Is it a decoration? A light? Or just a stylist’s dream product? The gorgeous spectrum of colours in Cable & Cotton’s lighting range have us trying to pick our favourite colourway every time we visit their site.
There are 40 single colours and you can either go for the pre-selected colour schemes, or pick and mix your own combinations – from a mono-coloured strand to the full rainbow – and you can even view your creation with the fabulously fun interactive page in the Cable & Cotton website that makes it before your eyes.
Will one opt for the jewel hued blues and greens, or the delicious currant-reds and rose-petal pinks, or make a vibrant statement with the burnt sienna oranges and lemon yellows? Oh the choice is just so delicious.
Of course, once you’ve chosen that perfect strand, you will then be faced with the next dilemma – how to put them to use. The lights come with the colourful cotton balls not yet attached to the string lights, so you also get to choose just how you combine your colours… make them into a gently changing spectrum of shades or mix them up in a clash of colours and shades.
In a child’s room, the lights can be anything from a wonderful nightlight ‘bunting’ that frames windows to pretty ‘bubbles’ of light that burst from a hearth; tie a colour scheme together with a string draped across a bookshelf, or use as an art installation clustered on the wall. This is the ever-evolving lighting option: flexible, colourful and fun.
From the age of six months, my son loved to sit and stare – and reach out, touch and hold, then throw! – these divine little balls of colour. They would pop off their little ‘lightbulb’, but were soon-enough popped back on once he was asleep (sometimes after being removed from his sleepy clasp). It is now one of our fine bedtime rituals to ‘turn on’ the lights that live in our hearth. My only complaint? I do often pine for just another string of Cable & Cottons… or perhaps two. If I used them as decoration for a birthday party, couldn’t I excuse myself buying six? They are more than a little moreish!
How is a Cable & Cotton light made? The Cable & Cotton ‘factory’ is set within a rubber plantation in a remote region of southern Thailand. Local women handmake each ball by dipping threads of cotton in a natural gum, then wrapping them around a small balloon, which is hung out to dry. When the threads have dried into a hard ball, the balloon is popped and pulled through a hole in the bottom of the ball. The rubber used for the cables is sourced from the rubber plantation surrounding the factory.
Built with the help of the Thai government as part of a scheme to promote entrepreneurship in local communities, the factory provides work for the women year round. They are paid a fair wage, and Cable & Cotton helps provide equipment for the local school, where their employee’s children study. Watch the video showing the making of a Cable & Cotton light in action…