Cotton is an important product not just in America but in 80 countries around the world. The major growing areas of cotton in the U.S. are the Southern and Southwestern states. Cotton fiber has been used to make fabrics for at least 7,000 years with remnants discovered in Mexico that date back to 3500 BC. Cotton seeds are often used in animal feed or crushed and made into oil. The cotton industry was revolutionized in 1793 when Eli Whitney patented the cotton gin. The “gin” (short for engine) separated green seeds from the cotton ten times faster than by hand. Take a closer look at the U.S. one dollar bill; it’s made up of 75% cotton and 25% linen.

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