis independently domesticatit in the Auld an New Warlds.

The feebre is maist eften spun intae yairn or threid an uised tae mak a saft, braithable textile. The uise o cotton for faibric is kent tae date tae prehistoric times; fragments o cotton faibric datit frae 5000 BC hae been excavatit in Mexico an atween 6000 BC an 5000 BC in the Indus Valley Ceevilisation. Awtho cultivatit syne antiquity, it wis the invention o the cotton gin that lawered the cost o production that led tae its widespread uise, an it is the maist widely uised naitural feebre claith in cleidin the day.

Current estimates for warld production are aboot 25 million tonnes or 110 million bales annually, accoontin for 2.5% o the warld's arable laund. Cheenae is the warld's lairgest producer o cotton, but maist o this is uised domestically. The Unitit States haes been the lairgest exporter for mony years.[2] In the Unitit States, cotton is uisually meisurt in bales, that meisur approximately 0.48 cubic meter (17 cubic feet) an weich 226.8 kilogram (500 pound).[3]


  1. The Biology of Gossypium hirsutum L. and Gossypium barbadense L. (cotton).
  2. "Natural fibres: Cotton" Archived 3 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, International Year of Natural Fibres
  3. National Cotton Council of America, "U.S. Cotton Bale Dimensions Archived 6 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine" (accessed 5 October 2013).