Cotton grows on the cotton plant. This is related to the cocoa tree. The plant needs a lot of heat and water and therefore grows in the tropics and subtropics. They are mostly grown in China, India, the USA, and Pakistan, but also in Africa.
Cotton fiber is obtained from the seed hairs. The fiber can then be spun into cotton thread. It is mainly used to weave textiles for clothing, bath towels, blankets, and other things. It is also used to reinforce plastics.
Since people need a lot of cottons, it is often grown in huge fields, so-called plantations. They are as big as several soccer fields. It takes a lot of workers to pick cotton. In the USA, slaves from Africa used to be forced to do this. It’s forbidden today. In many countries, however, the children have to help so that the families have enough to live on. Because of this child labor, they often cannot go to school. In more developed countries there are now machines that harvest cotton.
Such machines also press the cotton into huge bales. One of them fills a truck alone. The other work is also done by machines: they comb, spin, and weave the fibers into textiles. This is often simply referred to as “substance”.