Cotton is the most widely used natural fiber in clothing today. It’s been cultivated in both the Old and the New World for thousands of years. Mexico, India, Pakistan (Indus Valley Civilization), China all were and still are notable cotton producing countries.
The cotton gin is a machine that quickly and easily separates cotton fibers from their seeds. American inventor Eli Whitney invented the machine in 1793. It revolutionised the cotton industry in the United States, but also led to the growth of slavery. Nowadays the use of cotton is versatile. It’s produced to make clothing, fishing nets, coffee filters, tents and even bookbinding. Cotton is one of the most important commodities throughout the world. The total production of cotton annually is about 25 million tonnes, accounting for 2.5% of the world’s arable land. But what are the most important cotton producing countries? Here’s a top 10 countries by cotton production in bales! One bale is 480 pounds.
Top 10 cotton producing countries
- Burkina Faso, Greece – 1.2 million bales
- Turkmenistan – 1.6 million bales
- Turkey – 2.6 million bales
- Uzbekistan – 4.5 million bales
- Australia – 4.6 million bales
- Brazil – 5.8 million bales
- Pakistan – 9.3 million bales
- United States – 17.3 million bales
- India – 26.5 million bales
- China – 35.0 million bales
Suggested reading: Cotton: The Fabric that Made the Modern World