Gin the Cotton

We returned from Branson to quite a lovely sight:

raw cotton

Dad was able to harvest some of my cotton while we were away! These are just the first four bolls, there’s (hopefully) a lot more on the way. I thought it would be best to gin it (or remove the seeds) as we harvested it, for fear that if I waited I’d get overwhelmed and toss the project out all together.

cotton cloud

So from the boll, you get what’s called a “cloud” of cotton. It’s essentially a group of cotton seeds. So you need to separate one seed from the group. Then you feel around for the pointy end of the cotton seed, the other side is round so it was usually pretty easy to find. Starting from the pointy end, you just twist and peel off the cotton fluff:

Pulling cotton from seed

Until the seed finally comes out:

Cotton and seed

It’s not too hard, but it does get a little tedious. Thank goodness my mom was willing to help!


Here’s a whole cloud she did, she’s very proud:

Cotton cloud

She was also surprised about how much cotton we got from four bolls:

Ginned cotton

And it does look like a lot, but I weighed it. That whole bag of cotton? 0.2 oz. So I need 80 bolls for a 4 oz braid. What a slap in the face to remind me how much work I still have to do!

We’ll keep harvesting and ginning as the bolls keep opening up. The step after this is to comb it, and then finally I’ll get to spin it! Stay tuned!


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