About Pakucho Cotton

 

Working with Color-Grown Cotton.  Your Pakucho cotton will undergo shrinkage, thus knitting a small sample and washing it is a good idea before tackling a large project. You can deepen the natural colors of this yarn by washing in very hot water and machine drying (which results in 10 – 15% shrinkage in length). . . it is the heat which deepens the color. Repeated washings in hot water intensify the color. You can fast-track this process by boiling the yarn in a pot of water (with a little baking soda) for 20 minutes. 
If you want to maintain the original colors, then wash in cool water. This should reduce shrinkage as well.

The green shades can fade when exposed to a lot of sunlight. Greens exposed to anything acidic (vinegar, lemon juice) will turn tan, but this will reverse by simply washing the yarn.

How "green" is this cotton? Very green.  One of the complaints against even organically grown cotton is that so much water is used in its cultivation.  Pakucho cotton is made with plants bred from ancient strains, which require far less water than more modern cotton plants.  Peru has a ban on genetically modified seeds of any type, so there is no chance for interbreeding with other strains.  It is grown without pesticides, herbicides and uses no chemical finishing such as mercerization.

The Peruvian Heritage. For nearly 5,000 years, the people of the Andes have grown, spun, woven, stitched, and twined naturally colored cotton. Much of this textile activity has been centered in Peru, a country which has the oldest recorded tradition of textile arts in human history. The Native Cotton Project of Peru, trademarked in 1994 as Pakucho, has sponsored research into past and present indigenous Andean farming techniques for growing native cotton.

The Project members have recovered a wide range of naturally colored cotton fiber, including cream, beige, brown, rust, chocolate, mauve, green and other earthy tones. No dyes, chemicals or other synthetic processes have been used to grow, soften, or color the fibers of these yarns.

The yarns are manufactured in Peru.  Pakucho cotton yarn is produced by Naturtex, the first company of its kind in the Americas to be both organic (SKAL) and Fair Trade (FLO CERT) certified.

Photo courtesy of Elena Rosenberg of Tickled Pink Knits www.etsy.com/shop/TickledPinkKnits

 

 Sample below is Chocolate knitted on US 7 needles.