Where Does Cotton Come From?
The best climates for cotton are places that tend to have long, hot summers; in 2017, the three biggest producers were China, India, and the US.
Cotton is a natural fibre harvested from a number of plants in the Gossypium family. There are 43 known species of these cotton plants, but only five are widely cultivated for sale. The name Gossypium comes from the Arabic term “Goz”, literally “a soft substance”. As the plant grows, its round boll containing the actual fibre begins to form. Eventually, the boll will burst open and dry out. A typical boll will contain about half a million fibres of raw, white cotton.
This ‘lint’, as it’s called, is a little dirty and rough around the edges when it first emerges from a boll, but after processing, it will become the soft, breathable fabric that’s used in so many of your favourite clothes.