Not all cotton is the same. If you grow upland cotton, it will have a very short staple and be an entirely different process than if you were to grow Sea Island, Egyptian or Pima cotton. They also have vastly different growing conditions, too. The Sea Island plants here grow in really high humidity, fairly even annual temperatures and lots of water. It's about a five foot tall plant and kinda spindly but it's filling in somewhat as it gets older. I don't know if it is all varieties of Sea Island cotton or just this one, though. I may pinch back the next plants to get them to grow bushier. Not sure yet if it's a biennial or a perennial, it's been growing for 517 days and still going strong. It's planted in a raised bed vegetable garden, mostly to keep over enthusiastic weed string trimmers away.
It's also planted in the herbs, I don't know if the rosemary, mint & sage are helping keep bugs away or not but they may be. It started making bolls when it was about 150 days old. It continuously produces bolls, not a whole lot at any one time but a few here and there and all the time. It adds up eventually. The fiber length is over two inches long. Which is a lot longer than upland cotton. It is also very soft and silky feeling with just a hint of shine to it. It pulls easily off the seeds, which are black and the bolls have three lobes to them. The leaves have three lobes, too, maybe it's related? Haven't a clue.
Three ply, a fat fingering weight and I don't know how many yards or even how much the skein weighs. It's been boiled since this picture and is hanging to dry so I can't weigh it yet. This is my first skein of yarn for 2017.
The seeds were picked out by hand and then the fiber was spun. Since the fiber had been pretty well fluffed out when the seeds were picked out, I just spun 'from the cloud' as it were instead of making it into a puni first. Three bobbins half full of a thin single, then those were all plied together. The yarn in the back of the picture was a test skein that was Navajo plied. It wasn't as nice as the true three ply.
The spinning wheel is an Ashford Traditional and it was on the fastest whorl of the standard flyer. I could have put on the lace flyer but I was too lazy. I'd suspect that with a short staple upland cotton, you'd need a faster flyer, but I can't say for sure since the cotton fibers here are much longer fibers.
If I were going to be spinning a lot of cotton, I'd probably get out the Canadian Production Wheel since it is a better wheel for spinning fine and fast. The Ashford can do it, but there's more treadling involved than if the CPW were used.