Materials

Cleaning cotton, Lembata

Cleaning cotton, Lembata
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Women remove the cottonseeds with deft fingertips or a homemade cotton gin. They clean the cotton by plucking a taut wire in the pile of bolls. The wire catches the fibers, separates them, and threshes away debris. The weavers roll up small handfuls of the fluff, and set them aside for spinning. Often a family’s entire harvest provides enough cotton for only one large textile.