Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #321340

Research Project: Enhancing the Quality, Utility, Sustainability and Environmental Impact of Western and Long-Staple Cotton through Improvements in Harvesting, Processing, and Utilization

Location: Cotton Ginning Research

Title: Dictionary of cotton: Picking & ginning

item Armijo, Carlos
item Wanjura, John
item Whitelock, Derek

Submitted to: International Cotton Advisory Committee Recorder
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/2015
Publication Date: 1/15/2016
Publication URL:
Citation: Hughs, S.E., Armijo, C.B., Wanjura, J.D., Whitelock, D.P. 2016. Dictionary of cotton: Picking & ginning. International Cotton Advisory Committee Recorder. Washington, DC: International Cotton Researchers Association and International Cotton Advisory Committee. p. 174.

Interpretive Summary: Cotton is widely grown, traded and processed around the world and is an important economic engine in the economy of the over 100 countries that grow and process cotton into textiles. As in any industry, there are many technical terms used in the cotton industry that have specific meanings and are important to communication and operation of the industry. These terms can vary from place to place and sometimes be somewhat ambiguous in their meanings depending on usage. There have been some past listings of terms and their definitions in various segments of the industry, but these have been sporadic and not widely reviewed or necessarily accepted. The International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) has recognized the need to bring all of the technical terms from various cotton industry segments into one recognized, peer reviewed, and authoritative document. The ICAC has divided the cotton industry into 17 segments and has asked experts in each segment to compile and define terms used in their particular segment. This manuscript is for the harvesting and ginning segment of the cotton industry.

Technical Abstract: Cotton is an essential commodity for textiles and has long been an important item of trade in the world’s economy. Cotton is currently grown in over 100 countries by an estimated 100 producers. The basic unit of the cotton trade is the cotton bale which consists of approximately 500 pounds of raw cotton fiber. These cotton bales, depending on quality, are then processed into innumerable textile products from clothing to cotton swabs. The process by which cotton begins with planting a seed and ends with a finished product is complex and varies in some ways in different parts of the world. However there are many similarities in the cotton industry regardless of location in the world. Also, as in any other industry, the various parts and processes that make up the cotton industry are described by various technical terms. While many of these terms are widely understood in the industry by their common usage, many others can be misleading and misunderstood particularly by newcomers to the industry or by others engaged in the cotton industry at widely separated parts of the world. The International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) has recognized the need to standardize terms used in the cotton industry for increased efficiency in communication and decreased misunderstanding within the industry. There has never been a dictionary compiled that encompassed the entire cotton industry. The ICAC has divided the cotton industry into 17 distinct but connected segments within which to compile technical terms. This segment addresses cotton harvesting and ginning.