I've just finished my presentation on plant fibers. I'll say this again and again, 'cause it's true. I'm pretty sure that I now know more about plant fibers than is reasonable for most humans. I may go into detail in a future blog entry, but here's a little tidbit:
In the 1300's this English fellow, Sir John Mandeville, came across some cotton being grown in India and described it thusly:
"there grew there a wonderful tree which bore tiny lambs on the endes of its branches. These branches were so pliable that they bent down to allow the lambs to feed when they are hungrie." Ummm...yeah. I think your rye's gone ergot, Sir John.
Cotton has been grown, spun, and woven in India for about 5,000 years. It soon spread to Egypt and surrounding areas. Our word "cotton" comes from the Arabic, "quoton." Cotton has been used in the Americas for about 4,500 years, according to our best estimates. Columbus was greeted with gifts of cotton when he "discovered America," which had been there the whole time, as those cotton-producing natives could have told him. Today, the US exports the most cotton of all the countries in the world, but China is the largest cotton producer.
Now to put together my list of references and fluff my butt a little.