It’s soft and comforting. Many of our sheets, rugs, and clothes are made from it. It’s cotton, and while we are familiar with the many items it is used to create, let’s learn a little bit about where it comes from!
Cotton is a hair-like fiber that grows on shrubby, woody plants. Cotton not only describes this soft fiber, but it can also refer to the plant itself, as well as the crop! In fact, cotton is one of the leading crops in the world!
Cotton plants grow white flowers that develop a red tone and fall off. Small green pods called bolls then replace the flowers. Inside the pods, seed hairs (also known as cotton fibers) grow. The pods eventually burst, revealing white puff balls cotton!
The cotton is now ready to pick. Some cotton is harvested using machines, while other cotton is picked by hand. It takes a lot of work to harvest the cotton, and even more work to spin it into yarn that can be woven into fabric.
The fact that there is so much cotton available makes it possible for us to enjoy our favorite cotton products (like clothing and towels) at an affordable price. And the comfortable, soothing nature of cotton makes it worth every penny!