The United Nations General Assembly declared October 7 as World Cotton Day in 2021. Four cotton-producing countries Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali were the first to propose a World Cotton Day celebration on October 7 to the World trade Organisation in 2019.
Cotton is grown in more than 75 countries across five continents and is traded worldwide. Highlighting the importance of this global commodity in generating jobs and maintaining economic stability in less developed countries, the United Nations General Assembly declared October 7 as World Cotton Day in 2021.
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This is the second year the day will be celebrated with the aim to foster sustainable trade policies and help developing countries benefit from the cotton value chain.
Four cotton-producing countries Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali were the first to propose a World Cotton Day celebration on October 7 to the World trade Organisation in 2019.
Interesting facts about cotton
Cotton comes from natural fibres of cotton plants, which are native to tropical and subtropical regions.
The word cotton is derived from the Arabic word ‘quton’. However, the earliest production of the commodity was in India, which still remains the number one producer in the world.
Being renewable and biodegradable, cotton is the most environmentally friendly raw material for the textile industry as compared to its synthetic alternatives.
Cotton plants have a large growing period which can extend up to 200 days. Growing cotton starts between December and March. These plants require a relatively high temperature over a long growing season.
Unlike popular belief, cotton is not a thirsty crop as it is a xerophyte, which can grow in dry, arid environments.
Only 3 percent of the world's land is used for growing cotton. Yet, it meets 27 percent of the world's textile demands.
Uses and benefits of cotton
Apart from the soft fabric, oil is also produced from cottonseed. This oil can be used for cooking, making soap and cosmetics. Farmers also use cottonseed meals and cake as fertiliser and animal feed.
Apart from apparel, cotton can be used for making homeware and industrial products. It is used in fishnets, tents, coffee filters, book binding and archival paper.
Short fibres called linters are found on the cottonseed after ginning. These are used to make bandages, bank notes, swabs, cotton buds and x-rays.
Cotton is natural and soft and comfy for a wearer.
Made of natural fibres it is skin-friendly as it has ventilative properties unlike human-made fabrics such as polyester or nylon.
Cotton fabric is more durable and robust than silk. However, wool outruns the durability of cotton by miles.
It is easy to wash.