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Old And Sold Antiques Digest Article

Textile Fibers
Historical Sketch Of The Textiles
Mechanical Devices For Preparation Of Textiles
Cotton Production
Cotton Marketing
Cotton Manufacturing
Geography Of The Cotton Trade
Prices Of Cotton Goods
Classes Of Wool
Production Of Wool
Wool Marketing
Manufacture Of Wool
Geography Of Wool Production
Mohair, Its Nature And Uses
Raw Silk Porduction
Silk Manufacturing
Silk Waste
Imitations Of Silk
Construction, Color, And Finish Of Cloth
Dyeing And Printing
Cloth Finishing
Care Of Textiles
Textile Tests

Geography Of The Cotton Trade

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

Reasons for the cotton trade.-In a previous chapter some mention was made of the cotton-growing areas of the world. The manufacturing of cotton is often carried on far from the plantations. Most cotton-producing nations also have cotton manufactures, but the entire product of the nation is seldom used up at home. The kind of cotton produced is in some cases not entirely suitable for complete manufactures; hence imports of other varieties and qualities may be necessary, while the unused surplus is sent elsewhere.

Extent of cotton trade.-By comparing a country's production of raw cotton with the consumption of its cotton factories we can get some idea of the vast world trade carried on in raw cotton. Absolutely accurate figures are unobtainable; the following table is, however, fairly dependable. It does not account for all of the cotton raised and manufactured, but what it does show will give an idea of the immensity of the trade in raw cotton.

It is clear from this table that a great deal of cotton is moved from places where it is produced to distant places where it is to be worked into yarns and fabrics. The discrepancies that occur in the table, such as a greater consumption by the factories than production and importation for the year, 1910, may be accounted for by possible stocks of raw cotton on hand from the previous year, for these are not included under production or imports. Again, much of the surplus not consumed was either stored over into the year 1911 or reexported to other countries.

Countries interested in the cotton trade.-Where does the cotton from the great cotton-producing countries go? By reference to the table it is clear that it must go to the great cotton-consuming or manufacturing nations that produce no raw cotton. The surplus of cotton from the United States, India, Egypt, China, Peru, Turkey, and Russia must go to Great Britain, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Austria, etc. Some of the cotton going to England is reexported from there to other nations.

Cotton-exporting markets.-Naturally certain cities in the cotton-producing countries have become important as cotton-exporting centers. In the United States, Galveston ranks highest in number of bales received and shipped, the amount running considerably over 2,000,000 bales per year. New Orleans and Savannah come next. New Orleans usually holds second place with a total yearly average of nearly 2,000,00o bales, but in 1910 the amount ran down to 1,315,000 bales and Savannah came into second place with 1,365,000 bales. The other important cities receiving and shipping cotton in the southern United States are: Norfolk, Virginia; Wilmington, North Carolina; Mobile, Alabama; Brunswick and Charleston, South Carolina. Considerable cotton is received overland at Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, and even at Boston from the cotton states.

The chief exporting ports in the other cotton-producing countries are Bombay and Madras in India, Alexandria in Egypt, and Shanghai in China.

Cottan-importing markets.-Similarly, certain large cities have become prominent as the receiving centers for the great cotton-importing countries. No city in the world receives so much cotton as Liverpool. England's high rank as a cotton textile producer accounts for this, although a great deal of cotton received in Liverpool is reshipped in smaller quantities to various parts of Europe and elsewhere. American spinners frequently buy Egyptian or East Indian cotton in Liverpool. A few miles inland from Liverpool is another great cotton market, Manchester, the very heart of the cotton textiles manufacturing district of England. Cotton received here is used in the immediate vicinity.

Bremen and Hamburg are the chief cotton-receiving cities of Germany. Bremen gets mainly the American cottons, and Hamburg those from East India and Egypt. No small part of Hamburg's import, however, goes to Bremen before being sold to the manufacturer. Both Hamburg and Bremen supply cotton mills in all parts of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, and Russia. Belgium also gets some cotton from Bremen, but more from Liverpool.

Havre is the great cotton-receiving port in France. Most of the cotton received comes directly from the United States, some from Liverpool, and a little from Hamburg. Dunkirk is the second greatest cotton-importing city in France. It receives American cottons mainly, whereas Marseilles in southern France receives considerable cotton from Egypt and India.

Reval is the chief cotton-importing city of Russia. Others of importance are St. Petersburg, Alexandrovo, and Odessa. Most of the cotton comes direct from the United States, but a good deal is transshipped from Liverpool, Bremen, and Hamburg. Persian and Egyptian cottons are received in considerable amounts at Odessa.

Barcelona is the chief cotton-receiving point in Spain. Rotterdam and Enscheide come first in Netherlands. Much of the cotton imported at these points comes directly from Germany and England. Gottenburg and Norrkoping in Sweden, Christiania in Norway, Oporto in Portugal, Kobe and Yokohama in Japan are the chief cotton-receiving cities in the countries named.

In the United States, Boston ranks first as a cotton-importing city. This may be accounted for by its closeness to the cotton-manufacturing section of New England. Philadelphia and New York follow.

Liverpool, Bremen, Havre, New York, and Boston are the dominant cotton markets of the world. At each of these places there is a large association of business men whose sole purpose it is to promote commerce in raw cotton. The associations are known as cotton exchanges. In each of these cities is a large building used by the association for commercial trading. The working of the great exchanges is similar to that of the smaller and more general cotton exchanges already described. The prices made at these great exchanges govern the cotton markets everywhere else. Since the greatest volume of cotton trading takes place at Liverpool, the Liverpool market is watched with greatest care not only by dealers in raw cotton, but also by cotton manufacturers, dealers in finished goods, and even by retail dry goods merchants. When cotton prices in Liverpool go up or down, cotton prices elsewhere are likely to follow their lead.

Why the greatest cotton market is not in the United States.-The main reason why the United States, the greatest cotton-producing country in the world, is not the world's chief cotton market, is that the cotton is shipped from the farms to places widely separated. The cotton mills of this country are scattered over an extraordinarily wide area; no one point, therefore, could serve profitably as a cotton market and jobbing center.


We now come to a consideration of the geography of the manufacture of cotton. It is evident from the figures given in the table in the first part of this chapter that cotton manufacturing must be done in the countries where cotton is received and collected. The United States, England, Germany, British India, Russia, Japan, and France, in the order named, manufacture the most cotton at the present time.

Cotton manufacture in the United States.-In 1910 there were in the United States 1,324 establishments producing all kinds of cotton goods except hosiery and knit goods. There were in this same year 1,374 hosiery and knit goods plants (using wool and silk as well as cotton), making a total of 2,698 cotton-using factories in the country.

Although these plants are widely scattered, few states being without one or more, most of the establishments are located in three regions-New England, the Middle states, and the South. In a general way, and with many exceptions, New England manufactures the finer grades of cotton cloths, the Middle states manufacture knit goods, and the South produces the coarser grades of the staple cotton cloths.

COTTON MANUFACTURE IN NEW ENGLAND.-New England is, as we have seen, the historic center of cotton production in this country. More than a hundred years ago the industry was fairly well established in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Later it spread to Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine. New England does not today use so much raw cotton as the South, but it produces more yardage, because it specializes upon the finer grades.

Some of the present chief cotton-manufacturing centers of New England are:

In Massachusetts:

Fall River-prints, twills, sateens, sheetings, cambric, muslins, shirtings, fine and fancy goods. Fall River had 104 cotton mills in 1912

New Bedford-sheetings, muslins, lawns, sateens, prints, brown goods, fine goods.

Lowell-sheetings, drills, fancy dress and combed goods, duck, prints, shirtings, canton flannel, denims, chambrays, plaids, seersuckers.

Lawrence-sheetings, sateens, shirtings, dress goods, fancy prints, cottonades, denims.

Other Massachusetts towns manufacturing cotton goods of a similar nature are Adams, North Adams, Amesbury, Blackstone, Chicopee, Clinton, Holyoke, Salem, Taunton, Webster, Ware, West Salem, Whitinsville, and several others of less importance.

In Rhode Island:

Providence-sheetings, shirtings, sateens, ginghams, bleached goods, etc.

Pawtucket-sheetings, shirtings, cambrics, lawns, twills. Lonsdale-bleached goods, silesias.

Manville-plain goods, ginghams. Warren-sheetings, shirtings, twills, sateens. Woonsocket-sheetings, shirtings, fancy goods.

In New Hampshire:

Manchester-ginghams, denims, tickings, sheetings, shirtings, drills, ducks.

Nashua-sheetings, shirtings, cotton flannel.

Other New Hampshire cotton-manufacturing towns are Dover, Newmarket, Somersworth, and some others.

In Connecticut:

The products are much the same as those produced in Massachusetts mills. The more important factory towns are: North Grosvenor, Dale, Danielson, Montville, Norwich, Taftsville, Waregan, and others.

In Maine:

Lewiston, Waterville, Biddeford, Augusta, Saco, Brunswick, Auburn, and Lisbon.

The region of densest concentration of cotton manufacturing is southeastern New England, within a thirty-mile radius of Providence, Rhode Island. This area includes parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Here is wrought about one-third of the cotton spinning done in the United States. This is also the oldest cotton-manufacturing region in the United States. Samuel Slater started the first power spinning machine at Pawtucket, Rhode Island, in 1791. By 1809 there were forty-one spinning mills within this territory, and this part of the country has ever since held first place in cotton spinning.

COTTON MANUFACTURE IN THE MIDDLE STATES.-The Middle Atlantic states, especially New York and Pennsylvania, produce preeminently the cotton knit goods. Of the 1,374 cotton knit goods manufacturing plants in this country in 1910, Pennsylvania had 464 and New York had 360. No other state had as many as a hundred plants. The Pennsylvania plants were not so large nor so productive as those of New York. New York produced $67,130,296 worth of knit goods; Pennsylvania, $49,657,506 worth. Together they produced three-quarters of all the knit goods in the country. Massachusetts came next in importance with a total of $14,736,025; Wisconsin followed with $7,843,389. It must be remembered, however, that the value here given is not for cotton alone, but for all textile materials used in knit goods.

KNIT GOODS CENTERS.-Knit goods include underwear, hosiery, sweaters, knit jackets, etc. The cities producing most of these goods are New York, Utica, Cohoes, Amsterdam, Brooklyn, Albany, Little Falls, Troy, Syracuse, Rome, Rochester, and Waterford, in New York State. In Pennsylvania the chief producing city is Philadelphia; then come Harrisburg, Honesdale, Pittsburgh, Pottsville, Allentown, Reading, Royersford, Schuylkill Haven, and many others. There are several plants in Baltimore, and others scattered throughout Massachusetts, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and several other states.

New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore are the chief knit goods markets in the country. New York ranks higher than either of the others, and here are most of the large cotton goods and knit goods commission houses of the country.

COTTON MANUFACTURE IN THE SOUTH.-The South has made remarkable progress in cotton manufacture since the Civil War. It is told that in 1881 there was a cotton exposition in Atlanta in which the possibilities of cotton manufacture in the South were vividly advertised by the governor of Georgia, who appeared at the fair one evening dressed in a suit of cotton clothes manufactured upon the grounds from cotton which had been that day picked in a near-by cotton field, the whole process having been in sight of the visitors at the fair.

Progress of the South.-This gave the public the idea that the raw cotton need not be sent to Massachusetts or to England in order to have it made up into cloth. The South has since gone into cotton manufacturing on a big scale, locating mills mainly along rivers and streams at points where power was cheap.

The Piedmont region.-Some miles inland from the Atlantic Coast, the lowlands or plains rise abruptly into hilly ground and highlands. This upland district, called the Piedmont region, stretches backwards to the Appalachian Mountains and north and south from Alabama to the Potomac River, varying in width from about fifty to one hundred and fifty or two hundred miles. Every river that comes down from the Appalachian Mountains through these highlands has at some point a rapid current, generally at the beginning of the Atlantic plain. There is thus a regular line of waterfalls and rapids all along the Piedmont region, furnishing abundant water power. Large cities have been built all along this line, from Washington, D. C., to Tuscaloosa, Alabama-among them, Richmond, Lynchburg, and Danville in Virginia; Asheville, Burlington, Cedar Falls, Charlotte, Concord, East Durham, Greensboro, Kings Mountain, Roanoke Rapids, Spray, Salisbury, Winston-Salem, and Raleigh in North Carolina; Anderson, Chester, Columbia, Darlington, Greenville, Lockhart, Newberrv. Ninety-Six, Rock Hill, Selma, Spartanburg, and Union Warrenville in South Carolina; Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Griffin, Jefferson, Lindale, Hogansville, and Gainesville in Georgia; and Birmingham, Huntsville, and Tuscaloosa in Alabama.

In addition to the great cotton-manufacturing centers of the South just named, there are numerous others which, though of less importance, nevertheless produce in the aggregate a large amount of cotton goods. It has been stated that there are so many cotton factories all along this Piedmont region waterfall line that one can almost throw a stone from one mill to the next all the way from Alabama to Virginia. This is exaggeration, but it emphasizes the extent to which practically every stream that goes through the Piedmont region has been utilized.

Qualities of southern production.-While, in the main, the South produces the coarser grades of cotton cloths, yet there are exceptions to this, just as there are exceptions to New England's producing the finer grades. For example, great quantities of coarse cotton duck, denims, seersuckers, drills, and sheetings are made far up in Maine, while some mills in Georgia and South Carolina produce fancy weaves, cotton damasks, fine shirtings, sateens, and fine white goods. None the less these are exceptional cases. It is to be noted, however, that there has been a gradual increase in the manufacture of finer goods in the South, as there has likewise been a gradual change in New England in favor of producing only the finer grades.

Future o f cotton manufacturing in the South.-It is hard to tell what the future will bring for these two sections of the country. It looks very much as if New England might some day have to fall behind the South, for the South has an advantage not only by being close to the cotton fields, but also by having cheap power and cheaper labor than that of the North. The New England states, however, still have the advantage in skilled labor, and in well-established and widely known plants, and their power is not much more costly. Furthermore, for the present at least, New England is nearer dense cotton-using populations. Again, New England has the Boston and New York jobbing markets, a matter of high importance in the cotton textile business.

Cotton manufacture in England.-The cotton industry of England is located mainly in Lancashire, the business center being Manchester. The business is more concentrated in England than in other countries. South Lancashire is the spinning section and North Lancashire the weaving. Oldham, according to John Worrall's 1911 Directory, had 16,419,256 spindles and 17,272 looms in the mills lying in and around this town, and is, therefore, the greatest spinning center; next come Bolton, Manchester, Rochdale, Stockport, Preston, and Leigh. Burnley, with 98,923 looms besides 581,426 spindles, is the greatest weaving center. Others of note are Blackburn, Preston, Accrington, Darwen, Colne, Manchester, Chorley, Bolton, and Rochdale. The finest yarns, especially those for sewing thread, are spun around Bolton and Manchester, Oldham being the largest producer of weaving yarns. Preston and Chorley produce the finer and lighter woven fabrics; Blackburn, Darwen, and Accrington, shirtings, dhooties, and other goods much used in India; while Nelson and Colne make cloths from dyed yarn, and Bolton is distinguished for fine quiltings and fancy cotton dress goods. Burnley is the center of the great print-cloth manufacture. Nottingham, although not in Lancashire, is the center of the lace, net, curtain, and hosiery trade.

Cotton manufacture in Germany.-The first factory was established in Germany in the latter part of the eighteenth century and contained three small spinning mules. The development of the industry was slow until the unification of the German Empire in 1870. Then the number of mills was doubled by the taking over of Alsace-Lorraine. Soon after came a setback, but the industry was again stimulated by the later higher tariffs, receiving special impetus about 1889.

There are three well-defined centers of cotton manufacturing in Germany-the Saxon, the Alsatian, and the Westphalian. The first section lies north of the mountains of Bohemia and contains some 3,000,000 spindles, the main factory towns being Chemnitz, Mittweida, Plauen, Plue, Werdau, and Crimmitschau. The second section lies in the extreme southeast of Germany, and contains some 4,000,000 spindles, the chief factory towns being Mulhausen, Augsburg, Gebweiler, Logelback, Kampten, Unterhausen, and Lorrach. The third section lies in the northwest corner of the Prussian Rhine and Westphalian provinces; it has some 2,500,000 spindles, located mostly in Gronau, Rheine, Bocholt, Epe, Rheydt, Muchen-Gladbach, and Mulfort.

Augsburg has the greatest number of spindles and looms and is the center for fine spinning; Mulhausen is more noted for fine weaving and printing; Chemnitz for knit goods; Plauen for embroidered lace; Crefeld for velvets; MuchenGladbach for colored goods; Barmen for braided work and ribbons; and Crimmitschau for vigogne yarn, etc. There is a little manufacture of machine-made lace at Leipzig and Dresden, and the latter place also manufactures artificial flowers.

Cotton manufacture in India.-Cotton manufacturing in India dates from 1854, when a Parsee merchant named Cowasji Davur built a small mill at Tardeo, near Bombay. The industry has been more or less under the control of the Bombay Parsees ever since. One half of the mills are on Bombay Island, and nearly three-fourths in the Bombay Presidency. The principal cotton-mill towns of India are Bombay, Ahmedabad, Calcutta, and Cawnpore; while Madras, Nagpur, Sholapore, Agra, Broach, and Delhi all have some factories. Ahmedabad, in Bombay Presidency, is the second largest mill town, and is becoming the fine goods center. The average mill in India has 25,000 spindles, and the average weave mill about 500 looms. There are twenty-one mills that contain over 50,000 spindles or 1,000 looms each; the rest are decidedly smaller. The largest is the Jacob Sassoon mill at Parel, near Bombay, with its 92,840 spindles and 1,810 looms. The next largest number of spindles is in the Bengal mill at Calcutta, while the largest number of looms in a single mill is 2,015, in the Century Mill at Bombay. Two-thirds of the Indian spindles are of the ring spinning variety. Indian mills spin mainly 10's to 20's. The piece goods produced are mainly shirtings and long cloths, dhooties and chadars, T cloths, and sheetings. Production of other than plain woven gray goods is small.

Cotton manufacture in Russia.-The first power-driven cotton mill was established in Russia in 184o by Ludwig Knoop, a young man who had learned the business at Manchester. Fostered by an exceedingly high tariff, the industry has increased until Russia now ranks fourth among the cotton-manufacturing nations. In 1911 there were 140 cotton mills with 8,448,818 spindles and 220,000 looms, furnishing work to 400,000 operatives. Cotton manufacturing is the most important manufacturing industry of modern Russia and employs over a third of the capital invested in all industrial establishments. The industry has more than doubled within twenty years.

There are three well-defined centers of cotton manufacturing in Russia: ( 1 ) The central, or Moscow district; (2) the Baltic, or Petrograd district; and (3) the west ern, or Polish district. The main cotton mill towns are Moscow, Vladimir, Piotrlcov, Petrograd, Kostroma, Lodz, Tver, and Yaroslavl. Conditions are not favorable for the establishment of small mills; therefore the bulk of the industry is controlled by a few big firms. The Krenholm Manufacturing Co. at the small town of Narva near Petrograd has one of the largest cotton mills in the world; in 1910 it had 472,500 spindles and 3,672 looms, and employed some 12,000 operatives. This mill was built in 1856 and is operated by water power. Another mill at Yaroslavl, that of the Great Yaroslavl Manufacturing Co., has 261,886 spindles and 1,912 looms; one in Lodz, the Karl Sheibler Cotton Manufacturing Co., has 222,573 spindles and 4,848 looms. These are the three largest. Sewing thread is made mainly at Petrograd, knit goods at Girardof, and lace and curtains at Warsaw and Moscow. The annual production of the cotton goods industry in 1910 was given as 729,807,743 pounds of yarn and 615,576,261 yards of cloth. Some looms are made at Moscow, but the great bulk of the machinery is imported, mainly from England.

Cotton manufacture in Japan.-The cotton spinning and weaving industry in Japan has grown remarkably during the past few decades. With the constant encouragement and assistance of the government, this industry doubled the capital invested in cotton mills between 1892 and 1902 and has become one of the most important industries of the country.

The first power spinning mill in Japan was started in the year 1868 under the patronage of Prince Satsuma. Experts in spinning were engaged from England, and over 5,000 spindles and the other necessary machinery for a spinning mill were ordered from the same country. The growth of the industry was slow, however, until several years after the Restoration. In 1877 the government placed orders in England for machinery sufficient to start several small experimental spinning mills in different parts of the country. In 1882 the first cotton-spinning stock company was organized at Osaka with a mill equipment of 10,500 spindles. Since then the development has been rapid.

By 1890 there were 277,895 spindles in the country and in 1911 there were over 2,000,000.

Japan first attempted power weaving for the manufacture of cotton cloth in 1887- Up to the time of the Russo-Jap* anese War (1904-1905), the total number of power looms throughout the country did not exceed 5,000. The demand for cotton cloth for military purposes on the outbreak of the war with Russia, however, induced a number of cottonspinning companies to install looms and engage in weaving, After the war came the demand for cotton goods in Man, churia, a market which had hitherto been almost entirely monopolized by American manufacturers.

The number of looms operating in the cotton factories in Japan, as reported by the Japanese Cotton Spinners' Association, was 15,515 in 1910 and 17,202 in 1911. Factory production of cotton fabrics in Japan, however, is comparatively unimportant when compared with the household industry. In small establishments and in the homes, cotton cloth is woven both on hand and power looms. These probably turn out more cloth than is woven in the factories. The fabrics produced are generally fourteen inches in width and put up in bolts of twelve yards. This quantity is sufficient for making an ordinary garment for men or women and is sold to the consumer by the bolt only. It is estimated that more than 100,000,000 bolts of this fourteen-inch cloth are produced yearly to supply the domestic market.

Cotton manufacture in France.-France, being the country nearest to England, was the first to adopt the processes invented by the English for the manufacture of cotton by machinery. Until Alsace with its 1,490,000 spindles and 29,175 looms was wrested from her in 1871, France was, next to England, the leading country in the manufacture of cotton. While the industry has never fully recovered from that blow, it has gradually developed, until it now cansumes about a million bales of cotton annually. France ranks fifth in the manufacture but third in the export of cotton goods.

There are three cotton-manufacturing sections in France: the northern, with Rouen as its center, making mainly coarse goods; the northeastern, with Lille as the center, making fine goods; and the eastern, with Epinal as the center, making medium to fine goods. There are, besides, a few mills scattered through the southern and central portions of the country. The principal spinning centers are Lille, Rouen, Roubaix, Epinal, Bolbeck, Barentin, and Laval, while the principal weaving centers are Rouen, Bolbeck, Tarare, Epinal, St. Die, Nancy, and Belfort. Lace making by machinery is carried on at Calais, Caudry, and St. Quentin. Some of the fine double yarns used in this industry are imported, but the bulk are now made in and around Lille, where the finest French yarns are spun. Tarare and Epinal are especially noted for the weaving and finishing of fine quality muslins; Roanne, for its colored cottons; Amiens, for its velvets; Cours for blankets; St. Chamond, for embroidery; St. Etienne, for ribbons; and Troyes, for hosiery. Cotton is largely used at RoubaixTourcoing in making mixed cotton and wool goods, at Lyons in making mixed cotton and silk goods, and at Vienne in the manufacture of shoddy goods.

Uses of waste cottons in Europe.-In the process of manufacture of cotton there is, as has already been observed, considerable waste, called soft waste before weaving and hard waste when in the form of cloth. This waste consists of light, short, poor, cotton fibers thrown out from the cleaning, lapping, carding, and combing machines, imperfect yarns from the spinning machinery, and the imperfect cloths, ends, and rags from the looms. This waste is nowadays worked up into the form of cheaper fabrics. The utilization of cotton waste has come to be a considerable business, especially in Europe, although there are beginnings even in this country. Germany and England lead the world in the production of cotton goods from mill wastes, and to these countries most of the waste from American mills is sent. Germany has been most successful in this field, and German inventors have made entire sets of machinery fitted solely for using wastes, from which they produce cotton blankets, wadding, batting, low-priced shirtings, and especially trouserings. The poorer classes of Germany look to this class of goods for their clothing needs. Belgium also uses considerable American cotton-mill waste of the poorest grades.

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