Friday, 23 August 2013

It's getting challenging!!

I have been very excited over the last couple of days. Why?
Oh, I'll tell you why :) (as if the button didn't give it away!)
I've signed up for my very first sewing challenge!!
The awesome crafty queens Tasha and Rochelle are throwing a sewing party, and we're ALL invited!

It is such a great initiative, especially for us who are new to this sewing and blogging and photography-sharing business. We get to meet new people, get help and inspiration, discover new patterns and fabrics, learn new skills, and have lots of fun in the process. Somebody even mentioned that there are prizes at the end of it all, and its not even a contest! Woot :)

The theme of this challenge is cotton. Which is so great, because cotton is unbelievably diverse. Before I started to look into it, I never realized just how many different qualities of cotton there were. There's denim, canvas, gauze, muslin, jersey, satin, corderoy.. and the list just goes on and on. Seems there's a lot to get ones brain around when trying to find the right fabric :)

But what is cotton itself?
Here are some fun facts:

  • Cotton is a soft fluffy staple fibre that grows in a protective capsule, surrounding the seeds of  cottonplants.
  • These fibres are almost pure cellulose.
  • The plant belongs in the genus Gossypium, in the mallow family, a group that consists of around 50 different species.
  • The origin of the genus is dated to be around 5-10 million years ago.
  • The genus is found in arid to semiarid regions of the tropics and subtropics.
  • Humans have been using cotton fibres for fabric since prehistoric times. Fragments of cotton fabric dated from 5000 BC have been excavated in Mexico and modern day Pakistan and India.
  • Current estimated world production of cotton is 25 million tonnes annually. 
  • The worlds largest cotton producer is China
  • The worlds largest cotton exporter is the United States. 
A beautiful cotton flower (gossypium herbaceum)

The history of civilizations use of cotton (and other fibres for textiles) is quite interesting, and is available many places online, for example here or here for starters.

Ready for picking
(Photo by Johnny Crawford)

If you haven't heard of this awesome challenge yet, pop over to Fall for cotton on Flickr and join the fun!!
What are you going to sew next?
See ya ;)

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