Cotton is a soft downy substance like fine wool. It is cultivated almost all over the world, but mainly in U.S.A., India, Egypt and Brazil. In India, it is largely grown in the Deccan, Punjab, U.P Tripura and Assam. Today the Indian cotton crop is the second large product in the world.
Cotton is obtained from a plant of the same name. Some cotton plants grow very tall, and some remain very low. They require a long warm weather with a fair amount of rain to grow well.
Pods come to the plants in autumn. They burst when ripe, and out come numerous black seeds covered with cotton, white as snow. It is then gathered, cleared of seeds, packed in bales and sent to pla9es where it is in demand. Cotton fiber is separated from the seeds in factories with the help of machines by a process called ginning.
Cotton is used for making cloth, quilt, and mattress and even used in furniture. Cloth is made, not from raw cotton, but from the yarn or thread spun from it. The thread is also used for sewing.
The spinning may be done either in a mill or by an instrument made of wood, called charka or spinning wheel. The thread is woven into cloth in mills or by hand- loom.
In India, the handloom industry has considerably developed, and cloth is being made by the weavers from the yarn spun with the help of charka by individuals in villages. There are, however, many cotton mills in India, where spin- ring and weaving of cloth are done by modern machineries. Now Indian cotton goods are exported every year to Europe and other countries in large quantities.