Spain was the central player in the West Indies during 100 years after Christopher Columbus "discovered" Bahama Islands in 1492. It was not until Great Britain took over that place around the end of 16th century that the cultivation of Sea Island Cotton gained force. By the 18th century, approximately 70% of the cotton imported by Great Britain was coming from the West Indies. The cotton from Trinidad and Tobago once was sold for the price 400 times higher than the normal American cotton.
In early 20th century, British Ministry of Agriculture stabilized the production and achieved the highest quality through careful selection and breeding. In 1932 WISICA (West Indian Sea Island Cotton Association) was established by the Ministry. The handling of the cotton has been controlled for 200 years, but in 1975 WISICA approved the export of West Indian Sea Island cotton to Japan, and WISICA's Japan was instituted.
Since then the cotton has drawn envious stares, and now WISICA Japan is handling about 70% of its annual production.