Historical importance of cotton in the fashion industry￼
Today we will discuss the historical importance of the most versatile form of textile; Cotton. Cotton textiles were traded widely in Roman times, and the growing and production of cotton soon spread from India to Egypt and China. India is the second largest producer of cotton today!
India led the fashion industry in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when Indian cotton fabric and design motifs swept the known world. From Africa to Europe and across the Atlantic, India became an influential player in the early modern textile market. The key to India’s leadership of the early modern fashion world was cotton. Male and female artisans produced yarn and fabric—soft, finely-woven, colourful, painted, and printed. Savvy merchants sold it from Africa to Northeast Asia. Motifs of Hindu figures and indigenous Indian flowers became symbols of beauty and quality in Africa, Asia, and, somewhat later, in Europe and the American colonies.
Cotton’s versatility and durability makes it the most used textile in the world. It remains the most important fiber in apparel with nearly half of the world demand for apparel fibers traceable to cotton and cotton blends. Cotton is a medium strong fiber with a tendency to wrinkle. Wrinkling is diminished when fibers are long and fine and yarns are flexible. Cotton is comfortable and naturally sustainable. The production of cotton, which may have largely been spun in the villages and then taken to towns in the form of yarn to be woven into cloth textiles, was advanced by the diffusion of the spinning wheel across India shortly before the Mughal era. The diffusion of the spinning wheel, and the incorporation of the worm gear and crank handle into the roller cotton gin, led to greatly expanded Indian cotton textile production during the Mughal era.
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