Scouting for cotton has become much more than a hobby. A hobby is something you do for fun but I, my friends, search for cotton out of need. My textile allergies prevent me from wearing much else while W’s eczema merits a pretty strict use of the fabric. So we hear recommendations for pure cotton time and again in our allergy / immunology / dermatology / pretty much all -ology offices.
Side bar: You go, Eli Whitney. Without the invention of the cotton gin, we might find ourselves destined to a life of synthetic fibers and hives (or worse). Or searching high and low for this textile and paying a pretty penny. Thanks to Whitney’s genius invention, however, cotton is both readily available and affordable.
Despite its prevalence, though, I still find myself overwhelmed by the copious amounts of fabrics I must sift through to find cotton. These days, rayon, modal, and viscose abound.
There is also a lack of consistency in labeling clothes. The tags are never in the same place in clothing garments, so I waste hours in stores pulling up shirt sleeves and finding side stitched labels that lead to only a dry clean recommendation. When I can find the label, it is often a certain percentage of aforementioned rayon, modal, and viscose. I almost jump for joy when I find 100% cotton staring back at me.
The inconsistency continues into fabric use for clothing lines. I once found a two-piece suit that consisted of allergen-free pants and a non allergen-free matching blazer. Question mark question mark.
Online shopping for clothes isn’t much better. It often consists of hours of scrolling and searching for one shirt (which may or may not fit, as it is online and we’ve all traveled that road). Online shopping with allergy requirements also leads down rabbit holes in which I waste time trying to research what particular terms mean and somehow land on a site dedicated to tattoo artists.
Alas, I have made huge strides over the years building up a resource base for ginned threads. Thefabricofourlives.com is great for both learning more about cotton and for identifying some currently-on-the-market cotton threads. I also increasingly find both clothing and home designers committed to the use of cotton. I follow them. Friends share links. I bookmark them.
And I always, always share my scouted cotton threads!