The Story of Cotton  A song to remember
Everyone knows the song: In the cotton fields back home. 
“When I was a little bitty baby                                                                                                                                                                                                My momma would rock me in the cradle                                                                                                                                                                            In them old cotton fields back home.”

The last verse goes like this.

“It was down in Louisiana,                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Just about a mile from Texarkana,                                                                                                                                                                                                  In them old cotton fields back home!                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, when I was a little bitty baby                                                                                                                                                                                                      In them old cotton fields back home.”



A cotton field back home


Lyric shorts:  The cotton fields back home.

1.  Who wrote the song cotton fields back home?
Lead Belly  |  Cotton Fields/Lyricists
2.  Who sang the cotton fields back home?
Creedence Clearwater Revival   |Cotton Fields/Artists
3.  Are there still cotton fields in the US?
Cotton is grown in 17 states stretching across the southern half of the United States:
Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi,
Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
4.  What are cotton fields?
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants.
It is of the genus Gossypium in the mallow family Malvaceae. 
The fiber is almost pure cellulose In a field of cotton, when it is ready to harvest, big machines, such as a picker or stripper are used.
One can say they have a field a corn or a field of potatoes, but a field of cotton is beautiful.
5.  How is cotton processed into fabric?
These mills start with raw bales of cotton and process them in stages until they produce yarn
(fibers twisted into threads used in weaving or knitting)
Or a cloth (fabric or material constructed from weaving or knitting.

The Story of Cotton



Denim is a sturdy cotton.   To answer most people’s question, 100% cotton is Denim.
It is a plant that is commercially grown for cotton products. The seeds of the cotton product oil and protein-rich flour. 
                                                                                                  The seeds of a cotton plant                                                                                                          seeds from a cotton plant
Cottonseed oil is the product. 
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple flower.  There are different colors of the flower to tell the progress of the cotton.  This helps the cotton farmer to gauge when the cotton will be ready for harvesting.
The textile, or the breathable cloth, comes from the fiber that grows in a boil, or a protective case and is spun into thread or yarn. It is named the genus Gossypium in the mallow family Malvaceae.
                                                                                                                                      The cotton plant showing a boil
                                                                                   The boil-a cotton seed plantbranch of a cotton plant
                                                                                                                 A fluffy cotton from a cotton branch

Cotton is a major part of our daily lives from the cloth we use to wash our face and dry with a cotton towel. We slide in the cotton sheets at night and in the morning, we put on some cotton clothes.

Fibers from the cotton plant in weaving terms have the weft passes under two or more warp threads.

warp and weft in weaving

Warp and weft are the basic elements of all textile   Cotton is used to make a particular weave.  Basically, the basic elements are used in weaving to turn the thread into yarn and then into fabric.
The warp yarns are stationary on a loom and the weft is inserted over and under the warp.  

The Cotton Products

The cotton fiber can be woven or knitted into fabrics, such as corduroy, velvet, flannel.  It is also useful for bookbinding, fishnets, and coffee filters.
Cotton is the leading cash product in America.  For this reason, the most important part is the fiber or the lint.  They provide cellulose for making plastics and explosives.
Other products are made for women, men, and children.  Cotton clothes that are worn are cool in the summer and warm in the winter.  They are T-shirts, socks, shirts, dresses, and underwear. 
The cotton seeds can be made into oil.   Cotton meal left over the processing is good for livestock and its hulks can be added for roughage to dairy cattle.   It is poisonous to humans.

The Zipper

This zipper has the initial YKK.  What does that stand for?  It is the Japenese zipper that makes almost half of the zippers in the world.   It was founded by Tadao Yoshida in 1934.   The YKK stands for Yoshida Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha which translate as best as possible as Yoshida Company Unlimited.

an initial YKK zipper

The modern metal zipper was invented in 1914.  They were used in galoshes and bags.   
The belt loops were first used in the early 1920’s along with the suspender buttons for years.
Zippers were used in men’s trousers after 1927.    A zipper or the zip fastener was formerly known as a clasp locker.
In the late 1930’s, women wore zippers with their dresses.
Indio dye
Indio dye is used to color the denim.   It is an organic dye and has a blue color.   You know like in Levi jeans?
It was manufactured in India and in ancient days has a long history there.  Organic indigo was used until the discovery of synthetic indigo.   It is cheaper to use than the organic indigo.  I believe there are countries that use the organic dye.  LS&Co uses the synthetic dye.
The Denim Story
Denim is a material made of 100% cotton.
Denim, a type of textile weave, has a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs.  It is the difference between silk and satin which has a smooth pattern.  A twill pattern is characterized by diagonal ridges.   The ridges are created by the regular combinations of threads of the warp and weft during weaving.
Cotton denim jeans background
Denim is made from uncolored yarn.  Denim is dried many times so that the color will not fade easily. 
It is washed to prevent shrinkage.  So, when you get your Levi jeans, it will shrink only about 1%.  That is why it is sent true to size; that is if the measurements are correct.  
The warp threads of denim fabric are dyed in indigo   Weft threads remain plain white.   That is why you see blue on one side and white on the other.
Raw denim is not washed or dried.  It is a good idea to be careful where you place your jeans because some of the dye will seep through to other fabric.  It also takes a lot longer for raw denim to fade.
Sanforized jeans are simply jeans that have been washed many times in the factory.  There is no washing with raw denim.  I used to be confused with these two terms.
The word “denim” comes from the fabric, “Serge de Nimes” made in France in the city of Nemes where it originated in 1685-1689.

The Looms and Name of Person who Invented them

The invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney secured a patent on his cotton gin in 1793.  That made the production of cotton to be lowered.   Widespread use of cotton and led indirectly to the Civil war.   The growing of cotton became highly profitable to the South.  
While it was true that the cotton gin reduced the labor of removing seeds, it did not reduce the need for slaves to grow and pick the cotton. In fact, the opposite occurred. Cotton growing became so profitable for the planters that it greatly increased their demand for both land and slave labor.  Eli Whitney’s patent on the cotton gin|national archives
                                                                                                                                                                   Slaves                    Slaves in a plantation


Eli Whitney was born in 1765 and died in 1825.   He was born in Massachusetts and was graduated from Yale University.   He had 4 children.  The cotton gin was one of the most important inventions of the industrial revolution.   It strengthened the agricultural and economy of the South.  It provided a plantation society and the profitable use of slaves.
painting of Eli Whitney


                                                                                                                               cotton gin
Eli Whitney had a lot of legal battles and lost money due to the infringement of the gin.   He finally got his patent, but he was so bitter.  He then secured contracts with the Government for the manufacture of muskets for the Army that was newly formed..
He never stopped inventing.  His son and grandson were famous in their lifetime too.
                                                                           The Spinning Jenny was invented by James Hargreaves in 1720.
                                                               James Hargreaves the young 20 year old man
He was born Lancashire. England and his family were very poor.  Hargreaves received no formal education.   He worked as a weaver and a carpenter in Lancashire.
He could not read nor write as a result of having no education.   He must have had skill in measurements, however.
James was married at the age of 20 to a woman named Elizabeth and together they had 27 children.
James Hargreaves invented the Spinning Jenny in 1780.   It was a device in which multiple threads of cotton could be woven together.  
This was done with a spindle and a wheel.   The invention was before the industrial revolution and because of the textile industry was poor at the time, the invention helped extremely well.

James's spinning Jenny

The machine reduced the amount of work needed to make cloth.  The worker was able to use eight spools of thread.  Later the spools of thread became 120 as technology advanced.

Who invented the first weaving machine? 

In 1696 AD. Irish weavers produced cloth less expensively than the English. In 1733 AD. John Kay, an Englishman, invented the flying shuttle loom. This invention was called “flying shuttle” because of its speed.
         Hargreaves Flying Shuttle
The invention of the Flying Shuttle in 1733 was an important step toward automatic weaving. Before this invention the shuttle was thrown, or passed, through the threads by hand, and wide fabrics required two weavers seated side by side passing the shuttle between them.
It was the invention of the Spinning Jenny by James Hargreaves that is credited with moving the textile industry from homes to factories.
The people who migrated to America in the 1600s from Ireland, Scotland and England brought with them the basic styles of music that are generally considered to be the roots of bluegrass music as it is known today.
“Cotton Fields” is a song written by American blues musician Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly, who made the first recording of the song in 1940. It can be a blues or/and bluegrass music.
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On that note, Let us listen to “Cotton Fields”
By by,
Judy K. Owner of the Website,






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