Welcome to the world of cotton spinning!
Spinning cotton has been a decades-long passion for me, and I am so glad that you have come to explore more about this exciting fiber. For millenia, humans have had a close and vital association with cotton, but during the 20th century much of the knowledge about hand spinning cotton fell from general use and cotton became a fiber that spinners shied away from.
I have included a variety of articles on many aspects of working with cotton - you can find tips on spinning, dyeing, and weaving with cotton (see articles located under "Spin") as well as information on growing your own cotton from seeds (see "Grow") and choose from a selection of cotton related items (see "Shop") to help you along your journey with this interesting fiber.
This year's crop of colored cotton has begun to bloom!
What do you think of our new crop of colored cotton? This is the Sustainable Cotton Project's cotton that they are growing for us. I think they are doing a good job!
When harvested later this year, this cotton will be processed especially for hand-spinning - and it will NOT be boring white. It will be exciting to see its hue come harvest time!
This picture was taken in August, 2012 and the flowers are just beginning to open. Mark from the Sustainable Cotton Project says "Cotton is opening and lots of bolls setting. Looks good so far!" Look carefully and you can see the beautiful deep pink of the opening flowers in the foreground.
Colored cotton has a fascinating - and ancient - history. You can read about it in James M. Vreeland, Jr.'s excellent and beautifully illustrated article "The Revival of Colored Cotton" originally published in Scientific American here.
"Easy to Spin" Cotton Sliver makes handspinning cotton so much easier!
Are you frustrated with your cotton spinning? Most cotton preparations are carded for machine spinning and difficult to spin by hand, especially for novices. Joan's Easy to Spin sliver has been prepared with handspinners in mind. Make your life easier and try this wonderful fiber. Click here for more information and the updated U.S./Canada vendor list.
Takli Spinning - What makes it so special?
The takli is a small support-style spindle that is easily carried from place to place. Because of the high whorl speed it can attain, it is the perfect tool for spinning cotton - you can spin a much finer diameter yarn on the takli than is possible to spin using a wheel. And don't let the small size fool you - you can spin a great deal of yarn in a short time. Joan used takli-spun yarn for the warp on the green blouse described in the article "My Green Blouse"! More...
The Cotton Garden
Joan has been growing cotton in her home garden for the last 5 years. Cotton flowers first open as a pale yellow and then turn pure white. After the flower is pollinated, the dying blosson turns a deep shade of pink or dusky purple. That is why you often see different colors of flowers on the same plant - you are seeing the varying stages of development. More...