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What was cotton named after?

Hi everyone, I am a curious student researching the history of cotton and its significance in modern textile industry. While going through my notes, I realized that I do not know the origin of the term 'cotton'. I have tried searching online, but I couldn't find a satisfactory answer. Can anyone please tell me the story behind the name 'cotton'? I'm really interested to know. Thank you in advance!

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Nice question. As a fashion designer, I have encountered cotton many times, and it remains one of my favorite fabrics to work with. Personally, I found a story that says 'cotton' was derived from the Old French word 'coton'. Initially, this word was referred to as a cotton-yielding plant, but as the plant gained popularity around different parts of the world, the name was eventually adopted in the English language. It is interesting to learn about the origin of names of things we use daily, and for me, this research is especially exciting as it reveals the rich history and cultural significance behind the simple plant we know as cotton.


Hi there. As a botanist, I am fascinated by the different types of cotton plants, their growth, and the evolution of the cotton industry over the years. Although there are controversies over the origin of the name 'cotton,' the plant itself is believed to have originated in India. There are four main types of cotton plants known as long-staple cotton, Pima cotton, upland cotton, and Egyptian cotton. Each has unique properties that make it suitable for different types of clothing or fabrics. Although cotton was initially handpicked, the introduction of the cotton gin in 1793 revolutionized the industry, making it faster and more efficient. Currently, cotton remains one of the most widely used fabrics in the textile industry, and improvements in cultivation and processing have made it more environmentally sustainable.


Hello everyone! I have a slightly different perspective on this topic of the origin of cotton name. My fascination with cotton came during a recent trip to West Africa where I learned that it was not just a fabric, but a symbol of economic growth and independence for the African people. I was fortunate to have the chance to discuss with some local people, and I discovered that the name 'cotton' has a lot to do with slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. The African farmers who grew the crop for the slave trade called it 'mpempi' or 'ndassie', which later on was known to the Europeans as 'cotton.' I found this quite intriguing and it made me reflect on how the legacy of the slave trade has influenced even the names of things we use today.


Hi there! I happened to stumble upon this thread and I could not help but contribute to it. As a history enthusiast, I have researched the origin of the name 'cotton', and I found it quite interesting. The word 'cotton' is believed to have originated from the Arabic word 'qutn'. During the early days of cotton trade, Arab traders introduced cotton to the Western world, and due to the difficulty of correctly pronouncing the Arabic word, it eventually evolved into 'cotton'. It is amazing to think that one small plant that originated in ancient India and was introduced to the West by Arab traders, now dominates the global textile industry.

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