Monday, 5 December 2011

Plantable Card - Growing you own cotton

Cotton grows is the most common textile fibre grown in the world. When grown non-organically, cotton growing uses an enormous amount of water and chemicals to produce a decent crop. By growing your own cotton, you will help reduce the impact industrial cotton growing has on the environment, and set yourself a fun and exciting challenge in the process.
Cotton is not normally grown in the UK. It is used to hot, wet and humid conditions and a long, sunny season in order to produce its fluffy cotton heads. However, it is possible to grow cotton in a greenhouse or polytunnel if you live in the south of the UK. For the best results, grow it in a good, fertile soil, and a warm, humid spot in a south-facing position undercover.

The seeds could be used within plantable card and used as swing tags, and have a step by step guide.

Made from recycled paper and colored with organic pigments and soy-based inks.
The product is made with flat seeds, for example poppies, daisies and herbs.  These are blended into the pulp mixture created from recycled newspapers, magazines, etc.) then are pressed, set and dried.  The paper product and seeds eventually return to Mother Earth and sprout herbs or flowers thus giving back! 

Step by Step to planting:


  • a pot for planting
  • some good potting soil
  • plantable paper
  • water
  • a sunny corner


Fill your pot 2/3 full with good potting soil. Tamp down the soil and add more if necessary. You want the pot to be firmly full, but not packed. The paper can be planted indoors or outside, so you get to choose according to the temperature and conditions at the time of planting (we don't recommend planting outside if it's blizzarding or desert-hot!).


Take your plantable paper and tear it into small pieces, about 1 inch. Cover the soil in the prepared pot with the paper. It's okay if the paper overlaps. Spread a 1/2 inch layer of soil over the plantable paper pieces and tamp down gently.


After planting the paper in your pot, give it a good soak. You want the paper and the soil to be nicely damp but not swimming in water. During the first 10 days, keep the paper moist at all times. The water is necessary for germination.


On sprouts appear, continue to keep the paper moist but be careful not to overwater. Once sturdy plants appear, water as needed. Here's what the pot looks like after planting a greeting card:

Print Process

Here are a few print processes that could be used for swing tag designs to make them more unique and creative. I found a website that offers 8 different processes

I really like the use of flocking, distressing and combining materials and think they are relevant to the brand and could look visually interesting and work really well for the swing tickets.

In the time left I won't have time to do produce these special finishes before the deadline, but if I choose a certain process for my ideas I will make sure I make them and photograph them for my portfolio over Christmas.

Denim weaving process

Here is a video that goes through the process of making jeans right from collecting the cotton to sending the jeans to stores.

The process itself is interesting and I picked up on a few key stages.

-Cotton crops - harvesting
-Sieving - Refined Cotton
-Blended cotton
-Carding (combining and untangling fibres - combining and pulling into a 'web')
-Slither (6 slithers are stretched and combined)
-Spinning (cotton slithers are pulled and twisted) - produced fine yarn - reels
-Dyed yellow (because indigo blue dye isn't water soluble so first needs to be mixed with a reducing agent -Sodium hyrdosulphate- and when removed has contact with oxygen and turns blue)
-Corn starch used to make stiffer - dryer
-Loom - white and blue thread (1 white to 3 blue threads)
-Pattern Cutting (denim sacks of 100 sheets) - more like carpentry than tailoring (It takes approximately 15 pieces that make up a standard pattern for a pair of standard 5 pocket jeans.)
-Stitching together - each pair takes 15 minutes to make- 1.6metres of denim, several hundreds metres of thread, 6 rivets and 1 zipper or 5 buttons
-Distressing - sanding worn patches, grinding in frayed edges, spraying on stains, lazer gun creases,
-Stonewashing - washing machines with volcanic rock
-Pressed, labelled and boxed

These stages could be used to name a certain pair of jeans, I could narrow them down the main specifics.
I think this appeals well to the brand as it should refer to the process of making denim and this is a subtle hint to it, if I use just key words