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Subject: re
Author: Silver   (guest, 216.183.130.130)
Date: March 29, 2004 at 6:57:26 AM
Reply to: cotton by ramie
Cotton is a plant that is grown in the southern areas of the US, I am not sure where else, but I highly doubt the rain forest seeing as it's grown in S US bcz of the arid dry climate.

noun:
1. a soft, white, downy substance consisting of the hairs or fibers attached to the seeds of plants belonging to the genus Gossypium, of the mallow family, used in making fabrics, thread, wadding, etc.
2. the plant itself, having spreading branches and broad, lobed leaves.
3. such plants collectively as a cultivated crop.
4. cloth, thread, a garment, etc., of cotton.
5. any soft, downy substance resembling cotton, but growing on other plants.

verb:
1. Informal.to get on well together; agree.
2. Obs.to prosper or succeed.
3. cotton to or on to, Informal.
a. to become fond of; begin to like.
b. to approve of; agree with: to cotton to a suggestion.
c. to come to a full understanding of; grasp: More and more firms are cottoning on to the advantages of using computers.

The cotton plant belongs to the genus Gossypium of the family Malvaceae (mallow family). It is generally a shrubby plant having broad three-lobed leaves and seeds in capsules, or bolls; each seed is surrounded with downy fiber, white or creamy in color and easily spun. The fibers flatten and twist naturally as they dry.

Cotton is of tropical origin but is most successfully cultivated in temperate climates with well-distributed rainfall. All western U.S. cotton and as much as one-third of Southern cotton, however, is grown under irrigation. In the United States nearly all commercial production comes from varieties of upland cotton (G. hirsutum), but small quantities are obtained from sea-island and American-Egyptian cotton (both belonging to the species G. barbadense). G. arboreum and G. herbaceum are the chief cultivated species in Asia.

History:
Cotton has been spun, woven, and dyed since prehistoric times. It clothed the people of ancient India, Egypt, and China. Hundreds of years before the Christian era cotton textiles were woven in India with matchless skill, and their use spread to the Mediterranean countries. In the 1st cent. Arab traders brought fine muslin and calico to Italy and Spain. The Moors introduced the cultivation of cotton into Spain in the 9th cent. Fustians and dimities were woven there and in the 14th cent. in Venice and Milan, at first with a linen warp. Little cotton cloth was imported to England before the 15th cent., although small amounts were obtained chiefly for candlewicks. By the 17th cent. the East India Company was bringing rare fabrics from India. Native Americans skillfully spun and wove cotton into fine garments and dyed tapestries. Cotton fabrics found in Peruvian tombs are said to belong to a pre-Inca culture. In color and texture the ancient Peruvian and Mexican textiles resemble those found in Egyptian tombs.

The invention (1793) of the cotton gin, a machine for separating seeds from fiber, and the mechanization of textile production in the Industrial Revolution enabled cotton to supersede flax and wool textiles. Cotton has played a significant role in history. Britain's need for imported cotton fiber encouraged its accession to the Monroe Doctrine; Britain's need for vast African and Indian markets for its cotton manufactures influenced its role as an imperial sea power. Beginning in North America in the Jamestown colony (1607), cotton cultivation became the basis of the one-crop, slave-labor economy of the Deep South and a principal economic cause of the Civil War. The end of slavery and the exhaustion of the soil pushed the Cotton Belt to the west.

Today the leading cotton states are Texas, California, Mississippi, Arizona, and Louisiana. From the early days of the republic until recent years the United States was the world's leading cotton producer and second only to Great Britain in the manufacture of cotton goods. In the 1990s China was the leading cotton-producing country, followed by the United States and the republics of the former Soviet Union. Other important cotton producers are Pakistan, India, Brazil, and Egypt. China and India are the leading cotton manufacturers, followed by the United States, where cotton mills have relocated from New England to the Southern cotton-producing states. Historically, all cotton-producing nations have depended on cheap labor; although mechanical cultivating and picking devices have long been known, they have been widely used (especially in the United States) only since World War II.

www.factmonster.com

I hope thats enough info for ya, if not, factmonster has more,

~SD

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