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Naturally colored cotton

When Sally Fox first saw brown cotton seeds and lint, she had no idea she was about to become a pioneer.

Fox began her life as an inventor in 1982 in Davis, California, as a handspinner for a cotton breeder. Although cottons are usually bleached white, then dyed to suit the needs of the clothing manufacturer, Fox fell in love with their natural brown color. Noticing that the fiber was significantly shorter, weaker and thinner than that of commercial white varieties, and therefore difficult to spin, Fox went to work on selecting the best possible quality brown cottons, hand-ginning each seed and hand-spinning the fiber. Year after year, she planted the best of the yield and designed and spun a series of unique yarns that could be made only with her naturally colored cottons.

Two of the numerous advantages of naturally colored cottons are: they eliminate the need for the dyeing and finishing steps so detrimental to the environment, and they are innately more fire-resistant than white cotton.

Fox has received a patent and three Plant Variety Protection Certificates for her naturally colored cottons which, in addition to browns, she now grows in reds and greens. Her invention has been so popular it has sprouted two successful companies -- Vreseis, Ltd. and Natural Cotton Colours, both operating in Arizona.

[July 1996]

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