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Textiles that Changed Fashion Forever

These textiles revolutionized American fashion forever.

Eli Whitney

Eli Whitney revolutionized the efficiency of cotton production through the invention of the cotton gin. 

All parts of the cotton plant are useful. . Linters, the short fuzz on the seed, provide cellulose for making plastics, explosives and other products. Linters can also be used in high quality paper products and processed into batting for padding mattresses, furniture and automobile cushions.
cottonseedCottonseed oil is used primarily for shortening, cooking oil and salad dressing. The meal and hulls that remain are used either separately or in combination as livestock, poultry and fish feed and as fertilizer. The stalks and leaves of the cotton plant are plowed under to enrich the soil.



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How did cotton change fashion forever?

Cotton fibre can be woven or knitted into fabrics such as velvet, corduroy, chambray, velour, jersey and flannel.  In addition to textile products like underwear, socks and t-shirts, cotton is also used in fishnets, coffee filters, book binding and archival paper.  Cotton is a food AND a fibre crop.  Cotton seed is fed to cattle and crushed to make oil.  This cottonseed oil is used for cooking and in products like soap, margarine, emulsifiers, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, rubber and plastics.