Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Touch, The Feel of Cotton

I grew up in a small railroad town.  
At the turn of the century, 
it was buzzing with activity.

Not only was it a railroad town,
it was also a cotton mill town.

There's nothing like 
the touch, the feel of cotton, 
don't you agree?

The cotton mill in my home town
was called 
Washington Manufacturing Company.

Yesterday while I was browsing Hidden Treasures, 
a new vendor brought in a bag of 
Washington County cotton. 

It was in the original package, 
signed and dated.

A cotton mill is a factory housing powered spinning
or weaving machinery for the production
of yarn or cloth from cotton.

From 1900 to mid-century, cotton was picked by hand.
In the 1950's, our church purchased the lot joining 
the property and planted a cotton field. 
The members picked cotton to pay the expenses
of the home-mission church.

Cotton baskets today are expensive. 
The flea market price for the large basket is $120,
the middle basket is $85
and the smallest basket is $35.

I'm thinking of a song that Mama used to sing to us:

When I was a little, bitty baby
My mama would rock me in my cradle
In them old, cotton fields back home. 

Oh, when those cotton ball got rotten, 
You could pick very much cotton, 
In them old, cotton fields back home. 

It was back in Lousiana
Just about a mile from Texarkana 
In them old cotton fields back home. 

We grew up with a cotton field behind our house. 
We flew our kites in the cotton field 
and played up and down the rows, 
but no, thank God, we never had to pick cotton. 

I love how we use cotton today
in weddings and special events. 

These photos was taken at a wedding
that I blogged about last year.

The wedding designer is incredible.

There's really nothing like 
the touch, the feel of cotton.


Did any of you ever pick cotton?


  1. I never picked cotton but when we drive South, I always snap a picture of the cotton fields:) SO pretty! I love the feel of cotton and I sure have sung that song MANY times! Have a blessed Sunday dear friend, HUGS!

  2. I too grew up around cotton fields and did stop and pick cotton a time or two--although I was a "Town Girl"! Beautiful use of cotton in the decorations. Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my blog. Did you ever stop and consider who is reading your blogs---you are mentoring women---in the manner God intended. As for depression, I tell friends, "I come from a LONG line of depressed people." Work at keeping my eyes up and not down everyday! Blessed Sabbath, Friend!

  3. No cotton fields here in IL just corn and beans. loved hearing the story of your hometown and how your church picked cotton.

  4. I have always wanted to see a cotton field. I do prefer cotton clothing.

  5. Growing up in a cotton town sounds so romantic and exotic to me! I thought of the film Fried Green Tomatoes when you first mentioned "railroad" town. And then I thought of Places in the Heart and the cotton picking. Both of those are my all time favorite movies. No, I have never picked cotton, but I need to get some stalks to decorate with. And of course I have an insane romance with the cotton fabric! Lovely post!

  6. We lived near cotton fields until I was 9, and I remember one day when my mother went out to pick cotton. My father's family had a much more difficult time during the Depression than my mother's family (*and* my mother was a city girl). One day she "got tired of hearing about it" :D and as soon as my dad left for work, she headed over to the cotton field and tried her hand at picking. After a full day's work she took her bag up to the man for weighing, and he couldn't believe what he saw. He exclaimed, "Lady you don't have to gin it, just pick it!" She had picked all the seeds and debris out of it as she went along, and so her cotton weighed next to nothing. She made just 28 cents!

  7. Cotton fields are plentiful in Alabama, but, no, never picked it. I have very found memories of picking strawberries and oranges though. Blessings

  8. I use to sing that song all the time. I really do not remember why I remember it, but it is still etched in my brain.

  9. What a great story. Never picked cotton but my mom worked in a cotton mill and my aunt worked in a lace factory. A lot of shoe factories were here also way back then. Too bad those days are gone.

  10. I'm a western girl and don't have much experience with cotton fields, but I do have a jar of real cotton balls that was gifted to me by a blogger. I loved your small town connection.

  11. Oh I agree, Bonnie! Nothing feels as good as cotton! It is so soft and comfortable.

    Thank you so much for sharing a bit more about your hometown and the activities that went on there.

    Those baskets are beautiful and look to be in excellent condition.

  12. I do love the song. One time on vacation, daddy picked one little ball of cotton and we teased him that he was in BIG trouble. The sign said "DO NOT PICK." He was the most honest/law abiding person I know and that seemed funny that he sneaked and did that!!!

  13. I have never picked cotton but I love the look and feel of cotton for sure. How sweet you grew up in a town where you could pick cotton.

  14. "I never picked cotton, but my mother did, and my brother did, and my sister did, and my daddy died young workin' in the coal mine." Johnny Cash song. lol! Really I never have picked cotton. Grew up in Washington state. I do know the song your mama used to sing too! I grew up with a lot of music. I was singing it as I read it on your blog. Thanks for the memories! Joyce

  15. Nope. Never picked cotton. But my mom always tells me about her cotton-pickin stories. :-)

  16. I never picked cotton. I've only ever seen cotton fields once!
    I enjoyed all your cotton pictures and what you wrote about it.
    That cotton wreath is really cool!

  17. It's cotton country here too. There are several "gins" not too far distant. I love the feel of cotton too. ~:)

  18. I never picked cotton, except to take pictures in the Mississippi Delta...But, I truly respect the hard work and sacrifice by those who did throughout the American South. Check out the Cotton Pickers of American Monument project that is underway... STUFF!


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