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What is colored cotton?

Colored cotton is natural cotton which has been bred to produce light green, light brown and rusty red bolls. The colored fluff is processed into cloth that is gaining popularity with environmentally conscious consumers and people who are allergic to the dyes in regular cotton. Scientists are trying to breed new varieties with longer, stronger fibers and higher yields. An improved green variety should be available in two years and a genetically engineered blue version is on the way. Colored cotton sells for $1.30 to $1.40 per pound, compared with 65 cents to 70 cents for white cotton. But yields on colored cotton are lower, so farmers may not see much difference in profits. Colored cotton may yield only one 500-pound bale to an acre, compared with up to 2 1/2 for regular cotton. Colored cotton has been grown for years in Russia, India and South and Central America, and Israel has become a major supplier. White cotton still dominates. Mills like white cotton because it can be dyed to keep pace with changes in fashions.


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This page was last updated on January 23, 2006