Wednesday, January 31

Spin from the seed - leftovers

With growing cotton, it is easy to separate out those lovely fluffy good bolls from the lesser, immature bolls. But what do you do with the bad bolls? I am too frugal just to pitch them. And the fiber is especially soft. They can’t be ginned – or, at least, I can’t gin them as the seeds will crush and make a real mess. Also, I don’t know exactly what color they are sometimes. They appear white, but they may be green or brown underneath.

What I did today was spin a bin of them from the seed, or more correctly, off the seed. Saves ginning and carding. Now my yarn on the bobbin is not my number 1 best spun stuff. Oh, but wouldn’t it make great fluffy washcloths? I wouldn’t wear it for socks, as it is probably tender and wouldn’t hold up. It might make a great tank top though.

What would you do with it? Think it isn’t worth spinning at all? Let me hear from you.

Pan of seed cotton, with individual seeds separated, but not particularly fluffed.

Pan of seeds left at the end of spinning.

Spinning directly off the seed.

Spun cotton singles.


weedwacker said...

I grow cotton every year, but have limited experience with spinning it. I don't know the preparation of boiling and preparing the spun yarn. Also, where do your seeds come from?



fibergal said...

I have three little videos that might show you the process better:

These days, I don't prepare the fiber, I spin from the seed almost entirely. As to boiling, I have never had to boil to 'set the twist' and really never saw the need. Boiling does have an effect, it will darken your colors significantly. However, you may like the colors as they are so it is optional. The Sally Fox site has directions:

I usually boil the object, not the yarn, for instance, the dishtowel or the washcloth. However, before boiling socks, you may wish to make them larger.

As to seeds, my seeds come from trade, mostly. I have been breeding my own for about 15 years and carry a lot of seeds forward year after year. My green has gone really bluish recently. I have sent my seeds off to several seed banks and seed suppliers, so it may be mine you buy from other sources. Search for 'colored cotton seed' and lots will turn up. Try these people: