Cotton is a natural fiber used for the production of various garments and fabrics.
Now that we know more about it, we are increasingly going for a cotton scarf or shawl.
Because in Chiang Mai we grow cotton and we see all the steps from seed to the final garment.
As a result, we have learned a lot about cotton in recent years.
So a lot goes before a cotton scarf hangs in your wardrobe!
What we know about this process we share with you below.
Cotton and water
A disadvantage of mass production of cotton for the clothing industry is the gigantic water consumption of the plant.
In Thailand, cotton is only grown on a small scale.
Money is often not the only motive, usually it is about the craft and the love for the fabric.
This attitude, combined with the patience of the Thai makes it possible not to burden nature too much when growing this crop.
But, to be honest, the climate of this region helps us a bit.
Thanks to the downpours in the rainy season, lakes and rivers do not have to supply water.
These are the most important steps needed to get from cottonseed to a sustainably made scarf.
Sowing cotton in Northern Thailand
Our scarves and shawls originally come from small seeds.
These are put in dimples in the fertile soil.
The rows, each with only a few seeds, are the beginning of what will later be a field full of flowering cotton.
Six months of waiting
After planting, it is waiting for the plant to grow.
It takes about six months for a cotton bush to mature and the flowers turn into thick cotton fluff.
Our cotton plants grow (depending on the species) between one and three meters high.
As soon as the bushes are full of thick cotton plugs, it is time for the harvest.
We do this before dawn.
Because in the early morning the cotton balls are still damp from the dew.
So early in the day, they easily let go of the plant.
Seeds of the plant stick into the cotton wad.
Before we can make wires out of it, we have to remove these hard kernels.
With a simple mangle, this job can be done.
Zo perst de weefster de zaden uit het katoen.
Flakes of cotton
The pitted cotton wool should now be flaked.
Plugs are made airy so that they can be spun.
The fine fibers are whipped and turned into elongated rolls.
These cotton rolls are ready for the spinning wheel.
It seems simple but it takes experience to turn long threads from the cotton cotton wadding with the spinning wheel.
With their years of experience, the weavers make beautiful yarn that will soon be stored in large tangles.
Dyeing the yarn
The yarn can now be dyed in different colors.
Dark yarns are given several dye baths of the same color.
Between two paint baths, the yarn hangs to dry.
After the last bath, the yarn is fixed in acids of fruits (lemon, tamarind, etc.)
Weaving the cotton scarf
De gekleurde draden worden geweven tot stoffen, sjaals en andere kledingstukken.
De stoffen worden niet alleen gedragen als sjaals of omslagdoeken.
Naaisters maken er ook prachtige kledingstukken en tafelkleden van.
Het geheel wordt vaak in handen gegeven van de borduursters, die er hun vakmanschap en creativiteit aan toevoegen.
Stylish and durable
For example, we learned how the origin of cotton garments goes all the way back to the seed.
It is nice to know that the quality of cotton is partly determined by the way it is grown.
And with responsibly grown cotton you not only look stylish but also sustainable.
This cotton is not only better for the environment but, without the addition of chemicals, also good for your skin.