A while back I posted about some natural coloured handspun cotton. The tan coloured cotton was marketed as “green” – but it didn’t really look green. Then I found out what I was missing – the cotton needed to be treated to bring out the natural green colour. The trick was to soak the cotton in ammonia!
This is best done outside, for obvious reasons. One article said to soak for 48 hours, while another said 10-15 minutes would suffice. I soaked for a day and a half, but almost all of the colour change was obvious within 30 minutes. I soaked both the brown and green cottons. In the picture at the top of this post you can see the difference that ammonia makes. The skeins are left over from weaving the mat that they are laying on. The khaki tan turned into a lovely green and the brown, while not changing as dramatically as the green, deepened in colour.
I have lots more of the green cotton to spin – you can bet that I will be soaking the finished yarn in ammonia before weaving.