Cotton Before And After

Posted in spinning by tchemgrrl on July 27, 2010

Before and after being cooked on the stove.


cotton pre-wash


cooking cotton


cotton postwash

Amazing, huh? This is pretty true to color; I could only just make out the green strand in the yarn if I looked before, and after, anyone who can see green could identify it. All it took was about 30 minutes of simmering in water with a little dish soap and baking soda.

The feeling of the yarn is about the same, maybe slightly less soft, but I expect that it will soften back up with handling.


2 Responses

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  1. Lynn said, on July 29, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Wow, that really changed color. It makes me wonder about the compounds in the green pigment and how they changed with heat an alkali. More conjugated ring structures? This was natural green cotton, right?

  2. tchemgrrl said, on July 29, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Yup, natural green cotton, no dye. Most of the color-changing advice I’ve seen involves making the water slightly basic (either with ammonia or baking soda) and using hot or boiling water for a fairly long time, though I *think* I’ve seen that just washing it regularly will develop the color more slowly. I also don’t think it’s reversible by boiling in acid, though that would be yet another fun little experiment. I didn’t see much on the topic after a quick jaunt online, so I have no idea how much is already known.

    It’s definitely one of those things that would suck me in if I had all the time in the world to experiment. It’s pretty neat stuff.

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