Friday, February 8, 2013

Naturally Pigmented Cotton

Did you know that cotton could grow in colors?  Originally khaki from India wasn’t dyed at all, it was made using light brown cotton.  In 1982 Sally Fox began cultivating naturally pigmented cotton in her yard in California.  She still cultivates cotton, but now it’s on the scale of hundreds of thousands of plants a year.  While colored cotton is a native plant, before her work the staple length was too short for commercial spinning.  She has doubled the length by selecting for that trait.  Even more interesting, she noticed that several of the colors are naturally fire resistant.  She is now cultivating for that property.  Nature is a true wonder.

There are currently six distinct shades grown, all in the green and brown families.  When the cotton is already colored, the issue of toxic dye is mute.

We had a chance to see it growing in the fields last Autumn.  It was beautiful.
Sustainable Cotton Project Farm Tour 2012

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Italian Wardrobe

A few years ago it was described to me how an Italian woman builds a wardrobe.  It is a careful selection of high quality, well made items (often made in Italy) which flatter their own body type.  The pieces are classic enough to last decades with enough flair to be special.  Each garment is an investment.

Whether that rings true to the Italians in the group or not, I love the sentiment.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a closet with less, but better.  Wouldn't it be great if it were all organized and easy to find in your closet.  I was reminded of this while reading Miss Cliche's blog the other day and the entry titled "Maximize your closet space".

It was inspiring.  So was the way she managed to get rid of 40% of her belongings!