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On The Farm

Cotton: The Fabric of Our State

In North Carolina, cotton is king, and it touches your life in more ways than you might think

Close-up of the cotton ball on the plant in the field. Play Video

What do your clothes and linens have in common with ice cream and $100 bills? Besides being a few of your favorite things, they all may contain cotton. And that’s just the tip of the swab!

Cotton is used in cosmetics that cleanse us; food that sustains our families; film that immortalizes moments in time; biofuel that powers industries; money that buys what we need; and, of course, in fabrics that touch our lives every day. Like the fluffy white clouds it resembles, cotton can be found everywhere.

Cottonseed oil, made from cotton seeds, is used in potato chips, cookies, crackers, dressings and more

While it’s nearly impossible not to come in contact with cotton, have you ever wondered how cotton gets from the field to your family? How do these squishy, swab-like plant parts become products that impact our daily lives? And speaking of impact, how important is cotton to North Carolina and the state’s economy?

We caught up with Guy Collins, cotton specialist with NC State Extension, who drops a bale of knowledge on us in this edition of Homegrown On the Farm.

Watch now and discover how cotton is woven into our daily lives, and what NC State is doing to help our cotton growers make sound, sustainable decisions.

Five Fun Facts

Find more fun facts in this Count on Cotton fact sheet from Cotton, Inc.

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