Cotton Research and Development Corporation


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Science for Growth Awards (SGA): to improve understanding among school students and science teachers of the science-based career opportunities available in primary industries and Australian agribusiness.

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Did You Know?

• The word ‘cotton’ is derived from ‘qutun’ or ‘kutun’, an Arabic word used to describe any fine textile
• In an average year, Australia’s cotton growers produce enough cotton to clothe 500 million people
• Around 70 countries in the world grow cotton
• Cotton and its by-products are used in the production of a huge range of products including bank notes, margarine, rubber and medical supplies
• There are 43 species of cotton in the world and some cotton grows on trees
• Australia and Egypt produce the highest quality cottons in the world
• The fibre from one 227kg cotton bale can produce 215 pairs of jeans, 250 single bed sheets, 1,200 t-shirts, 2,100 pairs of boxer shorts, 3,000 nappies, 4,300 pairs of socks or 680,000 cotton balls
• Cotton can absorb up to 27 times its own weight in water
• The cotton plant requires about 180 – 200 days from planting to full maturity ready for harvest
• Cotton is a unique crop in that it is both a food and a fibre
• China is the world's largest cotton importer and is also the biggest producer
• Chambray is a type of cotton popularly used in the manufacture of blue work shirts, and is where we get the term "blue-collar"
• Cotton dates from at least 7,000 years ago making it one of the world’s oldest known fibres
• Archaeologists found 5,000 year old cotton fabric at Mohenjo Daro, an ancient town in the Indus River Valley of West Pakistan
• Greek and Roman civilisations used cotton for awnings and sails as well as clothing
• The Aztec civilisation used naturally coloured brown cotton as a principal form of payment
• Denim fabric was initially produced in Nimes, France. Denim derives its name from ‘serge de Nimes’ (‘fabric of Nimes’)
• In the 16th Century, sailors from the Italian port city, Genoa, began to wear denim
• Naturally coloured cotton varieties in South America have come in shades of red, yellow, beige, chocolate, pink, purple, green, striped like a tiger and even spotted like a leopard
• Ancient Peruvians made fishing nets and lines from darker shades of cotton to be less visible to fish

For these and more interesting facts and resources visit Cotton Australia at


8 – 10 July

CONASTA62, Melbourne

29 August

Science and Engineering Investigation Awards, Crossing Theatre, Narrabri

10 – 18 August

National Science Week

2 – 6 December

Industry Placement Scholarship Camp, Toowoomba

9 – 10 December

Teacher Professional Development Program, Toowoomba

13 – 17 January 2014

Industry Placements

20 – 24 January 2014

Industry Placements

5 February 2014

Reporting Back Session