Cotton from Plant to Cloth

Cotton from Plant to Cloth

At Panyaden School students learn some remarkable ways to connect with the natural world around them. Today with some local craftspeople they learned the whole process of cotton from plant to cloth.

There is cotton growing in the schoolyard garden. Northern Thailand has several cotton growing regions.

Cotton growing at Panyaden

Cotton plants at school

harvested cotton

The first step was to fluff the cotton

Next, remove the seeds from the cotton

cotton de-seeded

Then the cotton gets rolled. After that it is spun and pulled into thread. This is a lot more difficult than it looks, it takes technique.

Then it is made into skeins. This student said it looked like noodles.

The craftswomen showed us how to make natural dyes from plants.

turmeric dye

This plant based dye made a pinkish color

natural colored dyeing

indigo dye

hanging the dyed cotton thread to dry

dyed cotton thread and Buddha

Then it was weaving time

My students came to the conclusion that food, clothing, air, and shelter all come from plants. It’s so important in this digital age to reconnect and realize where our things actually come from.

I found the whole process fascinating. If the best way to learn is by doing, I’d say the students learned a ton and thoroughly enjoyed the process. I would love to go stay in a local crafts village and learn more and hopefully I will. First I’ll need to learn some more Thai.


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