mills purchase cotton and receive
the bales from gin yards or cotton
warehouses. These mills start with
raw bales of cotton and process them
in stages until they produce yarn (fibers
twisted into threads used in weaving
or knitting) or cloth (fabric or material constructed from
weaving or knitting).
first stage is in the opening room. Here,
bales are opened and laid in a line on
the floor, side by side, near a cotton
opening machine. This machine travels
along the line of opened bales, pulling
fibers to be sent to a mixing machine and
then on to the carding system.
process makes the sliver smoother so more uniform
yarns can be produced. The drawing or pulling
of this sliver is next.
is derived from a Hindu
word that means “dust
khaki referred to a
dull yellow-brown cotton
or wool uniform fabric
used for its camouflage
Carding is the process of pulling the fibers into parallel alignment
to form a thin web. High speed electronic
equipment with wire toothed rollers
perform this task. The web of fibers
is eventually condensed into a continuous,
untwisted, rope-like strand called
a sliver, (pronounced slyver).
slivers then continue to a combing machine. Here,
the fibers shorter than half-inch
and impurities are removed from
sliver is drawn out to a thinner strand
and given a slight twist to improve strength,
then wound on bobbins (spools wound
with the thread-like product for storage). Having
completed this process, it is now called roving. The roving bobbins are now ready for
the spinning process.
the last process in yarn manufacturing. Today's
mills draw and twist the roving into yarn and
place it on bobbins. They do this quite efficiently. A
large, modern mill can produce enough yarn
or thread in 30 days to wrap around the earth
2300 times or go to and return from the moon
235 times. With the use of automatic winding,
the yarn bobbins are transferred to larger
bobbins called cheese cones. These cheese cones can be stored until
they are needed in the weaving process.
The weaving process uses yarn that, depending on
how it lies in the woven goods, now assume
different names. These yarns may now be either
a warp or a weft yarn. Warp refers
to yarns that run lengthwise in woven goods. In
preparation of warp yarns for weaving, hundreds
of yarn strands are wound from cheese cones
onto a large warp beam. Yarns on this beam
are then coated with a sizing compound (a starch mixture) to add strength
for weaving. The sized yarns are then wound
onto a loom beam that will be placed on the loom (a machine used to interlace yarns to
form cloth). Weft is the yarn that runs crosswise in woven
goods and may be referred to as filling yarn. Sizing
is not placed on weft because flexibility is
needed in the weaving process. In today's
most modern mills, the weft is fed into the
loom from cheese cones with air-jets at such
a high speed that its movement cannot be seen.
woven cloth from the loom, called greige or grey, is
whitish but has a natural yellow tint. This
cloth is further treated by various means to
improve its appearance and feel, then either
bleached, dyed or printed to produce the fabrics
used in various products seen on store shelves.
are three basic weaves that are used. The plain weave, the
most common, is produced by passing the weft
yarn over and under each warp yarn, alternating
each row. This is used for cotton print cloth,
sheeting, muslin and more. The twill weave is produced
by interlacing yarns in an angle to form straight,
diagonal ridges across the fabric. This is
used for sturdy products such as denim, gabardine
and ticking. The satin
weave, has a surface that consists
mostly of warp yarn which is passed over and
under all but one weft yarn that intersects
in a regular or irregular formation, not a
straight line. This weave produces a fabric
with a smooth surface. It is used for upholstery, home
decorating and fashionable apparel.
another method of turning yarn into fabric. Knit
fabric is constructed of yarns made into loops (stitches)
which are linked together by the use of needles. There
are two basic types of knitted fabric. The weft knit fabrics are made with yarns forming
loops the width of the fabric on a circular
machine, producing jersey knit used in T-shirts
and underwear. The warp knit fabrics are
produced by feeding yarns to form loops in
a lengthwise direction and are used for tricot
fabrics and cotton lace. Knitted fabrics are
softer and more flexible than woven fabrics. Making
them ideal for sweaters, active sportswear
as a long-standing
the company's "Passion
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