Cotton

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Cotton gining

Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. Under natural conditions, the cotton bolls will tend to increase the dispersion of the seeds. The plant is a shrub native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including the Americas, Africa, and India.

Quotes[edit]

Golda Meir:We hate war. We do not rejoice in victories. We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown, and when strawberries bloom in Israel.
Alpackaull.jpg
  • Buying good sheets. Thread count is actually a lie. Just because a thread count is 1,500 on a set of sheets doesn’t mean that they’re well-made sheets. Truly, the quality of the cotton and the quality of the way something is woven is much more important than thread count. Some of the best sheets I’ve ever slept on are 500 thread count, and they’re much softer than 1,500, 1,200 because they’re nicer cotton and they’re woven tightly. So, buy yourself a good pair of sheets, buy yourself a simple upholstered headboard in gray or camel or black. And start simply. You know, let your personality shine through as you continue to decorate.
  • Possibly you are not aware of the fact that the largest sum given by any contributor to the fund is but a trifle when compared with the losses suffered by nearly all the firms in the cotton trade during the disastrous years of the American war.
Panorama of a cotton plantation from 1907, titled "King Cotton".
  • To the detriment of the entire region, the South continued after the war to be a one-crop economy until the 20th century, when the New Deal and World War II encouraged diversification and industrialization
A Nepali charka in action
  • ...the evil of it is, that it is a world wrapped up in too much jeweller's cotton and fine wool, and cannot hear the rushing of the larger worlds, and cannot see them as they circle round the sun. It is a deadened world, and its growth is sometimes unhealthy for want of air.
Sharecroppers at roadside after eviction (1936)
cumulus mediocris clouds - Len Fisher: Aren't the clouds beautiful? They look like big balls of cotton. I could just lie here all day and watch them drift by.
Elk Mill, on the Chadderton-Royton boundary, in Greater Manchester, England
Cotton Fabric
  • You dare not make war upon cotton! No power on earth dares make war upon it. Cotton is king.
    • James H. Hammond (1854), in The Editors of The Encyclopædia Britannica, in "King Cotton".
  • ...and he stuck a bit of cotton on the second wound. With each stroke of the razor, another bit of cotton joined the crop sprouting on the Hoca’s left cheek, “Now”, said the barber, “I will do the other side”.
  • And you prate of the wealth of nations, as if it were bought and sold,
    The wealth of nations is men, not silk and cotton and gold.
  • Platero is a small donkey, a soft, hairy donkey: so soft to the touch that he might be said to be made of cotton, with no bones. Only the jet mirrors of his eyes are hard like two black crystal scarabs. I turn him loose, and he goes to...
  • Mao is a sometime Yin sometime Yang strange man, he has a soft-as-cotton outer layer, but at the same time has sharp needles hiding inside...I do not think he could achieve anything, at the end he will be crushed inside my palm.
  • Production of Khadi included cotton growing, picking, ginning, cleaning, carding, slivering spinning, sizing, dyeing, preparing the warp and woof, wearing and washing. Gandhi's plea for Khadi was also intended to serve as a base for many village industries such as hand grinding, hand pounding, soap making.
Cotton being picked by hand in India, 2005.
  • Every day before supper and before we went to services on Sundays may grandmother would read the Bible to me and my grandfather would pray. We even had devotions before going to pick cotton in the fields. Prayer and the Bible, became a part of everyday thought and beliefs. I learned to put my trust in God and seek Him as my strength.
  • I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man's heart.
  • It beats picking cotton and waiting to be forgotten.
Model of spinning jenny - A. N. Wilson: In the 18th century, James Hargreaves invented the Spinning Jenny, and Richard Arkwright pioneered the water-propelled spinning frame which led to the mass production of cotton....

The Biology of Gossypium hirsutum L. and Gossypium barbadense L. (cotton) Version[edit]

G. barbadense L. was named after its assumed habitat of Barbados. It has been known by alternative scientific names as Gossypium evertum, Gossypium peruvianum, Gossypium vitifolium and Gossypium brasiliense (USDA 2006).

The Biology of Gossypium hirsutum L. and Gossypium barbadense L. (cotton) Version. The Australian Government Office of the Gene Technology, 2 February 2008

  • Gossypium hirsutum L. was named due to its hairiness (hirsute), although it has also been referred to as Gossypium hirsutum ssp. latifolium, Gossypium hirsutum var. punctatum, Gossypium jamaicense, Gossypium mexicanum, Gossypium morrillii, Gossypium punctatum, Gossypium purpurascens, Gossypium religiosum, Gossypium schottii, Gossypium taitense and Gossypium tridens. It is commonly known as upland cotton, American cotton or Mexican cotton.
    • p.1
  • G. barbadense L. was named after its assumed habitat of Barbados. It has been known by alternative scientific names as Gossypium evertum, Gossypium peruvianum, Gossypium vitifolium and Gossypium brasiliense (USDA 2006). It is commonly known as Creole cotton, Egyptian cotton, extra long-staple or ELS cotton, Indian cotton, Sea Island cotton or [[w:Pima cotton|Pima cotton.
    • P.1
  • Archaeological records indicate that Gossypium fibre has been used since 6000 BC. A Gossypium thread, used to string copper beads, from w:MehrgarhMehrgarh in Pakistan has been dated at 6th millennium BC.
    • C. Moulherat, et al.,(2002).), in P.5
  • Cotton is currently the leading plant fibre crop worldwide and is grown commercially in the temperate and tropical regions of more than 50 countries.
    • W.C.Smith (1999), in p.6
  • It is estimated that cotton is cultivated on approximately 2.4% of the World’s arable land.
    • D.Blaise (2006), in p.6
Specific areas of production include countries such as USA, India, China, America, the Middle East and Australia, where climatic conditions suit the natural growth requirements of cotton, including periods of hot and dry weather and where adequate moisture is available, often obtained through irrigation.
Mississippi Cottonseed Oil Co. seed house, Jackson, Mississippi, USA.
Female and nymph Cotton Harlequin Bug.
  • Cotton is primarily grown as a fibre crop. It is harvested as ‘seed cotton’ which is then ‘ginned’ to separate the seed and lint. The long ‘lint’ fibres are further processed by spinning to produce yarn that is knitted or woven into fabrics. Cotton fabrics, used in clothing, upholstery, towels and other household products, are made from cotton lint.
    • In P.7
  • De-linted cotton seed (ie. seed with no lint or linters) is processed into oil, meal and hulls.
    • J.P.Cherry, H.R.Leffler (1984), in P.7
  • Cotton trash can be used as a bulking agent to improve the efficacy of animal manure composting. There has also been some interest in using cotton waste to ferment to produce ethanol.
    • T.Jeoh, F.A.Agblevor (2001), P.8
  • Extracts from cotton plants, which would be primarily gossypol, have been used as a medicine. In traditional medicine G. barbadense leaves have been used as a treatment for nausea during pregnancy or for ‘proud flesh’ (swollen tissue around a wound).
    • W.H.Sawyer (1955), p.8
  • More than 1326 species of insects have been reported in commercial cotton fields worldwide but only a small proportion are pests.
    • G.A.Matthews, J.P. Tunstall (1994), p.41
  • Cotton is infected by a range of diseases which can affect the quality of the fibre and seed, as well as the yield and cost of production of the cotton crop.
    • A.A.Bell (1999), P.44

2009 International Year of Natural Fibres[edit]

{Power loom Weaving in 1835
Achilles bandaging Patroclus.

[http://www.naturalfibres2009.org/en/fibres/cotton.html 2009 International Year of Natural Fibres] Natural fibres -Cotton]

  • Almost pure cellulose, cotton is the world's most widely used natural fibre and still the undisputed "king" of the global textiles industry.

Gandhi's peaceful spin[edit]

Eliza Drummond:It was the late 1920s when Gandhi proposed his plan to liberate India from British rule, creating swaraj or self-rule, through the use of the spinning wheel. He believed that if Indians would spin their own cotton to make cloth called khadi instead of buying British-made cloth, they could become self-sufficient. Although Gandhi's spinning campaign was born out of a desire to liberate his people from the oppression of foreign rule and an equally oppressive caste system, he soon grew to recognize that spinning promoted "the education of becoming and being.
Eliza Drummond: I often spin to replenish my energy. And I am not alone. Women and men all over North America sit daily at their wheels, spending time, as Gandhi would have wished, in quiet contemplation.

Eliza Drummond, in Gandhi's peaceful spin, Spinners’ Quarterly.

  • It was the late 1920s when Gandhi proposed his plan to liberate India from British rule, creating swaraj or self-rule, through the use of the spinning wheel. He believed that if Indians would spin their own cotton to make cloth called khadi instead of buying British-made cloth, they could become self-sufficient. Although Gandhi's spinning campaign was born out of a desire to liberate his people from the oppression of foreign rule and an equally oppressive caste system, he soon grew to recognize that spinning promoted "the education of becoming and being.
  • I find spinning to be immediately centering and calming. I use wheels to produce quantity, but vastly prefer handspindles, and often carry one with me to spin in odd moments. The spindle shaft is the center pole, the world tree. The whorl endlessly revolves--time, earth, generations--constantly moving, but never going anywhere. Individual fibers appear, become one in the thread, and disappear into the cop. Constantly appearing and going on, yet there is seemingly no change, the point of draft is changeless--a continual coming and going. My hands move as hands have moved for tens of thousands of years, as they do now, as hands will. And so it is.
  • I often spin to replenish my energy. And I am not alone. Women and men all over North America sit daily at their wheels, spending time, as Gandhi would have wished, in quiet contemplation.

A Luxurious and Political Fiber[edit]

Cotton field in Sukhumi botanical garden, 1912
Handloom Khadi Weaving at Ponduru

Wickham Boyle, in [http://handeyemagazine.com/content/india-and-history-cotton A Luxurious and Political Fiber

  • Cotton [is] truly a miracle fiber: it has been spun, woven, and dyed since ancient times, and it is still the most widely used fiber for cloth today. It is soft and fluffy and grows in a boll around the seeds of the cotton plant. There is almost nothing that cotton can’t be turned into: clothes, bedding, tabletop, furniture, even art.
  • The first people in Eurasia to grow cotton for clothing, sheets, and towels were the Harappan people, an early civilization, who migrated from Africa to what is now modern Pakistan.
  • Information about cotton are mentioned in a series of famous Indian poems written in 600 BC called the Rigveda — one of the most sacred texts of Hinduism.
  • In India there were trees growing wild, which produce a kind of wool better than sheep’s wool in beauty and quality, which the Indians use for making their clothes. During this period, the famous Ajanta Cave carvings show innovative cotton growers in India had invented an early roller machine to get the seeds out of the cotton.
  • By the Guptan period, circa 200 AD, the Indians were selling cotton as a luxury good to their neighbors in the east and west — the Chinese and the Parthians. Further west, the Roman considered cotton as luxurious and as expensive as silk, which they bought from Arabic or Parthian traders. Like Herodotus, the Roman author and philosopher Pliny wrote that in India there were, "trees that bear wool" and "balls of down from which an expensive linen material for clothes is made."
  • Remarkably, very little cotton cloth was imported to England before the 15th century and the small amounts that had been imported were used chiefly for candlewicks. In the 1600s throughout the entire tale of gods and animals, cotton has a role within the story. In India today, as it was for thousands of years, no matter what caste you occupy or what job you hold you will be wearing a cotton garment, either elaborately adorned or a plain.
  • The rise of Mahatma Gandhi empowered the people of India. Gandhi and his followers were angered by the laws that sent local Indian cotton back to Britain to be milled into cloth, and then sent back to India in which the people were forced to purchase British loomed cotton rather than hand woven khadi. Gandhi saw the revival of local village economies as the key to India's spiritual and economic regeneration and he envisioned homespun khadi as the catalyst for economic independence. He built his strategy around the revival of traditional craftsmanship and skills that would feed local demand with local production. As part of Gandhi’s policies of civil disobedience and non-cooperation, he encouraged people to boycott British goods, specifically cotton textiles, and encouraged Indians to use homespun and woven khadi. In India, he adopted the charka or spinning wheel as the symbol of his principle of self-sufficiency.
  • In modern, independent India, the cotton industry could, once again, compete on the world market. There is a still great diversity in the traditions and methods used to produce Indian cotton. Weavers often work in close family structures where ancient skills are passed from generation to generation and there is a great pride in the work, the fiber and the rich history surrounding even the most simple cotton fabric.
  • The khadi people made in home workshops and small-scale factories supplemented the small incomes they earned toiling in the fields. Gandhi used khadi as the uniform for the first Non Cooperation movement and the Gandhi cap symbolized the Indo-British battle over the looms of Manchester and a bid for a modern Indian identity.

External links[edit]

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