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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

by Mildred D. Taylor

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What properties make cotton a comfortable material for clothing?

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Since the very earliest days of American colonialism, cotton has been one of the most widely produced--and profitable--crops grown in the Deep South. It did not receive the nickname, "King Cotton," for nothing. Cotton became the biggest money-maker for Southern plantation owners, and the product became one of the primary reasons for the growth of slavery in the United States. Slaves picked the cotton--a highly tedious and painful job--and the cotton made the plantation owners rich. Cotton is probably the most popular material in the world for several reasons. Foremost, it is the coolest material known to man; it allows the human body to breathe better than any other material. It is also quite soft and durable and, compared to many materials, inexpensive. It also serves as an excellent blend when combined with other materials. Chances are most clothing in your own personal wardrobe are either 100% cotton or at least a cotton blend.

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