Whenever someone says light clothing we always think of ‘cotton’. We prefer cotton over any other material. What makes it so special? Where do we obtain it from? Let us study more about it below.
Importance of Cotton
Cotton is an important part of our daily lives from the time we shower and dry ourselves with a soft cotton towel in the morning until we go to sleep between fresh cotton sheets at night. Majority of clothing and household items come from it. All parts of the cotton plant are useful. The most important is the fibre or lint, which is used in the production of cotton cloth.
Linters are incorporated into high-quality paper products and processed for padding mattresses, furniture and automobile cushions. Cottonseed oil usage primarily happens for shortening, cooking oil and salad dressing. Some of the cottonseeds are also used as high-protein concentrate in baked goods and other food products.
Ginning of Cotton
From the farms, seed cotton transfers to nearby gins for separation of lint and seed. At first, it goes through dryers to reduce moisture content and then through cleaning equipment for removal of foreign matter. Operations like these facilitate processing and improve fibre quality.
Next, it is then air conveyed to gin stands where revolving circular saws pull the lint through closely spaced ribs that prevent the seed from passing through. The removal of lint then occurs from the saw teeth by air blasts or rotating brushes and then is compressed into bales weighing approximately 200-300 Kgs. Later it is transferred to a warehouse for storage until it’s shipped to a textile mill for use.
Journey of Cotton
Fabric mills buy cotton from farmers and receive the bales from gin yards or warehouses or farms. These mills then produce yarn by processing them into various stages, starting with raw bales of cotton. These bales are first taken into the opening room where they are opened and laid in a line on the floor, adjacent to each other, near an opening machine. This machine then travels along the line of opened bales, pulling out the fibres to be sent to a mixing machine and then on to the carding system.
The process of pulling out the fibres into parallel alignments to form a thin web is Carding. The web of fibres is condensed into a continuous, rope-like strand sliver. These slivers are then processed into a combing machine which removes the fibres shorter than half-inch along with impurities from the cotton. It makes the sliver smoother so that more uniform yarns are produced.
Lastly comes spinning which is the last process in the production of yarn. Here the yarn is smoothened out even more and a proper yarn is made. Spinning leads to ‘weaving’ which finally turns this yarn into a beautiful fabric. Weaving is the art of layering these yarns into crosswise lengths in order to create a fabric.
Question For You
Q. The process of formation of yarn from the unseeded cotton fibre is called as
a. Spinning b. Knitting
c. Weaving d. Ginning
Sol: a. Spinning
The unseeded cotton fibre from the ginning process is subjected to the spinning process to make it as yarn. The process of formation of yarn from the unseeded fibre is called as spinning.