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Cotton in The Great White North  RSS feed

 
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I'm looking forward to the cotton colour getting darker with washing.  I've read that adding a touch of washing soda or other alkali substance to the wash water will help intensify the colour.  Maybe one day I'll try boiling it, but right now my cotton is heading directly from the wheel to the loom.

Most of the seed I got came with a bit of fluff.  Here are some comparison photos of the green and the brown.  Neither fibre has been finished.





The cloth for the background is made with a handspun weft (half the yarn is handspun) - some from what I grew, mostly commercially prepared fibre.  

With the green, the fibre around the seed is really green, but the fluffy stuff I use for spinning is off-white.  Losing that much colour in one generation, could I suppose, be genetic variation.  But to happen for several different kinds of cotton from different sources?  I think there's something in my environment that's changing the colour.  But hopefully, it will get stronger when the cloth is finished.  
 
r ranson
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I was wondering about cross pollination possibilities.  Everything in books I've read so far says it's a selfer with a low chance of cross-pollinating (about the same as tomatoes).  But I hear about laws against growing coloured cotton in some places because it could contaminate commercial crops.  

this is interesting

At the time, I didn’t realize the distance that was needed between varieties so they wouldn’t cross and I had them separated by only 100 feet. The isolation distance recommended for home use is 650’ and for commercial production a half mile or more. I was only growing it for fun and concentrating on learning to spin, so at first I didn’t notice just how much mixing was going on in the garden when I planted back the seeds I saved from one harvest to the next. Once I took notice, I realized that my original colors that you see in the name tag I wove from my early cotton would be lost if I didn’t pay attention.



Most of my colour problem is from the first generation after commercial seed.  I haven't compared the second generation yet because they all look off white now.  

What is interesting is I'm growing mixed varieties in a tiny greenhouse with lots of pollinators.  This means I have a much higher chance of mixing genetics than I had hoped.  This is great because a landrace would be a great path to find/create cotton that will thrive here.  I've already shown it can survive to reproduce, now we discover if I can make the plant thrive!  

The plan next year is to make one greenhouse purely naked seed brown varieties (the seeds are incredibly easy to remove from the cotton compared to the fuzzy seed ones).  The other greenhouse a mix of seeds I've saved with over half being naked seed.  
 
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r ranson wrote:I was wondering about cross pollination possibilities.  



Studies that I've read measured cross pollination rates in cotton at around 1% to 13% for adjacent plants, and estimated that a 30 foot isolation distance was sufficient to maintain purity.

So yup. Seems like there is plenty of potential for landrace cotton. Especially if the naturally occurring crosses happen to have hybrid vigor and out-perform their self-pollinating peers.
 
r ranson
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Thanks Joseph, that's good to know.

Reading back through this thread, it seems I've come across a lot of contradictory information on how cotton procreates.  We have some sources saying the pollination happens before the flower opens.  Others say half mile isolation.

I think I need to just stop reading about it and start dissecting flowers.  Which means I might need to increase the amount I grow this year so I can really play around with it.  
 
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With all the side trips to look at other websites, it took me a couple of hours to read through this short thread!  I plan to try growing cotton once we are moved to Kentucky (don't think it would work very well here in the high desert).  

Does the fiber from the 'naked seed' cotton differ much from the fiber from 'fuzzy seed' cotton?

Kathleen
 
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