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Cool cotton in colour!

Karnataka is one of the nine major cotton-growing states in the country. The main cotton growing districts in Karnataka are Dharwad, Haveri, Mysore, Gadag, Bellary, Belgaum, Raichur and Gulbarga. 

Cotton is no longer the ‘White gold’ it was once. It now comes in various eco-friendly hues. Cotton is nature’s fibre. But for long the colours used to dye the cotton yarn and clothes was synthetic, which eco-friendly people frown upon.

The Uppinabetageri Khadi Nekarara Sangha in Dharwad district grows natural colour cotton in Uppinabetageri village organically, in co-ordination with Dharwad Agricultural University. The eco-friendly cotton is used in the production of colour khadi dress materials.

The university has now perfected growing cotton, which is not genetically modified, with natural dark brown, light brown and green colour, after almost a decade’s research.

Coloured cotton had been in vogue in the past, but had been lost over a period of time. Its non-popularity in the past was due to its limited colour range and lack of seed availability. 

Five to seven decades ago, most of the cotton cultivated in the country was eco-friendly with no use of toxic chemicals in its production. But today, textiles and clothes made of naturally coloured cotton are fast gaining popularity and are widely marketed in khadi fairs and khadi bhandars.

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