Textile manufacturing continues to be a major industry in the modern day. At textile mills, fiber is converted into yarn, which is in turn converted into fabric that is dyed or printed and fabricated into clothes. A variety of cotton mill components in Lubbock, TX play a role in this process.
Cotton continues to be the most important natural fiber, and thus plays a massively important role in textile mills. There are six stages associated with processing cotton at these mills. Let’s take a quick look at each:
- Cultivating and harvesting: Cotton can be grown anywhere that has long, hot, dry summers with lots of sunshine and low humidity. It is a stable across the American southeast. The seeds are planted from September through mid-November, and harvest time is March to June. The cotton bolls are harvested with strippers and spindle pickers, and the seed cotton is then put into a cotton gin, which separates the seeds and removes the rest of the waste that is not needed. The result of the ginning process is lint, which is compressed into massive bales.
- Preparatory processes: The cotton will then be opened and fluffed up to remove vegetable matter, then fed through a picker. It is then blended, with the seeds and other impurities removed, and carded, with the fibers separated into loose strands. Combing is optional, but can be used to remove shorter fibers and make a stronger yarn. In the drawing stage, the fibers get straightened, and several slivers are combined.
- Yarn manufacturing: Yarn manufacturing is made up of a variety of processes, including spinning, checking, gassing, and folding and twisting. Each of these processes is used to condense the fibers, making them stronger and tighter. Only the higher qualities of yarn are gassed—this process burns off projecting fibers to make the threads rounder and smoother.
- Weaving: A loom is used in the weaving process. There are a variety of methods used in this stage, including winding, warping, sizing, drawing in and pirning.
- Knitting: Knitting by machine is done by warp and weft. Weft knitting is most similar to hand knitting, as stitches all connect to each other horizontally. Weft machines can produce textiles from one spool of yarn or multiple spools, depending on the type of machine. Warp knitting involves many pieces of yarn and vertical chains that zigzag together.
- Finishing: The woven cotton fabric will contain some impurities in its loom state, so it will require further treatment to fully develop its potential as a textile. Examples of finishing tasks include de-sizing (steeping it in acid and rinsing to break down size), scouring (chemical washing), bleaching, mercerizing, raising, dyeing and printing.
This is a very cursory overview of the process of textile milling—it is a highly complicated process even with the machinery and technology we have available to us today. For more information about what textile mills look like in our modern world, we encourage you to contact M.B. McKee Company, Inc. and we’ll be happy to tell you more about cotton mill components in Lubbock, TX.
Categorised in: Cotton Mill Components
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