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The earliest reference to cotton is in [[Таьрихи Ҳундустон|Ҳиндустон]]. Cotton has been grown in India/[[Pakistan]] for more than 6,000 years since the [[Indus Valley civilization#Predecessors|pre-Harappan period]], and it is later referred to in the [[Rig-Veda]], composed in [[3000 BC]]. Two thousand years later, the famous [[Ancient Greece|Greek]] historian [[Herodotus]] wrote about Indian cotton: "There are trees which grow wild there, the fruit of which is a [[wool]] exceeding in beauty and goodness that of [[sheep]]. The Indians make their clothes of this tree wool". (Book iii. 106)
 
In [[Перу]], cotton was the backbone of the development of coastal cultures such as the [[Moche]] and [[Nazca]]. Cotton was grown upriver, made into nets and traded with fishing villages along the coast for large supplies of fish. The Spanish who came to Mexico in the early 1500s found the peoples there wearing cotton clothing and growing it.
 
During the late [[mediaeval]] period, cotton became known as an [[International trade|imported]] fibre in northern [[Europe]], without any knowledge of what it came from other than that it was a [[plant]]; people in the region, familiar only with [[animal]] fibres ([[wool]] from [[sheep]]), could only imagine that cotton must be produced by plant-borne sheep. [[John Mandeville]], writing in [[1350]], stated as fact the now-preposterous belief: "There grew there India a wonderful tree which bore tiny lambs on the endes of its branches. These branches were so pliable that they bent down to allow the lambs to feed when they are hungrie.". This aspect is retained in the name for cotton in many European languages, such as [[German language|German]] ''Baumwolle'', which translates as "tree wool".
 
[[Акс:Cotton field.jpg|left|thumb|290px|Picking cotton in Oklahoma in the 1890s]]
The Indian cotton processing industry was eclipsed during the [[Britain|British]] colonial rule, as part of the British mercantile policy of deliberate and systematic de-industrialization of India, which forced the closing of Indian factories and processing facilities. The intent of this British policy was to ensure that colonized lands supplied raw materials and that Britain should retain a monopoly on manufacturing. In addition, the invention of the [[spinning jenny]] ([[1764]]) and Arkwright's [[spinning frame]] ([[1769]]) enabled cheap mass-production of cotton cloth in the [[United Kingdom|UK]]. Production capacity was further improved by the invention of the [[cotton gin]] by [[Eli Whitney]] in [[1793]]. As a result of these policies and developments, British traders developed a commercial chain in which raw cotton fibres were sourced initially from their colonies, processed into cotton [[cloth]] in the mills of [[Lancashire]], and then re-exported back on British ships to their captive colonial markets in [[West Africa]], [[India]], and [[China]] (via colonized Shanghai and Hong Kong). Later, when the superiority of the American varieties of cotton was established, owing primarily to the length of the fibers, the British started purchasing cotton from slave plantations in the [[United States]] and the [[Caribbean]]. Due to the enormous quantities of raw cotton required to make cheap bulk exports, British [[industrialist]]s quickly abandoned expensive raw cotton produced in [[India]] in favour of mass-produced cotton from the southern [[United States]], which was much cheaper as it was produced by unpaid [[slavery in the United States|slaves]]. By the mid nineteenth century, "[[King Cotton]]" had become the backbone of the southern American economy, and today, roughly 90% of the world's cotton crop is of the long-staple American variety.
 
In the [[United States]], growing the three crops, cotton, [[indigo dye|indigo]] and [[тамоку]], historically was the leading occupation of [[ғуломдори|ғӯломон]]. After [[emancipation]], the [[share cropping]] system evolved, which in many cases differed little from the systems of slavery. During the [[American Civil War]], American cotton exports slumped due to a [[United States of America|Union]] [[blockade]] on [[Confederate States of America|Southern]] ports, prompting the main purchasers of cotton, [[Britain]] and [[France]], to turn to [[Egypt]]ian cotton. British and French traders invested heavily in [[Egyptian cotton]] plantations and the Egyptian government of [[Isma'il Pasha|Viceroy Isma'il]] took out substantial loans from European bankers and stock exchanges. After the American Civil War ended in 1865, British and French traders abandoned Egyptian cotton in favour of cheap exports from the [[United States]], sending Egypt into a [[deficit]] spiral that led to the country declaring [[bankruptcy]] in [[1876]].
 
== Истеҳсол ва коркард ==
<!-- This image is awkwardly placed here. [[Image:Cotton_pollination_5892.JPG|thumb|left|250px|Gossypium hirsutum: Cotton blossom with bumblebee pollinator, Hemingway, South Carolina]] -->
[[Акс:Cotton picking in India.jpg|thumb|300px|Manual cotton harvesting in India, 2006]]
Today cotton is produced in many parts of the world, including every continent except Antarctica. Cotton plants have been selectively bred so that each plant grows more fiber. In 2002, cotton was grown on 330,000&nbsp;km² of farmland. 47 billion pounds (21 million t) of raw cotton worth 20 billion USD was grown that year.
 
The cotton industry relies heavily on chemicals such as fertilizers and insecticides, although a very small number of farmers are moving towards an organic model of production and organic cotton products are now available for purchase at limited locations.
[[Акс:Baumwoll-Erntemaschine.jpeg|thumb|300px|Offloading freshly harvested cotton into a module builder in Texas. Previously built modules may be seen in the background.]]
 
Most cotton in the United States, Europe and Australia is harvested mechanically, either by a [[cotton picker]], a machine that removes the cotton from the boll without damaging the cotton plant, or by a [[cotton stripper]] which strips the entire boll off the plant. Cotton strippers are generally used in regions where it is too windy to grow picker varieties of cotton and generally used after application of a [[defoliant]] or natural defoliation occurring after a freeze. Cotton is a perennial crop in the tropics and without defoliation or freezing, the plant will continue to grow.
 
The logistics of cotton harvesting and processing have been improved by the development of the [[cotton module builder]], a machine that compresses harvested cotton into a large block, which is then covered with a tarp and temporarily stored at the edge of the field.
== Истифодаҳо ==
[[Акс:Cotton towels.jpg|thumb|left|150px|Cotton bath towels]]
Cotton is used to make a number of textile products. These include [[terrycloth]], used to make highly absorbent bath towels and robes, [[denim]], used to make blue jeans, [[chambray]], popularly used in the manufacture of blue work shirts (from which we get the term "[[blue-collar]]"), along with [[corduroy]], [[seersucker]], and cotton [[twill]]. Socks, underwear, and most [[T-shirt]]s are made from cotton. Bed sheets are also often made from cotton. Cotton is also used to make yarn used in [[crochet]] and [[knitting]]. While many fabrics are made completely of cotton, some materials blend cotton with [[synthetic fiber]]s such as [[polyester]] or [[rayon]].
In addition to the textile industry, cotton is used in fishnets, coffee filters, tents and in bookbinding. The first Chinese paper was made of cotton fibre, as is the modern US [[dollar bill]] and federal stationery. Fire hoses were once made of cotton.
 
The cottonseed which remains after the cotton is ginned is used to produce [[cottonseed oil]], which after refining can be consumed by humans like any other [[vegetable oil]]. The [[cottonseed meal]] that is left is generally fed to livestock. In the past, cotton seeds were used by women as an [[abortifacient]].
 
== Pests ==
* Charles S. Aiken, ''The Cotton Plantation South since the Civil War'' 1998
* ''The Thames and Hudson Manual of Dyes and Fabrics'', Joyce Storey, 1978
 
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