No one knows exactly how old cotton is. Scientist searching caves in Mexico found bits of cotton bolls in a cloth that proved to be over 7,000 years old. The cotton they found was a lot like cotton today.
In an old valley in Pakistan, cotton was being grown, spun, and woven into cloth 3,000 years before Christ. About the same time, people in Egypt were making and wearing cotton clothes. Arab merchants brought cotton cloth to Europe about 800 AD. When Columbus first discovered America in 1492, he found cotton growing in the Bahamas. By 1500, cotton was known generally throughout the world.
Cotton was first spun by machinery in England in 1730. The Industrial Revolution in England and the invention of the cotton gin in the U.S. paved the way for the important place cotton holds in the world today. The cotton gin was invented by Eli Whitney.