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All American Cotton by the Numbers

Across  America, there are farms growing the cotton that makes its way into your  clothing, towels, sheets, and even the dollar bills in your pocket. But that  cotton is more than a great fiber. It’s also one of the most important crops  produced in the United States, and all those farms and gins add up to a $25  billion-per-year industry.

The United  States is the third largest producer of cotton in the world today, with 35%  of the world’s cotton fibers produced on farms from the Atlantic all the way  to the Pacific. So where is the majority of cotton grown in the United  States, and what kinds of cotton do American farmers grow? Let’s find out.

From Sea to Fluffy Sea

Thanks to  their unique climates, just six states account for 99% of the country’s upland and pima cotton  production: Texas, California, Arizona, Mississippi, Missouri, and Florida.  About 97% of U.S. cotton production is upland cotton, while the other 3% is  pima cotton.

Everything’s  bigger in Texas, so it’s no surprise that the Lone Star State produces more  cotton than any other state. Texan growers, harvesters, and ginners account  for 25% of the annual production of American cotton, totaling 4.5 million  bales. Yeehaw! That’s a lot of cotton.                                                                      

Those  big numbers carry over to American textile mills as well, where hard-working  millers spin an average of 3.6 million  bales of cotton every year. That's enough cotton to make  more than 750 million pairs of denim jeans!

The Two Types of American-Grown Cotton

There are  two types of cotton grown in the United States — upland and pima. Both types  of cotton are white, soft, and strong, so how can you tell one fluffball from  another?

Upland cotton has short staple  fibers that are great for basic, everyday use. Thanks to its soft, strong,  and low maintenance fibers, upland is primarily used to make denim jeans and  flannel clothing. The majority of upland cotton is grown in the southern  states.

Pima  cotton has extra-long fibers, making it exceptionally soft and  strong. Pima cotton is used to make luxurious and long-lasting sheets,  towels, and other quality products.

Only about  3% of the cotton grown in the United States is pima cotton, and it’s more  expensive and harder to find than upland cotton. The majority of pima cotton  is grown in California because of its warm springs, hot summers, and dry  falls. But the best pima cotton is grown in the San Joaquin Valley of  California.

Whether it’s pima or upland, the most important aspect of cotton is its  purity. At HomeGrown Cotton, we ensure our cotton is 100% pure at every stage  of the supply chain. 

Our cotton  is verified with FiberTyping®  which is a patented test confirming that our products contain 100% American  cotton. And to prevent the mixing of foreign or inferior fibers along the  supply chain, we use our SigNature  T Technology®, an invisible molecular marker that  allows us to test for purity from farm to shelf. 

The Future of American Cotton Production

Cotton  production is a lucrative part of the U.S. economy and continues to be on the  rise. Consumers are eager to get their hands on all-American products more  than ever, and American cotton farmers have ramped up production to meet that  demand. According to the USDA, total American cotton production in 2018 is  estimated at 21.3 million bales, nearly 24% higher than last season’s crop.

In addition  to this increase in cotton production, the industry as a whole is taking  steps to produce sustainable cotton. The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol  plans to hit the following sustainability goals by 2025.

At HomeGrown cotton, we’re devoted to harvesting 100% verified American  upland cotton. Our family farmers work hard to bring you quality cotton  products that feel good on your skin with all-American roots that you can  feel good about. Learn more about our pure American cotton here.



Whether you’re a manufacturer looking to enhance your cotton products or a customer just wanting to know a bit more, we’d love to hear from you.

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