• Major crop in China, India, Egypt for centuries.
  • Luxury in Europe until 18th Century. (Before Industrial revolution mechanized spinning and weaving started) 
  • In 19th century, US and UK became major centers of textile manufacturing. 
  • At current, China and India are the largest producer.


1. Temperature 

  • Warm climate (25 or more)
  • Plenty of sunshine during growing seasons cooler during harvest therefore cultivated between 30-30 N-S.
  • Long growing periods of at least 200 frost free days necessary for plants to grow.
  • Extremely sensitive to frost 

2. Rainfall 

  • Moderate to light (51 o 110 cm) without irrigation
  • Better quality fiber can be obtained in semi-arid and even arid conditions with irrigation facilities. Because dry environment inhibits the spread of pests and irrigation provides controlled supply of water.

3. Soils: Medium loam with good drainage which give good support in windy or stormy weather. Mineral nutrient requirement high. Very exhaustive of soil. Therefore, high demand of fertilizer and manures.

4. Land: Best grown on flat (no flooding) or undulating lands which facilitate use of machinery. US and developed regions have highly mechanized farms -> economies of scale. Flat and gently sloping land best for irrigation.

5. Labour: Highly labour intensive, except in developed world. In the USA, there was slavery in the cotton industry before mechanization.

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