Cotton was grown and used for fabrics dating back as far as 5500 BCE in the Indus Valley region, while cotton fabric dating to 5000 BCE has also been found in Mexico. It is believed that cotton was first planted in Florida in 1556. On October 28, 1793 Eli Whitney applied for a patent of the first cotton gin.
Did you know that all of the cotton plant is used after it is harvested?
- The fiber is used for cotton products
- Seeds are used for animal feed and cottonseed oil for human use
- Plant stalks are tilled back into the soil after the harvest
If this sounds like it couldn’t get any better, there’s more. Cotton is biodegradable (and compostable) too. Talk about minimal waste!
Around the World and At Home
The top five countries producing cotton are: China, India, United States, Pakistan, and Brazil. However, the world’s largest cotton purifier is Barnhardt Natural Fibers, located in the United States (Charlotte, NC). In the US, cotton is grown in 17 southern tier states, from Virginia to California. Why buy American cotton? We’ve got your answers right here.
Stronger When Wet
Cotton is a super fiber. Unlike other cellulosic fibers, cotton gets stronger when it comes in contact with liquid. This makes cotton the perfect natural fiber for medical uses, as well as for everyday uses–especially when strength is vital. Because cotton is so versatile, finishes can also be applied to make it hydrophobic, meaning it will repel liquid. The fiber finishes applied by Barnhardt increase the purified cottons’ as processability and can make the fiber as absorbent–or not–as the customer desires.
Let’s Talk Money
Did you know that the US dollar bills in your wallet are made from 75% cotton? The other 25% is made of linen, which gives US currency a feel different from wood pulp; this specific blend makes it easier to determine counterfeit cash.
“For America’s first 70 years, private entities, and not the federal government, issued paper money. From the founding of the United States to the passage of the National Banking Act, some 8,000 different entities issued currency, which created an unwieldy money supply and facilitated rampant counterfeiting.” Source