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Long Thread Media

Spin-Off Presents: Cotton: From Growing to Finishing eBook

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Cotton is an amazing fiber--great for keeping us cool and dry when it is hot and humid out.


Cotton is the fiber of the ages. It is the fiber the ancient Egyptians cultivated to clothe themselves and also to wrap their dead in ensuring a safe passage to the afterlife. When the Spanish encountered cotton in the new world, they depicted it as a plant with little sheep growing on it--it was as soft and fine as the wool of their Merino sheep. In India, takli and charka spindles have been the perfect tools for spinning the short staple length of the cotton fibers for millennia. As the United States was formed and developed, the textile industry depended on the cultivation of cotton. Today's spinners choose cotton for many of the same reasons--it can be used to create a lightweight, comfortable cloth that is enduring, useful, and beautiful.


Cotton really is the fabric of our lives as the cotton industry says--but for handspinners, it can be a bit intimidating because the staple lengths are short compared to wool requiring a high amount of twist to stay together as a thread. This eBook is filled with great tips about spinning cotton from past issues of Spin-Off. Great cotton spinners from the past and present--Ella Baker, Stephenie Gaustad, Harry Linder, and Celia Quinn, to name a few--share their expertise and love of spinning cotton with you. Many of these articles are treasures from the early days of the magazine and, while some of the references to current events and availability are dated, the information is timeless.


This eBook includes:

  • Lessons on spinning cotton with a takli and a charkha spindle
  • A look at growing cotton at home
  • A glimpse at dyeing cotton with natural dyes
  • An overview of cotton options
  • Ingenious ways to process cotton with a pasta maker