We were delighted to welcome Renee Sanchez (self-identified cotton farmer, although it’s not her ‘day job’) and daughters Anne-Marie and Angela as presenters for our October Guild meeting! Together, they form the fledgling Walnut River Cotton Company.
They brought tubs of their cotton in several forms to share with attendees. There were whole cotton plants, bolls, hand-ginned cotton, carded punis, and even seeds!
In addition to sharing information about growing, harvesting and processing cotton, they are on a mission to find a niche market for locally grown cotton.
Questions flew thick and fast in both directions as Renee planted ideas and Guild members considered different ways they might make use of the gorgeously soft fiber.
Part of the discussion included Guild members’ cotton experiences. Pam Hurd has experimented with growing cotton several times over the years, and even brought some green and brown cotton seeds share.
In addition to the various raw forms, Angela and Anne-Marie shared spun and crocheted or knitted samples, including 100% cotton and some interesting cotton/alpaca blends created by Sara Morris at HLA Fiber Mill. Commercial cotton yarn swatches were far outclassed by the local fiber, which was not only softer but had much more character!
Renee generously shared everything they brought, much to the delight of meeting attendees, and asked only for information on what artists and crafters might want to buy and how their cotton might be used. To that end, Anne-Marie has created a short survey as market research. Please take the survey and share it with anyone who might be interested!