Homemade Fabric from Homegrown Cotton?

As soon as our Angora Rabbit produces enough fiber to make angora yarn, I'll start teaching myself how to spin.

Meanwhile, we're also learning about farming cotton - not a lot but enough to make fabric. Will plant next Spring, assuming we're at our new homestead by then. Anyway, at first I thought I'd combine half cotton with half angora, but from what I understand the resulting yarn frays and never becomes soft and fun again.

So... I've been looking online to figure out how to go from a cotton boll (ball with seeds and oil, plucked from the cotton plant) to weaving a simple fabric, and am at a loss. Do you first make yarn? Thread? Can you use a drop spindle for that? Is it possible to practice with the cosmetic cotton balls purchased at the store? Is there a cheap (inexpensive) table loom to make the fabric? How many cotton plants would be needed to make a yard of fabric? Would it be more cost effective to spin the cotton into yarn for crocheting, knitting and tapestry?

Our goal is to be very self-reliant... that's why all the questions. Can anyone point me to this info?

Go With The Flow

Looks like we'll have to keep modifying our homestead plans... we hopefully close on our house the end of next week, but we have to move to a very small rental place until we find the perfect place for our homestead. Meanwhile, we are NOT disheartened!

We have indoor grow lights, and two places to grow things indoors, so we're moving the rest of our potted tomatoes there this weekend, and we'll start other plants.

We have small buckets, water catch-trays, fresh potting soil, and a trellis, so next weekend (once we're moved in), we'll be planting vining string beans, vining garden peas, and vining cucumbers. We've arranged it so they will be able to go all the way to the ceiling. Three potted and baring tomatoes will be located right beside that, and one yellow squash.

We also have a good long windowsill that faces south and gets about 4-6 hours of strong sunlight a way. There we'll have small windowboxes with carrots and greens (like lettuce and spinach) and green onions.

On a small patio we have a small greenhouse that can be open or covered, and we'll put the rest of our potting plants (tomatoes, blackberries, blueberries, etc.) out there.

We are also getting our first angora rabbit, probably this weekend. Just to get back into the groove of taking care of an animal, so only one. These can be combed regularly, and when they shed (2-4 times a year), I'll hand-card their angora wool, and teach myself to spin into yarn. I'm also going to experiment with their wool to see if it can be made into candle-wicking. We'll increase our livestock, room permitting.

See? Just because our plans changed, doesn't mean we have to give up all hope of being homesteaders. We can do it in a tiny rental place too!

Home-Based Eco-Systems

Good information/permaculture in your small front or back yard: