Mexico found bits of cotton bolls and pieces of cotton cloth that proved to be at least 7,000 years old. They also found that the cotton itself was much like that grown in America today.
“Pre-Columbian civilizations made armor. Both the Aztecs and Incas sandwiched cotton between layers of cloth and leather and stitched the whole thing together, creating quilted vests and body suits. This cotton armor was very dense and could be two fingers thick, and it repelled arrows and spears almost as well as a Spanish steel breastplate. Plus, cotton armor was much lighter, cooler, and more flexible, which probably erased the breastplate’s advantage in toughness. That’s why so many conquistadors fought in native armor.” https://pintsofhistory.com/2011/08/10/mesoamerican-cotton-armor-better-than-steel/
In the Indus River Valley in Pakistan, cotton was being grown, spun and woven into cloth 3,000 years BC. At about the same time, natives of Egypt’s Nile valley were making and wearing cotton clothing.
- Harappan People, migrated from Africa to what is now Pakistran, and the subcontinent of India. they were the first people in Eurasia to grow cotton for clothing, sheets, and towels.
late Mature Harappan period, National Museum Karachi Pakistan
- Rigveda (1500-1200 BC) Famous Indian poems mentioning cotton. “Threads in the loom”
- Guptan Period, 200 AD. Indians were selling cotton as a luxury good to their neighbors in the east and west (Chinese and Romans)resource: Indian Textile Journal
Arab merchants brought cotton cloth to Europe about 800 A.D. and or 1000 AD Italian traders brought more cotton to Europe, but as a finished luxury good it was not well recognized.
- English word for cotton come from Arabic “al-qutun”
- Islamic Empire established in 600 AD spread cotton production westward across the Middle East to North Africa and Spain.
- 700 AD Eastern Roman Empire started growing cotton
When Columbus discovered America in 1492, he found cotton growing in the Bahama Islands.
Cotton seed are believed to have been planted in Florida in 1556 and in Virginia in 1607. By 1616, colonists were growing cotton along the James River in Virginia.
18th Century American cotton is grown in Africa and later India.
Professor Lung’s Indigo – futility