Cotton is everywhere in our lives. In fact, the cotton research and promotion organization Cotton Incorporated calls it “the fabric of our lives.” We wear it, we sleep on it, we use it to dry our dishes. It’s everywhere in crafting, too. Weavers love cotton; there’s cotton embroidery floss, crochet cotton, quilting cottons—fabrics, threads, and batting, and that ubiquitous “dishcloth” cotton yarn. Cotton is as versatile for crafting as it is in the rest of our lives.
Cotton is the seed fluff (also called seed hairs) of plants in the genus Gossypium, members of the mallow family. The plants are native to equatorial regions around the world, including Central Asia, Northern Africa, and Central and South America, and cotton has been used by the Peoples of those areas for millennia. Despite its long and fraught history, cotton has become the most cultivated agricultural product on Earth and is grown on every continent except Antarctica.
All photos by Michelle Boyd.