RED COTTON is scarce in our shop at the moment, because the organic peruvian farmers only spin it in indigo, white, and grey, but when Mallika popped in the shop today, thank God we had one ball of red cotton in the bargin bin. Red cotton is for the Kalyana Mitra ceremony. Kalyana Mitra means 'Beautiful friendship' in the buddhist world and Mallika was on her way to the ceremony without her red cotton! 
Two senior buddhists become lifelong friends with a junior buddhist. The thread comes from the Buddha at the shrine, and then is wrapped around the wrists of the younger buddhist. 
I said one pound please and she gave me two.