Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



What’s That You’re Wearing?

Shira Yehudit Djilimand

Most of us wear our clothes every day without giving a second thought to what they’re made of — or how. Would you believe that the threads in your clothing once grew in a field or on a sheep’s back or belonged to a plastic bottle or … join us to find out more!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Cotton comes from the flower of the cotton plant, a plant in the same family as okra. The flower bud, called a “square,” grows into a flower. Then the flower forms a boll, and about 50 days later, the boll cracks open to reveal the fluffy white lint — cotton.

Cotton has been grown for thousands of years. In the US, it was one of the first crops grown by European settlers in the colonies. When the cotton gin was invented by Eli Whitney in 1793, which made it much easier and faster to separate the seeds from the cotton, growing cotton became very profitable. That meant lots of cheap labor was needed, and that was where slaves came in. In the Southern cotton-producing states such as North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana, known as the “Cotton Belt,” huge cotton plantations developed. By 1850, when cotton was the number one crop in the South, three-quarters of the 2.5 million slaves in the US were working on cotton plantations. Today, cotton ranks fourth in the US’s cash crops.

Cotton is the world’s most popular fabric, as it’s comfortable, cool, and lets the skin breathe. Many fabrics are produced from cotton, such as denim, corduroy, terry toweling, and seersucker. Cotton is also used to make paper, in tents, coffee filters, fishing nets, and surprisingly, in gunpowder!

 

 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


 
Drink to Eternity
Rabbi Moshe Grylak Redemption doesn’t simply mean being let out of jail
Klal Yisrael Is Always Free
Yonoson Rosenblum "In that merit will Klal Yisrael continue to exist”
Home Free
Eytan Kobre My baseline for comparison is admittedly weak
Believe in Your Own Seder
Rabbi Judah Mischel Hashem is satisfied when we do our best
Picture Perfect
Yisroel Besser Take a picture — and this time, send it to yourself
Flying Solo
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman As Pesach loomed closer, his resentment was growing
Hanging on by a Hair
Jacob L. Freedman MD “Do you still think that I’m not completely crazy?”
A Song for Every Season
Riki Goldstein Influencers map out their personal musical soundtracks
Subliminal Speech
Faigy Peritzman The deeper the recognition, the deeper the effect
The Big Change
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Spelling things out clears clouds of resentment
The Count-Up
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz Tap the middos of Sefirah to recreate yourself
The Baker: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP with Zivia Reischer "She can't get married if she can't build a relationship...
Know This: Infertility
As Told to Bracha Stein There was no place for me. I didn’t belong
Dear Shadchan
The Girl Here's the thing: I need time