Boiling Foxfibre Organic Cotton

If there is an official fan club for Foxfibre organic cotton, count me in! I was working on my Schacht article, and decided to use some of the 10/2 cotton to weave my project. Since I was writing about the material, I went to Sally Fox’s website to do a bit of background reading on how she developed colored cotton, and I made a discovery. I now know that it was not a laundry error that caused another item I have woven from this cotton to change color, but the natural process of color development that occurs when the cotton is exposed to a hot water bath and a bit of detergent. Thought you’d like to see what happens when you boil fabric woven using 50/50 green/white for warp and 75/25 brown/green in the weft. I’ve included a photo of Baby NOBO the elder wearing the pants I made for him from the cloth.

Before washing
After washing
Baby NOBO the Elder in his handwoven pants

6 Replies to “Boiling Foxfibre Organic Cotton”

  1. What an adorable photo! I love the “Baby NOBO the elder”;-) Kirsten, will yours be
    “the 2nd”?

    Those look like really nice, comfy pants. What a lucky boy!

    I’ve never used the organic cotton, but it looks fascinating. I would think the color changes would be kind of cool to see over time.

  2. Love it! Though perhaps Kirsten’s baby should be called “Baby NOBO The Younger”?
    Unless, of course, there will be a third, fourth, etc.

    Thanks, Melanie, for sharing the photos and the info. He is absolutely beautiful – and the pants are quite nice, too!

  3. Obviously, I’ve been away from weaving and NOBO waaaay to long! Melissa, please excuse the error in the above message – I do know who you are!!!


  4. Benjamin is so lucky to have a mom who makes him clothing–literally from scratch!
    Both pants and Baby NoBo are adorable.
    Nice job!

    It was very interesting to see the change in the Foxfiber cotton post-boiling. When Diane brought in the various cones of Foxfiber to NOBO, we were commenting on how they all looked brown even though professing to be green. Mea culpa!

  5. I am also in the FoxFibre fan club. I have woven with this naturally colored organic cotton for several years and I never tire of it. I love everything about it – the story of its origin, how it feels, how it looks and how it lasts! (See Wild Fibers Winter issue 2009/10, Never Say Dye, for an amazing story about an amazing woman, Sally Fox. NOBO’s library has a copy.)

    Always being a fiber educator, I share the story with as many as possible about this cotton. People are fascinated with the colorings and cannot believe that the cotton grows this way (as it did historically before we bred the colors out). Similar to lanolin on sheep, cotton grows with a protective covering – wax. Once this wax dissolves, whether slowly with warm water or immediately with boiling water, the colors enhance to deep shades of browns and greens that are breathtaking and a little mind boggling.

    Thank you Baby NOBO the Elder and Mom for your collaboration using this fiber!

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