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


MM217
 
Using Our Free Will Effectively
Yonoson Rosenblum The image we carry of ourselves is key
Pitcher-Perfect
Eytan Kobre The ripple effects of one Jew’s kiddush Sheim Shamayim
Living the High Life
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger It is exhilarating to matter, to be truly alive
It’s Time for Us to Speak Up
Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie We must speak out proudly for the values of Yiddishkeit
Kiruv Is Not Dead
Rabbi Meir Goldberg Do these sound like uninspired or closed students?
Frosting on the Cake
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman “Let’s not let a missing chocolate cake ruin our siyum!”
A Warm Corner in Flatbush
Yosef Zoimen It was a simple shul with a choshuve leader
Out of Control
Jacob L. Freedman “That’s illegal, Dr. Fine. I can’t have a part in this”
Song of Reckoning in the Skulener Court
Riki Goldstein “It’s awe-inspiring to watch the Rebbe sing this song”
“U’teshuvah, U’tefillah, U’tzedakah”
Riki Goldstein Throughout the Yamim Noraim, three words accompany us
The Rebbe Held His Gaze
Riki Goldstein A moment etched in Reb Dovid Werdyger’s memory forever
The Road Taken
Faigy Peritzman In the end it’s clear who really merits true happiness
Sincere Apology
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A heartfelt and complete apology can turn things around
Power Pack of Mercy
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz The 13 Attributes of Mercy are “an infinite treasure”
The Appraiser: Part II
D. Himy M.S. CCC-SLP, and Zivia Reischer “Eli needs to see people who struggled to achieve”