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What is Cotton?

What is it?

Name in Lithuanian (medvilnė) suggests that it is wool growing on a tree. Neighboring languages ​​have a similar meaning (baumwolle in German, kokvilna in Latvian).


In Europe in the Middle Ages, it was known that this fiber, similar to sheep’s wool, was brought from distant lands. But Europeans knew little about how that fiber was produced. Legends about lambs growing in the trees soared.

In the 14th century, John Mandeville’s travelogue tells the story of a cotton tree growing in India with tiny sheep on its branches. According to him, when sheep want to eat, the branches bend down.

Legends about the sheep-plant were prevalent in various lands. The most famous is Tartar vegetable sheep Baromez. The earliest written descriptions of animal-plant are in the work of the Greek historian Herodotus History (430 BC).

John Mandeville “cotton tree”

And what is known about cotton today?


  • Grows on shrubs in tropical and subtropical lands.
  • The plant needs a lot of sunny, frost-free weather for a long time and rain. Grows about 6-7 months.
  • Used by mankind for at least 7 thousand years.
  • Natural color can be not only white, but also red, green, brown.
  • Organic cotton is non-genetically modified and grown without synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
  • World Cotton Day in on October 7.

Characteristics of cotton

  • Breathability
  • Softness
  • Durablity (strong)
  • Hold dye (wide range of colors)

Further information

How it is processed in factories:

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