The effect of cotton gin on the economy; positive or negative?
The Effect of Cotton Gin on the economy; positive or negative? The question has been asked and answered many times over. The common thread in each is that Cotton Gin was used to help America stay afloat during the Great Depression. This was done by keeping more money in the pockets of American citizens.
There are many ways that America’s dependence on imported gin rags can be considered a positive thing. The importation of foreign items helps to keep American products in other countries where they might otherwise be sold at higher prices. The gin manufacturers brought cotton into the United States from England, Japan and Germany. There were so many gun manufacturers in the United States that cotton was a rare item and was only manufactured by a few companies.
During World War I, the United States became alarmed at the rapid increase in the number of casualties in European wars. The manufacturing of cotton gin bedspreads became imperative as did cotton rugs. At the war’s close the demand for cotton rugs shot up. The manufacturing of both cotton rugs and cotton gin sheets was stimulated by the need to have an alternative to the depleted stocks of linen and wool. The war finally ended in victory for the United States but not before countless numbers of soldiers were killed or wounded. The soldiers returned home with their wounds covered and with their appetite for home cooked meals depleted by a lack of food and clothing.
The soldiers in this area of the world were not satisfied to return home without any rags to wear. This led to the importation and use of cotton rags. During the following World War Two, there was a serious shortage of cotton gin fabric in the U.S. The need for cotton rags was not addressed adequately and the cost of cotton rug manufacture greatly increased.
The effects of the cotton gin on the fashion industry can be dated back to the time of the Ancient Egyptians. They used cotton rags as bedding for their tents and houses. Cotton fabric was highly valued by the ancient Greeks and Rome because it was long lasting and comfortable. Cotton also had an aesthetic purpose in that it was dyed in rich colors. In addition to helping to keep warm, the rich colors were meant to beautify the homes.
For much of history, cotton rags were manufactured using the most primitive technology. The process of making cotton was arduous, time consuming, and subject to minor accidents. The rags made from pure cotton were known as “antique rags.” However, after the effects of the cotton gin had greatly diminished during the Industrial Revolution, the rags were no longer used for their linens’ purposes. Instead they were discarded.
The use of cotton gin thread continued as textile manufacturing became more mechanized. The manufacture of cotton rags was no longer a labor intensive process, since machines could mechanically rip, spin, and fold the fabric. This allowed for mass production of large quantities of cotton fabric. The process of weaving fabric was changed from using the fingers of one hand to the use of a machine. As well, the cotton gin thread became thinner and smoother so that the finished product could be more easily handled and cleaned.
Today cotton rags are still used in textile manufacturing. The basic function of the rags is still the same, however. The materials are no longer natural. Instead, cotton is woven into the material. The use of cotton gin thread has remained steady as manufacturing have continued to use the product for manufacturing textiles.