Sometimes the questions that get asked leave me to pause and ponder. That’s exactly what happened when someone on Quora requested my answer to the question, what does cotton feel like? When I first saw it, I thought it was a bit absurd to ask. Then again, I routinely quote Cotton Inc on “the touch the feel of cotton, the fabric of our lives.” So I let it bounce around in my head for a while and while I’m still not sure I gave the answer the person posing the question was looking for, I gave my answer! Am making some minor changes and posting it here in part because if you have an answer, I’d love to hear it! May even make it a guest post!
The first thing that come to mind for me is cotton feels like home. It is my go-to for comfort and I can make that work on so many levels.
The feeling of cotton can change based on the way we process it.
- For the flannel sheets that I snuggle into on a cold winter’s night, cotton feels soft and fuzzy, like it is waiting for you to come to bed when you get there and like it wants to hold onto you when the alarm buzzes.
- Cotton pjs feel like encouragement for taking a lazy Saturday after you’ve been running hard for a couple of weeks. They offer the perfect buffer between you and the sofa that’s been calling your name.
- The best pair of jeans or denim jacket feels like a friend who’s willing to help you get the job done. It is strong enough to take a beating without ripping the fabric (at least most days!) but soft enough that your body welcomes it whether you pull them on tight or baggy.
- My favorite Pima cotton v-neck t-shirt feels light and airy. It is the perfect thing for a hot day or a day when I will be running around a lot and want to still look a tiny bit more polished.
Cotton on the farm, has a different feeling all together. There are a lot of sensations.
- The plants are tender, seemingly fragile in the early part of the season. The leaves cool to the touch, even on a hot day as they turn the water the roots mine and sun shining down to photosynthesis and respiration waiting for the sun to go away.
- As you get to the middle of the season and plants have been growing strong, you realize those leaves are smooth on top, but can vary from smooth underneath to pretty hairy, something that surprises you. You see and touch delicate flowers, that dry-down faster than flowers we buy or grow to decorate our homes. So they start smooth and tender and within a couple of days, they are dry to the touch and crinkle in your hands.
- Later in the season, you can feel hard bolls on the plant, feeling fiber so tightly packed in there that the plant is ready to burst. And once it does burst, it is among the softest fibers imaginable. As you grab the open boll in your hand, it is both soft as the fiber is incredibly fine and comes from the seeds which are firm.