Updated April 2020

Welcome to some interesting facts about cotton, the amazing textile that has been harvested from cotton plants for millennia.

cotton flower facts
We heart cotton
  • Man has been cultivating and processing fabrics from cotton fibers since at least 3000BC, making it the oldest known textile…but the very oldest found cotton dates back twice as far to 6000 BCE in Peru.
  • The word cotton is said to have Arabic origins
  • Did you know cotton can be grown in different colours – Off white (normal), brown, rust and even light purple. It can even resemble romantc shapes as our picture shows.
  • The largest producer of cotton in the world is India followed by the U.S then China.
  • China are the largest consumers of cotton followed by India then Pakistan.
  • The highest quality of cotton comes from Australia and Egypt. – There’s something going on down under, the finest cotton and wool…
  • Cotton can absorb 3x its own weight in water, not bad but not quite as good as a Citrus Rain microfiber sports towel
  • A 227kg cotton bale can be made into 215 pairs of jeans, 1,200 t-shirts, 2,100 pairs of boxer shorts, 4,300 pairs of socks or 680,000 cotton balls.
  • The ten biggest exporters of cotton in the world during 2018-2019 were:
  1. United States
  2. Brazil
  3. Australia
  4. India
  5. Benin
  6. Greece
  7. Mali
  8. Burkina Faso
  9. Ivory Coast
  10. Uzbekistan
  • What’s the value of cotton? Well a 480 lb bale of cotton could make 313,600 American $100 notes – $31,360,000 – A pity this doesn’t represent the actual saleable value of a cotton bale a measly, by comparison, average of $329.00.
  • Ever thought about where your jeans originated – Denim fabric was originally manufactured in France in a town called Nimes, so the fabric was consider to be “of Nimes”, in French De Nimes … Can you see where we’re going with this one…

A Final Unusual Cotton Fact

edison cotton

Hopefully we’ve shone a little light on cotton in a fun way but before we sign off, one last fact.

This cotton fact is guaranteed to improve your chances in Trivial Pursuits – Honest…

  • Did you know Thomas Edison invented the first light bulb in the late 1800’s, after 100’s of attempts he finally cracked it using a cotton thread as the filament.

How illuminating! Groan.





About us: Citrus Rain allow you to print your designs on fabrics, including lots of cotton. Order your free swatch if you want to make fabric prints too.

We have made great products for

  • betfair
  • adidas
  • lego
  • lottery
  • mastercard
  • o2
  • virgin
  • london olympics
  • Rio 2016
View our Case Studies

“…Just a quick email to tell you how delighted I am with the cushions, they are absolutely beautiful. Thank you...

Ria Edmenson