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How Is Cotton Fabric Made?
When Cotton plant is mature, the farmer of old was picking the cotton with their hands and carried it home.
At home the cotton was defoliated, which is the process of removing cotton fiber from the plant.
The next step was separating the cotton seeds from the bolls and take out dirt and other dirt.
Once this is done, the strands twisted into yarn and used for weaving.
Today all cotton production is done automatically with machines, which are so sophisticated; that they will collect the cotton and defoliate the content already in the harvesting machine. If you have never seen how this works, here is a you tube video how Cotton picking machines work nowadays, far from the time when it was done by hand.
Another machine in a factory will clean the cotton so all dirt and contamination is removed before carding the cotton to make yarn.
Prior to carding the cotton mixes will be planned and executed. Here the preparation of the yarn will be planned to become 100% cotton or cotton mixed with other products like polyester, linen, jute, silk, rayon, viscose and other materials.
(You can see in the picture how bales are put next to each other for a machine to rip out some cotton here and there. With this method you can mix the fabrics into the composition the customer orders)
Cotton quality depends on two factors.
Where the cotton has grown and how it is mixed with other cotton. For example the long staple cotton from Ginza is the most expensive cotton and has a very high reputable quality name. You of course can use 100% Ginza cotton to make yarn or you use 10% Ginza cotton and 90% shorter fiber cotton to make the yarn. Of course the 100% cotton is now much cheaper and depending on the country you live in, you may or may not be informed of the composition and only the description of Egyptian cotton will be printed on the packed product.
Before carding you can decide the price of the raw material you are going to sell, here you mix heather color and composition as 65% cotton and 35% polyester or 65% polyester and 35% cotton, which are one of the big sellers in the world.
Now the decision what to offer is made and the yarn production can begin. The yarn factories are huge, nearly no staff is working there, all is done by automated machinery, mostly with quality machines from Europe. Many different processes are used to make the yarn smaller and smaller until its planned thickness has been achieved. Many of the machines are so automated the bobbins are changed automatically and that cut thread is automatically repaired and spinning can go on.
It is an amazing experience to walk through a factory like this, which is so clean everywhere nobody would believe this. Also the dust from the spinning will be sucked up by automated air cleaners which are automatically running over the machines to capture all the small particles.
Have a look at spinning
Once the yarn is produced, it will be packed and send to the factory weaving or knitting the yarn into woven or T-shirt fabric which is knitted. Some yarn factories are specialized in yarn for sewing, some into making yarn for hand knitting combining cotton with wool or making yarn from 100% wool.
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