The first evidence of cotton textiles has been discovered in the Indus River Valley, dating back to 3000 B.C. Similar textiles in Peru were found dating to 2500 B.C.

Major use of cotton began in India at about 1500 B.C. India refined cultivation and ginning techniques and spread cotton throughout Asia, Europe, and parts of Africa.

Cotton was brought to the New World by European settlers who recognized the good growing conditions. Eventually, they discovered native varieties which thrived in the Southern states' climate.

Today the cotton-growing industry still thrives in this area. In 1998, the United States produced approximately 13.23 million bales of cotton. Texas, the national leader, produced over 3 million bales.

The Cotton Bowl is an important college football game played at the end of each season in Texas. This is a reminder of the social and economical importance of cotton in the region.
Read about cotton producing technology
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© Thomas L. Rost 1998
Section of Plant Biology Division of Biological Sciences