Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Composted fabric

So my little packets of compost bin fabric had been air curing in our barn while I was away and I couldn't wait to take a peek at them. It had been the requisite couple of weeks and there they were, looking rather......mummified:
The next step was supposed to be discarding the grass they had originally been wrapped around and hanging them out on a clothesline to cure a couple more days--no mention of what to do when they were desiccated and board-like. 

So I soaked them in cold water for a bit and began to carefully pull them apart. And now I know what you get when you put fabric in a compost bin--composted fabric.
Perhaps our compost bin is just a bit too enthusiastic, but the fabric had begun to digest just like the vegetable peelings and weeds that had surrounded it. Cotton does, after all, come from a plant and should react the same way. 
One site that I had consulted online had said that bug damage could be a problem, but she optimistically went on to say that a couple of holes would be acceptable for the kind of quilts she makes. This is way beyond a couple of holes. No pictures, by the way, of how her experiment turned out. As a matter of fact, I realize now that there was a curious absence of pictures of the finished products.

Anyway, the fabric fell apart in my hands, just as if it had been in a tomb for a couple of centuries. But when I looked closely at some of the bigger bits, there were some intriguing patterns of a rich brown color that made me wish this had turned out better.
Hmmm. Perhaps if I let it compost only a week, instead of a month. . . .

Oh, and if you are still reading, thanks for the company!

1 comment:

quilthexle said...

Oh yes, I can see potential in there, too! And, sorry, I really had to laugh when I read your post ... and I guess it would be worth another try. Seriously. Try that one week, the brown will be not as intense, but maybe you'll end up with more fabric and less holes? Thanks for sharing !!