Cleaning Raw Cotton

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by schmije, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. schmije

    schmije Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2008
    Peoria, IL
    I picked up a big bag of raw cotton from a farm field after the harvest. It had sat out for several days, so there is dirt, leaves, sticks, etc. in it. Also, it still has the seeds inside. Does anybody know the best way to clean it up? I am a spinner, so I'm able to make it into yarn if I can just get the trash out, and get it clean. Thanks.
     
  2. NanaKat

    NanaKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Since you spin, don't you have carding paddles?
    You will want to comb the fibers while dry and it may need to be combed several times to get the debris and seeds out. The dirt will usually fall out as the cotton is carded.
    Haven't done this in years.....and picking cotton was not a fun task in my memory banks. Those cotton bolls were rough on little fingers even through the gloves.
     
  3. seismic wonder2

    seismic wonder2 I got mad ninja skills

    Feb 3, 2007
    san diego ca
    Hey there!
    Can you get cotton seed? If so can you send me a little box? I'll pay any shipping charges.
    If you can, PM me and I send my address.
     
  4. Acre of Blessings

    Acre of Blessings Canning/Sewing Addict

    Apr 3, 2008
    Axton, VA
    I agree with Nana.....the cotton needs to be carded
     
  5. seismic wonder2

    seismic wonder2 I got mad ninja skills

    Feb 3, 2007
    san diego ca
    When I was a smart AXX punk kid, my dad made me pick a full sack of late summer cotton just to show me how good we had it even in the worst of times.
    It's a good life lesson.

    Every kid should have to "hoe a row for a dime a day" just to clear the cobwebs from their Nintendo numbed brains.
     
  6. schmije

    schmije Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2008
    Peoria, IL
    I wondered if carding it would work. I don't have any hand carders, but was considering getting a drum carder for Christmas. Will carding it get the seeds out too? They're stuck inside pretty tight. Would hand carders work better than a drum carder for getting debris out of the fiber?
     
  7. Acre of Blessings

    Acre of Blessings Canning/Sewing Addict

    Apr 3, 2008
    Axton, VA
    My neighbor raises Alpacas and they have grass, hay and all sorts of lil' thingies in their fiber. She only uses hand carders and when she cards and comes to an area where there is alot of thingies.....she hand picks them out and then continues carding.
     
  8. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

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    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    Can a person make cards? I think I have a plan for making a spinning wheel from an child's old bicycle. Any one have a source for cards? a web site? what price is good and what is too much?
    I do not want to spend lots of $$$$, because I just want to see what happens with this bag of cotton I have.
    (I envision hours and hours and hours of labor and enough cotton for a pot holder. I just do not want it to be a $300 dollar pot holder.)

    Ninja dude is right, sometimes we just need to see how good we really have it.
     
  9. Acre of Blessings

    Acre of Blessings Canning/Sewing Addict

    Apr 3, 2008
    Axton, VA
    Here is a link for carding supplies. The prices are fairly reasonable, if this is what you want to do. I you are not planning to do this for $$ purposes, I'd say find someone that may let you borrow the paddles or else card the cotton for you.

    http://www.mielkesfarm.com/hd_cd_dm.htm
     
  10. MullersLaneFarm

    MullersLaneFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 26, 2008
    NW IL Fiber Enabler
    There was an article in Spin-Off a few months ago about cleaning cotton bolls. They used an old pasta machine and denim. I read it, but didn't retain too much other than I think they sandwiched the cotton bolls between 2 pieces of denim (which needs to be replaced after a few times thru the pasta machine.) the denim pulled the cotton through, but the seeds were left on the input side of the machine.

    I think it also mentioned that it could be spun without being carded. It has s a short fiber length and I've found spinning it long draw much easier than a short forward draw.

    Interweave Press might have a copy of the article on their web page.
     

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