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Cotton Textile Industry

Since olden days cotton, wool, silk, jute, flax have been used for making cloth. Fibre or yarn is the raw material used in textile industries.

Let us see how the different textile industries can be classified.

Textile industries are usually classified according to the raw material they use to make the textile.


The cotton textile industry is one of the oldest industries in the world.

The Textile Industry before the 18th Century

  • Before the 18th century, cotton cloth was made using hand spinning wheels and hand looms.

Hand Spinning Wheel

Hand Loom

  • India has a splendid tradition of producing good quality cotton textiles.
  • Before the British rule, Indian hand spun and hand woven cloth had a wide market.
  • The Muslins of Dhaka, Chintzes of Masulipatnam, Calicos of Calicut and Gold-wrought cotton pieces of Surat were world famous for their quality and design.
  • The production of hand woven cotton textile was expensive and time consuming and were slowly replaced by modern spinning mills and power looms.

The Textile Industry after the 18th Century

  • During the 18th century power looms facilitated the development of Cotton Textile Industry.

Modern Spinning Mill


Power Loom

  • India, China, Japan and USA are the major producers of cotton textiles.
  • The first successful modern textile mill was established in Mumbai in 1854. The warm, humid climate, port for importing machinery, availability of raw material and skilled labour resulted in rapid expansion of the industry in the region.
  • Humidity is very essential for textile weaving. In modern textile mills humidity is created artificially, hence now a days it is possible to establish textile mills any where in the country.
  • Coimbatore, Kanpur, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ludhiana, Pondicherry and Panipat are some of the other important centres in India.

Cotton Textile Industries of Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad - Location


  • Ahmedabad is located in Gujarat on the banks of the Sabarmati River.
  • The first textile mill in Ahmedabad was established in 1859 and soon the city became the second largest textile city of India, after Mumbai.
  • Ahmedabad is often referred to as the ‘Manchester of India’.
Cottonopolis is a name given to the city of Manchester, in England. First bestowed during the 19th century, it denotes a metropolis of cotton and cotton mills, as inspired by Manchester's status as the international centre of the cotton and textile processing industries during this time. Hence Ahmedabad, famous for it cotton mills is called the ‘Manchester of India’.

Factors that helped the city become a textile centre

  • Ahmedabad is situated in the heart of a cotton growing area; hence the major raw material is easily available.
  • The humid climate is ideal for spinning and weaving.
  • The flat terrain and easy availability of land is suitable for the establishment of the mills.
  • The densely populated states of Gujarat and Maharashtra provide both skilled and semi-skilled labour.
  • Well developed road and railway network permits easy transportation of textiles to different parts of the country, thus providing easy access to the market.
  • The Mumbai port which is situated nearby facilitates import of machinery and export of cotton textiles.

Cotton Textile Industries of Osaka

Osaka is an important textile centre of Japan, and is known as the ‘Manchester of Japan’.

Factors that helped in the development of textile industries in Osaka

  • Extensive plains around Osaka were conducive for the growth of cotton mills.
  • Warm humid climate of Osaka was well suited to spinning and weaving.
  • The river Yodo provided sufficient water for the mills.
  • Labour was easily available.
  • Location of port facilitates helped in the import of raw cotton and for exporting textiles.
  • The textile industry at Osaka depends completely upon imported raw materials. Cotton is imported from Egypt, India, China and USA.
  • The finished product was mostly exported and has a good market due to good quality and low price.

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