Cotton Research and Development Corporation


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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 it's 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


1– 5 December 2014

Industry Placement Scholarship Camp, Toowoomba

12 – 16 January 2015

Industry Placements

19– 23 January 2015

Industry Placements

11 February 2015

Reporting Back Session

Previous students' IPS reports are available here.