It’s all about brown cotton in Louisiana and it’s as simple as ABC. In a recent blog we introduced you to the story of Acadian brown cotton by tracing the history and culture of the Cajun people of Louisiana. The documentary film that profiles this history, tradition and the beauty of Acadian brown cotton blankets, Coton jaune: Acadian Brown Cotton, was recently featured at the ClothRoads film festival. Now we need to take another look at this project, which is becoming an ever-expanding sustainable movement.
New Team Members Bring Fresh Insight The Field to Fashion Project team has grown with new members adding expertise in various areas. Zach McMath is the owner and operator of the Acadiana Food Hub, which supports Farm to Table organic foods, incubator kitchens and more. The hub connects the region’s local farmers to markets, grocers, restaurants and institutions. Zach has enlisted many of these same farmers to plant Acadian Brown Cotton as a secondary crop and encourages them to go organic.
Mark Simon manages the University of Louisiana Lafayette Cade Research Facility and Seed Bank and heirloom seeds will be produced and banked at this facility. The university has a small cotton patch this year, but it will grow, insuring a viable seed source for future generations.
Emolyn Liden from North Carolina relocated to Breaux Bridge where she opened La Petite Carolina.
Emolyn is an accomplished musician, dancer, spinner, weaver, knitter and features ABC in her shop.
Farmers Jump on Board New farmers and some close-to-retiring farmers are jumping on the brown cotton bandwagon. As small farms decrease in Louisiana, growers are encouraged to produce brown cotton as a second crop. Much enthusiasm has been generated through accessible Farmer’s coops. Jerry Hale grows ABC on beautifully restored property in Breaux Bridge. Several of the farmers are working toward Organic Certification, which matches the project’s goal of producing organic and sustainable cotton. A total of more than 400-500 plants (five 100 foot rows) of heirloom ABC is growing in Acadiana.
Connections With Mexico Recent visits to Oaxaca, Mexico to see fields of coyuchi, the naturally colored brown cotton, has created a bridge of interest and collaboration between the farmers in Oaxaca and Louisiana. It is believed that the brown cotton of Acadiana probably originated in Mexico during ancient times.
Fun Fact Special event for team members, local community supporters and potential backers on November 10 with entertainment provided by 3 Grammy Award winners, Michael Doucet of Beausoleil - Wilson Savoy of Pine Leaf Boys and Savoy Family Band - Louie Michot of Lost Bayou Ramblers. All are supporting ABC Field to Fashion as potential growers, seed bankers, stewards of the land and the culture.
Brown Cotton Fiber Available This Fall The Field to Fashion project will have brown cotton fiber available this fall for spinners. This first harvest is an exciting development and spinners and weavers are excited to sample the new fiber. Check out their Facebook pageto tell them whether you would like loose fiber, carded fiber or roving.
The Future Exciting events are taking place because so many people support The Acadian Brown Cotton Project.Due to much help and encouragement from Amy DuFault of the New England area Fibershed, the project connected with Rebecca Burgess of the California Fibershed and is now officially approved. Excellent guidance, support and connectivity from so many supporters keeps the project growing.
Everyone is looking forward to a large exhibition and a symposium about Acadian brown cotton and the Field to Fashion Project, planned for September of 2020 at the Hilliard University Art Museum. If you want to be part of this big sustainable pile on, connect with The Field to Fashion Acadian Brown Cotton project. It’s all about cotton!
We are thrilled to welcome the team of Acadian Brown Cotton at the 2018 Festival! Visit their exhibit and meet the team! WEBSITE: Acadian Brown Cotton