When one of our colleagues back from a vacation brought some fresh cotton pods from a field in his hometown, we were all excited! The pods were looking beautiful, filled with lush soft cotton fibres. We couldn’t resist the thought of plucking the fibres fresh from the pod, spin & weave!
Cotton, the ‘king of fibres’ is grown in different parts of India. While Maharashtra, Gujarat & Andhra Pradesh are the major cultivators of the cotton crop, the one we laid our hands on is from Tamil Nadu, a variety called Surabhi. Surabhi cotton is an “Extra-long staple cotton” with about 30mm staple length and is a good choice for weaving clothing for apparel and bed linen.
The seeds came off easily with a little nudging by a metal pin roller and we collected the fibres in a small basket. Using Ashford cotton hand carder, we carded the fibres nice and good a few times and made a soft rolag. Spinning was easy with Ashford e-Spinner. We could spin about 10 meters of yarn out of cotton from 3 pods. Wound the freshly spun yarn onto a stick shuttle and used it as weft yarn on a Rigid heddle loom! Oh, you should have seen all the happy faces at the studio! Inexplicable feeling!
No second thoughts: modern tools for handcrafts are a big boon for all fibre arts enthusiasts and designers!
Watch the video to see how it all came out in a matter of minutes! Take the plunge, enjoy creating with your hands!