By Colleen McTiernan
Fluffy and white, cotton has been grown in the American south for over 400 years, and now we’re never too far from a product made from cotton! But how much do we really know about this beautiful cash crop that has so infiltrated our lives? Here are some fun facts about one of our favorite fibers!
- Cotton is grown in 17 states in the southern u.s., including florida, New Mexico and Texas, which grows more cotton than any other state.
- China and India lead the U.S. in cotton production.
- Cotton is a fiber and a food crop. The seeds are used to make cottonseed oil.
- It is illegal to grow cotton on your ownin states where cotton is a cash crop due to the Boll Weevil Eradication Program.
- Boll weevils are insects that feed on cotton buds and flowers, and they can destroy a cotton crop.
- Cotton is not naturally absorbent. It is coated in oils and waxes so that it can’t get wet and rot in the eld. these oils and waxes are removed during processing.
- Cotton is stronger when it is wet and can absorb up to 27 times its own weight.
- The most commonly grown cotton varieties are Upland, Egyptian, Sea Island, Tanguis and Pima.
- One bale of cotton can produce 215 pairs of jeans or 313,600 $100 bills.
- Cotton seeds have been found in Peru that date all the way back to 450 BC.