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Cotton is harvested from the soft and fluffy fibres of the flowering cotton ‘boll’ and is native to sub-tropical regions including the Americas, Africa and India. Once harvested, the fibres are ‘ginned’ (separated from their seeds) and then spun into yarn before eventually being dyed and woven.
The use of this humble plant dates back to antiquity, with fragments of cotton cloth discovered in Mexico dating at least 7000 years. The Indus Valley also holds evidence of cotton being spun into cloth as far back as 3000 BCE. Cotton has also been found in ancient Egypt, with cotton garments said to have been reserved solely for the High Priest. It is also believed that the Aztec civilisation used cotton as a form of payment.
Mungo buys its ecru (undyed) yarn from Prilla, a 100% cotton spinning mill situated in Pietermaritzburg. Prilla in turn sources their raw material cotton from Southern African – namely Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. After ginning, we request that our supplier uses long-staple length fibres. This affects how the fibre is handled during spinning, and its strength. Spinning, which refers to the process of producing a yarn from the staple fibres, is the first step in textile production. We require that our yarn is not spun under high tension. A looser twist in the yarn creates greater absorbency, which makes our cotton perfect for weaving our signature flat weave towels.