By: Rakesh P.

Cotton fiber is the largest contributor of US economy. More and more fibers are discovered in the world but no one has been able to give a stiff competition to cotton fiber till date. This mainly since there is a proportion of cotton fiber needed for almost any fabric. Right from bed sheets, towels, shirting, suiting to astronauts' in-flight space suits and you name any apparel, cotton is the primary constituent. Due to its excessive usage it is generating millions of jobs for people from all classes in factories and cloth shops.

Some even call this fiber the wonder fiber. Cotton remains the most miraculous fiber under the sun, even after 8,000 years. No other fiber comes close to duplicating all of the desirable characteristics combined in cotton. The fiber of a thousand faces and almost as many uses, cotton is noted for its versatility, appearance, performance and above all, its natural comfort. From all types of apparel, including astronauts' in-flight space suits, to sheets and towels, and tarpaulins and tests, cotton in today's fast-moving world is still nature's wonder fiber. It provides thousands of useful products and supports millions of jobs as it moves from field to fabric.

Today, the world uses more cotton than any other fiber, and cotton is a leading cash crop in the U.S. Cotton's retail market share in apparel and home products is now at an all-time high of 64 percent. Cotton is the fabric of preference in America today. Consumers have discovered the coolness and comfort of cotton during hot weather, and with heavier cotton fabrics the warmth needed for those cold winter days. Arizona's cotton industry is doing its part by growing enough cotton each year to make a pair of jeans for every man, woman and child in the entire U.S.

No one knows exactly how old cotton is. Scientists searching caves in Mexico found bits of cotton bolls and pieces of cotton cloth that proved to be at least 7,000 years old. They also found that the cotton itself was much like that grown in American today. In the Indus River Valley in Pakistan, cotton was being grown, spun and woven into cloth 3,000 years BC. At about the same time, natives of Egypt's Nile valley were making and wearing cotton clothing. Arab merchants brought cotton cloth to Europe about 800 AD. When Columbus discovered America in 1492, he found cotton growing in the Bahama Islands. By 1500, cotton was known generally throughout the world. Cotton seeds are believed to have been planted in Florida in 1556 and in Virginia in 1607. By 1616, colonists were growing cotton along the James River in Virginia.

Cotton has a long history in Arizona, with reports of cotton fabrics being found in prehistoric pueblo ruins. However, it wasn't until the 20th century and the construction of elaborate irrigation systems, that Arizona cotton became a cornerstone of the state's economy. It was at USDA experimental farms in Sacaton, Arizona that the Pima line of cotton was first developed in the early 1900's. It was given this name in honor of the Pima Indians who were helping to raise the cotton. In the early 1900s Goodyear Tire and rubber Company purchased 16,000 acres to raise pima cotton near Phoenix. This came at the time of the outbreak of World War I when cotton was in short supply because foreign sources were in war torn countries. Goodyear used the cotton for the production of rubber tires and aircraft fabrics, and it's success fueled unprecedented growth in the state.

About the Author:

Rakesh P writes on diverse topics online like Business-Industrial Mechanical, Fashion, Clothing, Types of Natural and Man-made fibres. You can contact him at

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