Cotton is an amazing fiber, growing in hot climates and emerging from beautiful flowers on spindly bushes and trees. Cotton fibers are great for keeping us cool and dry when it is hot and humid out. It is the fiber the ancient Egyptians cultivated to clothe themselves and also used to wrap their dead in fine handspun, handwoven cloth, ensuring a safe passage to the afterlife. When the Spanish encountered cotton in the New World, they depicted it as a plant with puffs of little sheep growing on it—it was a soft and fine as the wool of their Merino sheep. In India, tahkli and charka spindles have been the perfect tools for spinning the short staple length of the cotton fibers for millennia. In the United States, the textile industry depended on the cultivation of cotton. Cotton really is "the fabric of our lives" as the cotton industry says—but for handspinners, spinning cotton can be a bit intimidating.
However, you're in luck! The free All About Spinning Cotton eBook is filled with great tips about spinning cotton from spinners who love working with cotton and know how to get just the results they are looking for. Learn about the naturally occurring colors of cotton and some of the history of naturally colored cotton available to handspinners and then try out your handspun cotton by weaving dish towels, knitting a sweater, or crocheting a small bag. Whether you're new to spinning or have enjoyed cotton spinning for years, this eBook will teach you something new about spinning cotton yarn.
Colored Cotton by Carol Huebscher Rhoades
Most people believe that this fiber is only white; however, other colors have been around for at least four millennia. Colors ranging from pale tan to rich red-browns were propagated in Central and South America, the Caribbean, Africa, and India. Other colors, such as shades of rose, blue, and green, have been noted, particularly in Peru. Learn about cotton yarn characteristics, how to prepare naturally colored cotton for spinning and view beautiful examples.
My Cotton Shirt by Ann Durham
Ann planted the seeds, harvested the cotton, ginned it, carded it, handspun it on a cotton spindle, and wove the fabric for this cotton blouse. Ann began picking up her cotton spindle every time she was on the phone—Her cotton spindle became a tool to help her to stay focused during long conversations or meetings at work. It struck her one day that she had spun a couple of thousand yards of cotton yarn.
Spinning Natural Colored Cotton for Dish Towels by Gisela Evitt
When Gisela gets too many partial cones and spools of appropriate cotton yarns cluttering her shelves, she gets inspired to design and weave cotton dish towels. Dish towels make wonderful gifts so this is an exercise she repeats periodically. She always puts on a warp long enough for six towels and to avoid boredom, never weaves two the same. Follow the step by step instructions to learn how Gisela used natural-colored cotton for weaving beautiful striped dishtowels. Handspinning cotton has a reputation of being difficult, but with Gisela's expert tips and a bit of practice, you will find the craft relaxing and intoxicating.
Spinning Cotton for Mimbres Tee by Jill Holbrook
Twenty years ago, Jill decided to kick her smoking habit and replace it with a spinning habit. She placed support spindles in places around her house where she typically smoked to help her fight the urge. Not only was she able to quit smoking, but she soon had enough material to knit a sweater. Jill was then inspired by the Native American art that surrounds her in Arizona and after some experimenting, finally chose a pleasing design for this cotton knitting pattern.
Peruvian Colored Cotton for a Little Crocheted Bag by Carol Huebscher Rhoades
Carol was inspired to make this bag when she saw a knitted cap from the Andes. Using the same motifs (animal, plant and geometric figures), she modified them to fit the bag's size. Using a cotton spindle, she spun with a high amount of twist so it would not unply and disintegrate as she crocheted the bag. Experience the joy of crocheting an Andean-inspired bag from handspun Peruvian colored cotton with this free crochet pattern.