How is cotton made into fabric?
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Q:

How is cotton made into fabric?

A:

Quick Answer

Cotton goes from balls of fiber on a plant to fabric through a multi-step mechanical process. In this process, the cotton fibers, known as lint, are separated from seed, then into lengths and eventually spun into yarn that is used to knit or weave fabric.

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Full Answer

After it is picked, cotton goes through a mechanical separation process known as ginning in which cotton fiber is separated and baled. These bales are then taken to a textile mill, where the bales are separated in order to facilitate carding. Carding is a process by which cotton lint is cleaned and straightened, resulting in a thin strand known as a silver. The silver is then spun into yarn, which is used to weave or knit cotton fabric.

This process of creating cotton fabric from unprocessed natural cotton is very similar to the techniques used in the days before the industrial revolution. The main difference is the use of machines in every step of production, from picking and sorting the cotton to ginning, baling, carding, weaving and knitting. In fact, the mechanized weaving looms that are used to create cotton fabrics are very similar in design and concept to the looms that were used by hand weavers.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why is cotton so comfortable to wear?

    A:

    Cotton is comfortable to wear because it creates a breathable, lightweight and soft fabric. When it is spun into thread or yarn, cotton is comfortable to wear in both cold and warm temperatures.

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  • Q:

    Does combed cotton shrink?

    A:

    Combed cotton shrinks when dried in a hot dryer due to the natural cotton fibers contracting from the application of heat. The amount of shrinkage varies, but is less pronounced in garments pre-shrunk during the manufacturing process.

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  • Q:

    Does cotton shrink?

    A:

    Cotton shrinks when washed or dried. Cotton fibers and polymers are stretched when made into thread and cloth, and washing and drying shrinks cotton back to its natural size.

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  • Q:

    What clothes are made from cotton?

    A:

    Clothes made from cotton include sweaters, jackets, socks, shirts, dresses and sleepwear. Cotton is commonly used in making clothes because it is soft and comfortable to wear.

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