Cotton Industry

India produces all four types of cottons – (a) American cotton, (b) Asian cotton, (c) Egyptian cotton and (d) African cotton. Cotton is a “pure” raw material which does not lose weight in the manufacturing process. so other factors, like, power to drive the looms, labour, capital or market may determine the location of the industry. 

At present the trend is to locate the industry at or close to markets, as it is the market that decides what kind of cloth is to be produced. Also, the market for the finished products is extremely variable, therefore, it becomes important to locate the mills close to the market. 

Also important is the fact that 80% of the industry is coterminous with cotton growing tracts of the country. Areas- Ahmedabad, Sholapur, Nagpur, Coimbatore.


  • Most of the cotton producing countries have now developed textile industries too.
  • Also, there are some countries which still import raw cotton and where textile production is important:
  • Traditional producers:
    • Industrial countries of Europe like Britain, France, and Italy etc.
    • Industrialisation in 18th and 19th century, long tradition of high quality production and domestic market has ensured its continuity
    • In Britain, Lancashire was important region because of cheap availability of large, skilled labour, coal supplies for power, plenty of water for finishing processes, easy access to imports from America through Liverpool.
    • This industry declined due to increase in labour cost and competition from lower cost Asian producers.
  • Newer producers
    • Since labour is the most important factor in location of textile manufacturing industry, easy availability of cheap labour enabled Asian countries to start textile industries.
    • Japan, Hong-Kong and South Korea became important regions for manufacturing even when they don’t grow cotton because of easy transportation of raw cotton and availability of low-cost labour.
    • Textiles played a major role in industrialization of Japan which was previously an agricultural country. Textile industry flourished in areas of Nagoya, Kyoto, Kobe, Osaka etc.
    • In western countries, synthetic material is mixed with cotton. This has replaced cotton as most important fiber as it can be made locally than being imported.
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Reasons for shift of cotton industries from old nuclei (Mumbai) to new nuclei (Coimbatore, Nagpur, Bangalore, Indore etc.)

  • Better transportation – Railway lines penetrating deeper into peninsula.
  • Nearness to coal producing areas for power – Nagpur.
  • Wide markets with port facilities – Kolkata.
  • Better financial facilities – Kanpur.
  • Cost of land increased rapidly in Mumbai.
  • Shift of the cotton industry from large integrated mills to power loom. This led to informalization and setting up of textile sector in smaller sectors.
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