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Thursday, 12 May 2016

Sienna Cotton

Whilst surfing Sally Fox's cotton website recently, I couldn't resist buying some of her seed cotton in natural sienna.  This really is a gorgeous colour.

The cotton had been pulled out of the pods but still had the seed inside the fluff.  It didn't take long to remove all the seed and fluff up the cotton ready for carding on my new cotton carders.  I'd previously only spun cotton direct from the seed - i.e. carefully brushed the cotton so that it stood out from the seed in a sort of halo, then spin from that - so I was interested to see if it was any easier to spin from punis (sort of thin rolags).

This was the cotton after removing the seeds.  It looks a little bit paler, but I'll be interested to see how it changes after spinning and boiling the cotton thread.  It should darken in colour - we'll see.

There were a lot of seeds in there, but these are just a few :-

It was incredibly easy to card, I would say easier than sheep fleece, and I soon started producing my first punis.

The spinning went pretty well too.  I used my new Victoria on the middle whorl; I found the smallest whorl put a bit too much twist in the yarn.  Cotton, being very short fibres, needs a lot of twist to hold it together, but I found it was a bit too much so swapped to the middle one.  Will it hold together when it's washed and finished?  Again - we'll see!

This is how it's going so far.  I'm planning to leave this as a single and maybe incorporate it into a project on my loom (when I've managed to spin some of the white and green cotton that's lurking in my cupboards!)

Finally, I decided to try and grow some of the seed from this cotton.  I put in 5 seeds and all 5 grew!  (Actually, there are six in there - couldn't count!)   So, hopefully there'll be a bit more of this colour by the end of the summer.

A nice little bonus from my gorgeous new cotton fibre, all ready for re-potting!