For millennia, cotton has been the most widely used textile raw material. However, its journey from plantations to our clothes is quite complicated and lengthy. 

Cotton processing, from fibre to knit fabric

One of the most widely used plants in the textile industry is undoubtedly cotton. And this has been the case for millennia. The oldest evidence comes from Egypt, where textiles 7,000 years old have been found. And it could be said that, to this day, no other material has surpassed cotton. Its production even exceeds 25 million tonnes annually. However, its processing is not a simple or fast matter at all. Before we can wear it, it has to travel on quite a long journey.

Nowadays, cotton harvesting doesn’t involve much manual work. The helper in this case is a special cotton harvester, which harvests the cotton bolls and forms them into a module. This is a compact block of cotton that weighs approximately 10 tonnes. The next step is seed removal. This demanding work, which in the past was performed primarily by black slaves, was replaced at the end of the 18th century by a ginning machine. Thanks to this invention, cotton cultivation became even more widespread.

Cotton becomes a textile

Finally, it’s time to process the cotton and turn it into a textile. The process that’s involved is called spinning. Several separate operations create a homogeneous and even mixture of cotton fibres oriented in one direction.

o   The individual operations consist of cleaning, drying and mixing.

o   The final stage is spinning, where cotton yarn is formed.

·         Fully automated machines are currently used for this stage.

One textile that’s manufactured from cotton yarn is knit fabric. Its production takes place on flat and circular knitting machines, depending on what the subsequent use will be. For example, the knitting of a polo shirt collar takes place on flat knitting machines.

o   Knit fabric is widely used, especially in the production of clothing.

o   For example, we can find it in sportswear as well as protective workwear.

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