It grows in Egypt and the southern states of the US. It was shipped to the North-West in vast quantities and spun in the hundreds of mills that surrounded the city. Then it was packed and pressed, and shown off in the palatial warehouses around Manchester’s Portland Street. Eventually it was turned into clothes to dress the world.
Cotton was the cloth that cut Manchester, the shrub on which the city’s wealth was built.
Its legacy can be found across Manchester from the Town Hall, topped by a golden cotton boll, to the Royal Exchange where the cotton merchants traded in the world’s biggest room.