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Contents

Module Overview ....................................................................................................................... 2 Module Objective ....................................................................................................................... 2 Module Contents......................................................................................................................... 2 Learning Outcomes ..................................................................................................................... 3 Module Symbols.......................................................................................................................... 4 Unit 1: Unit 2: Unit 3: Unit 4: Unit 5: Unit 6: Introduction ............................................................................................................... 5 Cotton: Fundamentals and History............................................................................. 7 Growing and Harvesting Cotton .............................................................................. 11 Cotton Processing .................................................................................................... 16 Cotton Properties and Varieties ............................................................................... 31 Cotton Counts and Yarns ......................................................................................... 35

Resource Material Introduction ................................................................................................ 39

Cotton: from Grower to User Prepared by Effective Change Pty Ltd

This Module provides participants with an introduction to the growing and harvesting of cotton; an overview of the processes necessary to convert the raw cotton into yarn suitable for weaving; and, a working knowledge of cotton properties, qualities and grades in preparation for the next Module on weaving.

The objectives of this Module are to provide participants with: an understanding of cotton growing and harvesting an overview of the processes involved in converting seeded cotton to yarn in preparation for weaving a working knowledge of cotton properties, qualities and grades specifically in relation to the cotton yarns used to manufacture towelling products

This Module comprises these sections: Introduction Introductions and Course Outline Introduction to Module 1 Cotton: Fundamentals and History What is Cotton? Fundamentals of Cotton Cotton Fibre History of Cotton Growth in Cotton Production Growing and Harvesting Cotton Growing Cotton Harvesting Cotton Cotton Processing Overview of Cotton Processing Ginning Classing and Baling Cleaning Carding Drawing Combing Roving Spinning
Cotton: from Grower to User Prepared by Effective Change Pty Ltd 2

Cotton Properties and Varieties Cotton Properties Cotton Varieties Cotton Counts and Yarns Cotton Counts Cotton Yarns

At the completion of this module, participants should be able to: Learning Outcome 1 Identify a key milestone for the Australian cotton industry Learning Outcome 2 Identify the main cotton growing areas in Australia Learning Outcome 3 List the key steps in the cotton growing cycle Learning Outcome 4 Identify the differences between machine picking and hand picking Learning Outcome 5 State the purpose of ginning cotton Learning Outcome 6 Identify the key reasons for cleaning cotton Learning Outcome 7 Outline the steps in carding Learning Outcome 8 Explain the primary purpose of combing Learning Outcome 9 Describe the differences between ring spun yarn and open end yarn Learning Outcome 10 Describe the characteristics and properties of cotton that are most relevant to towelling products Learning Outcome 11 Identify the main types of cotton used in towelling manufacture and describe the properties of each Learning Outcome 12 Outline the two types of cotton count systems

Cotton: from Grower to User Prepared by Effective Change Pty Ltd

The following symbols in the text are designed to assist you to prepare and deliver your training: Estimated time for activity, including PowerPoint slides and samples

PowerPoint Presentation Slide (PPS) Note: PPSs are numbered by Module and Slide number eg. PPS 1.6 is Module 1 Slide 6 Discuss

SHOW SAMPLES

Sample

Handout Note: Handouts are numbered by Module and Unit number eg. Handout 2.3 is the Handout for Module 2 Unit 3 DVD

Cotton: from Grower to User Prepared by Effective Change Pty Ltd

Resource Material
The relevant resource material for this section is: PPS 1.1: Cotton from Grower to User PPS 1.2: Overview of Module 1 Handout 1.1 Samples: Raw Cotton, Yarn Cheese

Aim
The aims of this section of the module are to provide participants with an: introduction to Cotton from Grower to User opportunity to formally introduce themselves to each other overview of the contents of Module 1

Timing
The estimated time for the Introduction is 15 minutes with 10 minutes for Introductions and Course Outline and 5 minutes for Introduction to Module 1.
15 minutes

The information is primarily presented using PPSs.

Trainers Notes
Introductions and Course Outline
Welcome the participants and introduce yourself. Ask the participants to introduce themselves and outline what their expectations of the course are.

Cotton: from Grower to User Prepared by Effective Change Pty Ltd

Introduce the Cotton from Grower to User using the PPS:


PPS 1.1

Cotton from Grower to User


Module 1:
COTTON
Introduction Cotton: Fundamentals & History Growing & Harvesting Cotton Cotton Processing Drying Cotton Properties & Varieties Cotton Counts & Yarns Colour Harmonies Finishing Finished Product Colour: FAQs

Module 2:
MANUFACTURING
Introduction Yarn Preparation

Module 3:
COLOUR & DECORATING
Introduction

Colour Forecasting Weaving Dyeing Psychology of Colour

Discuss the assessment process.

Give participants Handout 1.1.

Introduction to Module 1
SHOW SAMPLES

Show the participants the raw cotton and the yarn cheese samples. Explain that the aim of Module 1 is to outline the process of converting raw cotton to yarn that is suitable for weaving into towelling products. Give an overview of the content of Module 1 using the PPS:

PPS 1.2

Overview of Module 1
History of Cotton Growing & Harvesting Cotton Cotton Processing Module 2: MANUFACTURING Cotton Counts & Yarns Ginning Classing and Baling Cleaning Carding Drawing Combing Roving Spinning

Cotton Properties & Varieties

Cotton: from Grower to User Prepared by Effective Change Pty Ltd

Resource Material
The relevant resources for this section are: PPS 1.3: What is Cotton? PPS 1.4: Fundamentals of Cotton PPS 1.5: Cotton Fibre PPS 1.6: History of Cotton PPS 1.7: History of Cotton in Australia PPS 1.8: Growth in Cotton Production Handout 1.2

Aim
The aims of this section of the module are to provide participants with an overview of the: The fundamentals of cotton and cotton fibre history of cotton over the last 5,000 years key milestones in the cotton industry in Australia since 1788 growth of the cotton industry in Australia based on production of the raw material

Timing
The estimated time for Cotton: Fundamentals and History 8 minutes.
8 minutes

The information is primarily presented using PPSs.

Trainers Notes
Give participants Handout 1.2.

Cotton: from Grower to User Prepared by Effective Change Pty Ltd

Explain cotton to participants using the PPS:


PPS 1.3

What is Cotton?
Cotton fibres are the seed hairs of the plant Gossypium Each fibre is formed by the elongation of a single cell from the surface of the seed The word cotton is derived from its Arabic name pronounced kutan, qutn or qutan Under a microscope, a cotton fibre appears as a very fine, regular fibre, looking like a twisted ribbon. These twists are called convolutions

Outline the fundamentals of cotton using the PPS:


PPS 1.4

Fundamentals of Cotton
Cotton is composed of long cellulosic molecules It is typically around 88 96% cellulose. The rest is protein, pectic substances, ash and wax After scouring and bleaching, cotton is then about 99% cellulose The cellulosic wall of the cotton fibre give cotton its unique characteristics: its crimp, wall thickness, maturity, pliability, moisture absorbance and retainability These characteristics contribute to making cotton the most sought after natural fibre in the world

Outline the characteristics of cotton fibre using the PPS:


PPS 1.5

Cotton Fibre
The cotton fibre length varies with the type and quality It is stronger when wet Cotton absorbs moisture readily, which makes cotton clothes comfortable to wear in warm weather (water retention of 50%, moisture regain of 7%)

Cotton: from Grower to User Prepared by Effective Change Pty Ltd

Outline the key milestone in the world history of cotton using the PPS:
PPS 1.6

History of Cotton
5000 Remnants found woven with feathers & fur years ago India produced fine quality cotton fabric. 3,000 years ago Grown in the USA, China, Japan, Middle East & Pakistan 1769 1788 1793 1920s Spinning Jenny invented in England Cotton seeds arrive in Australia on First Fleet Cotton gin invented USA producing > 50% of worlds cotton

Background Information: Cotton is one of the oldest known fibres It has been grown and used for more than 5,000 years Cotton was first cultivated in Pakistan Invention of the Spinning Jenny in England enabled cheap mass-production Invention of the Cotton Gin in the USA to remove the seeds from cotton fibre lead to further improvements in production

Outline the key milestones in the history of cotton in Australia using the PPS:
PPS 1.7

History of Cotton in Australia


1788 Cotton seeds arrive on First Fleet 1861 > Australia fills gap caused by the US Civil War 1954 Cotton industry all but non-existent

1960s First exportable surplus produced Emerged as major crop Cotton consistently profitable 1970s Cotton production increases as availability of irrigation increases 1992 Environmental audit and introduction of Best Management Practices

Cotton: from Grower to User Prepared by Effective Change Pty Ltd

Show the PPS on cotton production to demonstrate the growth of the cotton industry in Australia:
PPS 1.8

Growth in Cotton Production


3.5 3

2.5

Millions of Bales
1.5

0.5

0 1980 1985 1992 1995 1997 1999

Background Information and Notes on PPS: 1830 1934 1971 1975 1992 1995 3 bags of cotton were exported to England Production was 17,000 bales Production was 87,000 bales Production was 110,000 bales Production was about 2% of the worlds ginned cotton Production dropped due to drought

The Australian cotton industry: is internationally competitive is increasingly efficient at processing cotton has a substantial share of its total production exported as cotton yarn, fabric or finished product

Note to Trainer: The following information is provided as background information only, should any of the participants ask specific questions about genetically modified cotton. Information on genetically modified cotton can be misunderstood and misinterpreted so it is best not to raise the topic and only provide information if a specific question is asked. Genetically modified cotton actually reduces the need for fertilisers and pesticides because it is more pest resistance. Therefore it is better for the environment and that is the focus of Australian research on genetically modified cotton.

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Resource Material
The relevant resources for this section are: PPS 1.9: Ideal Growing Conditions PPS 1.10: Cotton Growing in Australia PPS 1.11: The Cotton Cycle PPS 1:12: Harvesting: Machine Picking PPS 1.13: Harvesting: Hand Picking Handout 1.3 Sample: Seeded Cotton

Aim
The aims of this section of the module are to provide participants with an overview of: the growing cycle of cotton the types of machines used to harvest cotton machine harvesting versus hand picking

Timing
The estimated time for Growing and Harvesting Cotton is 15 minutes.
15 minutes

The information is presented using PPSs.

Trainers Notes
Give participants Handout 1.3.

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Growing Cotton
Outline the environmental conditions needed to grow cotton using the PPS:
PPS 1.9

Ideal Growing Conditions


Cotton needs: Warm, humid climate or a warm climate with adequate irrigation Long, frost-free period of 6-7 months Mild temperatures About 12 hours of sunlight per day During the growing cycle 7.5cm12.5cm of rain monthly or adequate irrigation

Background Information: China is the leading producer of cotton world-wide Other major producers are the USA, the states of the former Soviet Union, India, Pakistan, China, Brazil and Australia

Show the key cotton growing areas in Australia using the PPS:
PPS 1.10

Cotton Growing in Australia

Qld

NSW

Notes on PPS: Cotton is primarily grown in central and north-western NSW and central and southern Queensland Approximately 70% of Australias cotton is produced in NSW, with most of it being grown in the Murray-Darling Basin The majority of cotton grown in Australia is irrigated cotton

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There are few areas in Australia suitable for non-irrigated or dryland cotton growing Hence most cotton is grown on land near major irrigation schemes and river valleys

Explain the cotton growing cycle using the PPS:


PPS 1.11

The Cotton Cycle


Harvest Cotton Seed Planted
DAY 0 DAY 180

100 days

Cotton Blossoms

Open Boll

GROWING SEASON

Boll
50 to 80 days By end of 2nd day

Notes on PPS: From planting time to harvesting time is approximately 180 days or about 6 months Day 1: Day 3-5: Day 100: Cotton seed is planted Seedlings appear Cotton blossoms The cotton plants blossom over a period of time and their yellowish/pink flowers bloom for 1 day By the end of the 2nd day the flowers wither and drop to reveal the formation of the boll or young seed pod Between Blossoming and Maturity: Day 150 -180: Bolls grow and mature It is during this time in the growing cycle that the bolls need adequate rainfall or irrigation Bolls open to reveal the white fluffy cotton Each boll contains about 30 seeds and up to 500,000 fibres of cotton Again the bolls do not all open together so the picking season occurs over a period of time.

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In Australia most on-farm activities related to cotton growing occur in Australia between August and May August September: September October: November February: March May: Background Information:
SHOW SAMPLES

Soil Preparation Planting Growing Season Picking and Ginning

Cotton comes come from the Arabic word kutun which describes a fine textile Cotton is a bushy plant that is a member of the Hibiscus family

Show the participants a sample of seeded cotton

Harvesting Cotton

PPS 1.12

Harvesting: Machine Picking


Cotton is harvested by either a:
Cotton Picker: removes the cotton from the bolls without damaging the plant Cotton Stripper: strips entire boll off the plant
Australian cotton is harvested by pickers because the cotton is cleaner

Notes on PPS: Cotton pickers give much greater cleaning efficiency as the picker does not collect as much trash, or unwanted twigs and leaves, as a cotton stripper. Cotton that is cleaner when it is picked lessens the requirement for cleaning during the ginning process Machine picking of cotton allows mass harvesting

Background Information: Australia, the USA and Israel are the only countries in the world to harvest their cotton exclusively with machines

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Outline the key points about hand picked cotton using the PPS:
PPS 1.13

Harvesting: Hand Picking


Hand picking cotton: is slower than machine picking better preserves fibre characteristics leaves behind unwanted trash like leaves and boll selects fully grown cotton and leaves young cotton for later picking

Show DVD Note to Trainer: Introduce DVD Reinforce key points

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Resource Material
The relevant resources for this section are: PPS 1.14: Cotton Processing PPS 1.15: Ginning PPS 1.16: Classing & Baling PPS 1.17 & PPS 1.18: Cleaning PPS 1.19: Carding PPS 1.20: Drawing PPS 1.21: Combing: Lap Former PPS 1.22: Combing: Comber PPS 1.23: Combing: Grouping of the Combed Sliver PPS 1.24: Combing PPS 1.25 & PPS 1.26: Roving PPS 1.27: Spinning: Speed Frame PPS 1.28: Spinning PPS 1.29: Ring Spinning PPS 1.30: Winding PPS 1.31: Twisting PPS 1.32: Assembly Winding PPS 1.33: Open End Spinning PPS 1.34 & 1.35: Vortex Spinning PPS 1.36: Blending of Cotton with other Fibres PPS 1.37: Cotton Fibre Testing Handout 1.4 Samples: Ginned Cotton, Sliver Fibres, Seeded Cotton, Yarn Cheese

Aim
The aims of this section of the module are to provide participants with an overview of: the stages involved in preparing cotton for spinning spinning cotton into yarn ready for weaving

Timing
The estimated time for Cotton Processing is 25 minutes.
25 minutes

The information is presented using PPSs and samples of cotton at various stages of processing and spinning.

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Trainers Notes
Give participants Handout 1.4.

Overview of Cotton Processing


Outline the stages of cotton processing between harvesting and spinning using the PPS:
PPS 1.14

Cotton Processing
Cotton Fields

Ginning

Classing

Bailing

Spinning Mills

Ginning
Outline the ginning process using the PPS:
PPS 1.15

Ginning
Ginning separates the cotton fibres from the cotton seed
Picked Cotton

Drying and Removing Trash Lint - fibre Classing Bailing Mote trash & fibres Seed linters & seed

Notes on PPS: The primary purpose of ginning is to separate the cotton fibre from the cotton seeds. This process is carried out by a machine called a gin There are two types of gin: saw gins and roller gins

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In a saw gin, circular saws grip fibres and pull them through narrow slots leaving the seed behind. Saw gins are used with shorter fibres Saw gins are primarily used in Australia because we grow more short staple length cotton In a roller gin a rough roller grabs fibres and pulls them under a rotating bar with gaps too small for seed. Roller gins are used with longer fibres The by-products of ginning are: Lint: Lint is the technical name for cotton fibre produced in the ginning process Lint is used to produce cotton yarn Motes: Mixture of trash like dirt, stalks, leaves and fibre The fibre can be used for lower grade cotton and paper but requires further processing Seed: Seed contains linters or short, very fine fibres The cleaned seed is crushed to produce cotton seed oil and the residue can be used for cattle feed. It may also be used as seeds to plant again for the next cotton crop

Background Information: The word gin in cotton gin is related to the word engine and means device. It is unrelated to the alcoholic drink called gin! 55% of ginned cotton is made up of cottonseed, 35% is lint and 10% is trash. Cotton fibre waste has been used to clean up oil spills in the sea, as it soaks up the oil well but the natural waxes that it contains help to keep the fibre afloat. Cotton trash such as left over sticks and leaves can be used as compost, and put back into the soil.

Cotton: from Grower to User Prepared by Effective Change Pty Ltd

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Outline classing and baling using the PPS:


PPS 1.16

Classing & Baling


Ginning Classing
Fibre is measured against a set of standards or grades to assesses quality of ginning, fineness and fibre length.

Bailing
Lint is pressed into bales of a standard size

Notes on PPS: Classing is the process of measuring the fibres against a set of standards or grades The lint is graded on a scale of 1 to 6, which assesses the quality of ginning, fineness and fibre length. Raw fibre or lint is passed from the gin through pipes to a press The press compresses the lint into bales Each bale weighs 227 kg or 500 lbs, which is the standard Australian size. The standard bale size for the rest of the world is 400 lbs. A sample for classing is taken from every bale The bales are then sold to local spinning mills or overseas buyers or they are stored

Background Information:
SHOW SAMPLES

A standard Australian bale of cotton makes approximately 500 light bath towels

Show the participants the sample of ginned cotton

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Cleaning
Explain the key reasons for cleaning the cotton lint using the PPS:
PPS 1.17

Cleaning
Ginning

Ginning

Lint & Trash

Cleaned Blended

Removes Seeds

Leaf Stalk Sand Soil Dust

Removes 40-70% Trash

Notes on PPS: Ginning removes seeds but not trash Trash is leaf, stalk, sand, soil and dust that is mixed in with the lint Lint needs to be opened, cleaned and blended to remove the trash

Explain the various stages of cleaning that occur in the blow room using the PPS:
PPS 1.18
Bales of Lint

Cleaning
Blow Room
Opening Blending Cleaning
Lap

Separator open cotton

Blend or mix fibres from different bales together Create uniformity of staple and colour

Beaters progressively open cotton Release trash 3-7 major cleaning points

Carding

Break it into small tufts or flocks

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Carding
Outline the carding process using the PPS:
PPS 1.19
Cleaning Blow Room
Lap (long roll of cotton Single Fibres

Carding
Carding Machine
Removes short fibres Disentangles neps (knots) Partially aligns fibres length wise Blends fibres into web
Sliver (long, loose strand of cotton) Fibres

Opening & Cleaning

Removes 80-90% Dust & Impurities

Drawing

Notes on PPS:
SHOW SAMPLES

Brushes, cleans, disentangles and straightens the cotton fibre All yarn is carded The sliver is output into cans for storage

Compare the sliver sample to the seeded cotton sample to demonstrate that it is now clean and looks more like a strand of cotton, ie. it is longer and finer.

Drawing
Outline the drawing process of converting a sliver to a finer yarn using the PPS:
PPS 1.20

Drawing
Carding Combing
Sliver

Drawing
Straightens and parallelises the fibres Blend slivers to improve regularity of weight, length and fibre mix Draw out slivers to produce slivers of required weight and length

Spinning

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Background Information and Notes on PPS: The carded slivers are coiled in cylindrical cans with spring-loaded bases so that there is no tension applied to the slivers when drawn out. In the sliver the cotton fibres are not parallel The carded slivers then are passed through a drawing process: slivers are laid parallel in groups of 6 or 8 and passed through high-speed pressure rollers the speeds of these rollers are varied so that the group of is "drawn" to form a single sliver The slivers vary in thickness. Feeding slivers together is known as doubling and leads to an improvement in regularity in the sliver. When fed together the thick part of one sliver is offset by the thin part of another This process improves the uniformity of the sliver because of the multiple doubling Doubling feeds multiple slivers together and so it blends the fibres too Each succeeding pair of rollers runs faster than the preceding pair. The fibres are gripped by a faster pair and drawn out from the preceding slower pair The action of reducing the thickness of the feed sliver (input) by drawing is known as drafting The operation of doubling and drafting may be carried out two or three times using identical machines. One operation does not usually give sufficient regularity, fibre parallelism and blending Fibre parallelism means that the fibres are running parallel to each other lengthwise along the strand Parallel fibres are the key to fine yarns and higher yarn strength

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Combing
Outline the combing process using the following four PPSs:
PPS 1.21

Combing: Lap Former


This process is used to prepare the feeder material for the combing operation Similar to the drawing process, slivers are laid parallel and passed through high speed rollers to form a sheet of compressed cotton lap, which is wound on to spools The spools of cotton laps are then transported to the comber for the crucial combing process Instead of single slivers, these laps are the feeder material for the combing process

PPS 1.22

Combing: Comber
Metal combs tease the cotton lap fed between pressure rollers, so that the combing process individually separates every cotton fibre The amount of short fibre reduction can be controlled by adjusting the combs in the combing machine Whilst the fibres are combed, all short fibres and trash are removed form the cotton The trash, called Noil can be re used in spinning of coarser counts of yarn or for waste spinning processes for making mop yarns etc Around 18-20 % of re-usable cotton waste (Noil) is extracted during this process

PPS 1.23

Combing: Grouping of the Combed Sliver


One comber machine will have commonly up to eight comber heads The combed slivers from all the different combing heads are grouped together along a stainless steel table and passed through a Drawing process This drawing process serves the purpose of doubling to improve the uniformity in the combed sliver This drawn / combed sliver is coiled individually in cylindrical cans with coil springs similar to the gathering of the sliver after carding The combed slivers are further re-processed through drawing frames to improve the uniformity and blending before proceeding to the next process

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PPS 1.24

Combing
Removes short fibres, leaving longest fibres Fibres are prepared in the form of a lap which is even in thickness with fibres parallel to the length of the lap Only best quality yarns are combed due to cost Combing produces a cleaner, finer, more even yarn

Roving
Outline the roving process using the PPSs:
PPS 1.25

Roving
Roving reduces the thickness of the sliver to 10 to 15% of its original thickness This process involves drawing the slivers through pressure rollers running at varying speeds This size reduction (from approx. 5,000 grams per km to approx. 600 grams per km) gets the feeder material right for the next process, ie. ring spinning

PPS 1.26

Roving
After the thickness is reduced the material is called Roving and the machine used here is either called a Roving frame or Simplex frame The roving is wound on to spools weighing up to 2 to 3kg in the roving frames These rovings are held together without breaking by having it twisted slightly The twist given to the roving is a false twist, since this is removed whilst unwound in the ring frame

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Spinning
Outline the speed frame using the PPS:
PPS 1.27

Spinning: Speed Frame


Combing Speed Frame
Draws sliver to reduce it to a fineness suitable for spinning Inserts a small amount of twist to strengthen the roving Winds the roving onto a bobbin ready for spinning
Roving on Bobbin

Carding

Spinning

Background Information: Both the carded and combed slivers go through the speed frame Adding twist to the yarn adds strength Drafting is another term for drawing

Outline the spinning process using the PPS:


PPS 1.28

Spinning
Spinning
Draws roving to reduce the thickness Adds twist to strengthen yarn Winds yarn evenly onto bobbin in preparation for weaving

Speed Frame

Roving on Bobbin

Yarn on Bobbin

Weaving

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Explain the key differences between ring spinning and open end spinning using the PPSs:
PPS 1.29

Ring Spinning
Used for finer yarns and all combed yarns Involves 6 processes for carded ring spun yarn and 8 processes for combed ring spun yarn

Outline winding using the PPS:


PPS 1.30

Winding
The ring spun yarn is wound on small ring tubes called Ring Cops mounted on spindles on the ring frames Since the format of this package is so small, this yarn has to be rewound on to larger cones This process is called winding During the winding process, any weak spots in the yarns are removed and clear of any contamination, thick places or other faults Yarn from ring tubes which is approx around 50 grams per tube is wound on to larger cones up to 4 kg This yarn is packed and transported to the end user such as a knitter or weaver

Outline twisting using the PPS:


PPS 1.31

Twisting
Twisting is used to make ply yarns for specific end uses The end product out of spinning is always a single ply yarn This can be doubled along with an identical yarn to form a doubled ply yarn This is achieved through twisting frames The process is achieved in two stages

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Outline assembly winding using the PPS:


PPS 1.32

Assembly Winding
In this process the two single yarns are assembled next to each other and wound on to a parallel package This package is then fed on to the twisting frame The twisting frame draws the assembled single threads and twists it together to the pre set twist The direction of twisting whilst doubling is always opposite to that of the single yarn This is done to retain a balanced yarn for subsequent processing

Outline open end spinning using the PPS:


PPS 1.33

Open End Spinning


Also known as rotor spinning Generally used on coarser counts of yarn Not used for combed yarn Involves 4 stages or processes

Notes on PPSs: The two most popular methods of spinning are ring spinning and open end spinning The open end spinning is a relatively new technology compared to ring spinning In Ring Spinning, the cotton fibres are twisted to form the yarn by threading the fibres through a small ear shape metal piece called a traveller onto the high-speed ring tube The fibre is held in cohesion through out the transition stage from fibre to yarn The yarn produced by ring spinning is known as ring spun yarn In Open end spinning, the fibres are inserted loose into a spin box

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The spin box consists of a funnel spinning at speeds of over 50,000 rpm The cotton fibres direct from the sliver form are fed into the funnel from the outer rim of the spinning funnel The fibres coming into contact with the inner walls of the spinning funnel get thrown along the surface by centrifugal force The fibres are then guided through a fine groove in the inner surface of the funnel and drawn out from the centre of the funnel The drawn yarn is wound directly onto packages ready for delivery to the end user The yarn produced by rotor spinning is known as open ended yarn In open end spinning, both the roving process for pre Ring spinning and the winding process for post Ring spinning is eliminated The cost of Open end spinning is therefore reduced dramatically compared to ring spinning

Outline vortex spinning using the PPSs:


PPS 1.34

Vortex Spinning
This is a recent invention (1997) on spinning methods as a further advancement to the open end (OE) spinning The production output rates are double of that of OE spinning and the quality of the yarn is closer to that of the ring spun yarn The cotton fibre used must have a long staple length (28mm and above) and be stronger

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PPS 1.35

Vortex Spinning
In vortex spinning, the drafted fibres are sucked into a nozzle where a high speed 'vortex' air current wraps the fibres around the outside of a hollow stationary spindle A vacuum around the base of the spindle acts to 'comb' out shorter fibres and neps Fibres are pulled down a shaft that runs through the middle of the spindle Yarn twist is inserted as the fibres swirl around the apex of the spindle before being pulled down the spindle shaft

Notes on PPS: This system has the same advantages of the OE spinning as the yarn is produced directly from the sliver without any roving process and the limitation of the ring spinning processes

PPS 1.36

Blending of Cotton with other Fibres


Though not used in terry towel production, cotton fibre is blended with many other man made fibres to achieve excellent end products One of the most popular cotton blended yarn is Poly cotton The Poly cotton yarn is popularly used in apparels, as the cotton component takes care of the moisture absorbency, the polyester gives the required durability and design/colour feature to the product

Notes on PPS: Cotton is also blended with regenerated cellulosic fibres like staple viscose In this blend both fibres have very similar characteristics due to the cellulosic fibres The blending is usually done in the draw frame or the blow room of the spinning mill

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PPS 1.37

Cotton Fibre Testing


The key quality parameters defining the characteristics of the cotton fibre are: The staple length of the cotton stated in millimetre ranges The fibre fineness or maturity stated as Micronaire value The fibre strength The cotton colour The trash content Presence of honey dew produced by aphids which causes a sticky sugary substance to foul the cotton, or any other pest damage

Notes on PPS: Technology has been developed to assess these parameters accurately As cotton is a naturally grown product, these characteristics will vary from crop to crop depending on the soil and weather conditions It is therefore crucial that these parameters are well tested before blending of different lots of cotton in the spinning mill

SHOW SAMPLES

Show the participants the sample of yarn cheese. Show DVD Note to Trainer: Introduce DVD Reinforce key points

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Resource Material
The relevant resources for this section are: PPS 1.38: Cotton Properties PPS 1.39: Cotton Varieties PPS 1.40: Egyptian Cotton PPS 1.41: Pima Cotton PPS 1.42: Upland Cotton Handout 1.5

Aim
The aims of this section of the module are to familiarise participants with the: properties of each variety in relation to towelling products different varieties of cotton

Timing
The estimated time for Cotton Types and Properties is 10 minutes.
10 minutes

The information is presented using the PPSs and samples

Trainers Notes
Give participants Handout 1.5.

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Cotton Properties
Outline the characteristics and properties of cotton that make it such a valuable and sought after fibre. Highlight those that are particularly valuable and desirable in the production of towelling

PPS 1.38

Cotton Properties
Handle Absorbency Felting Laundering Durability Hypoallergenic Colour Clarity Colour Retention Shrinkage Versatility

The characteristics and properties that are valuable/desirable in the production of towelling products are shown below: Handle Soft and comfortable feel Drapes well No static electricity Naturally absorbent Can absorb up to 1/5 of its weight before it feels damp Can absorb 24 - 27 times its own weight Is stronger wet than dry Does not felt or mat like wool Does not form pill(s) like wool, acrylic or polyester fibre Machine washable Can be sterilised/sanitised Can be tumble dried Dry cleanable Long-lasting if well looked after Does not irritate sensitive skin or cause allergies Easily dyed Prints well Reflects colour well Retains colour

Absorbency

Felting

Laundering

Durability Hypoallergenic Colour Retention & Clarity

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Shrinkage

Occurs only to remove stretching in manufacture Occurs usually only at first wash Occurs the least in leading brand quality products Easy to handle and sew Can be easily blended with other fibres Can be treated, eg. for heat resistance, wrinkle resistance, stain resistance or permanent press

Versatility

Cotton Varieties
Name the three main varieties of cotton using the PPS:
PPS 1.39

Cotton Varieties
There are many varieties of cotton used in towel production, some are: Egyptian Pima Upland

Outline the properties of Egyptian Cotton using the PPS:


PPS 1.40

Egyptian Cotton
Extra Long Staple (ELS) cotton grown in Egypt is classified as Egyptian cotton Generally regarded as best cotton fibre Natural colour enhances colour of final product Roller ginned because of its long fibre length Generally combed and ring spun

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Outline the properties of Pima Cotton using the PPS:


PPS 1.41

Pima Cotton
Pima cotton is ELS length cotton Originated in Peru Hybrid of Upland and Sea Island cotton Grown primarily in the USA, Australia and Peru Longer and stronger fibre Roller ginned because of its long fibre length Spun into higher count yarns for better quality product Can be made into fine quality fabric Relatively costly to produce and to process

Background Information: What is Supima? Licensed brand name for Pima cotton

Outline the properties of Upland Cotton using the PPS:


PPS 1.42

Upland Cotton
Originally named American Upland but commonly called Upland Grown in many countries, including Australia Average staple length is 2 to 3 centimetres Most commonly available cotton Light cream to off-white in colour Either combed or carded Can be ring or open end Used for large range of very good to average quality cotton goods

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Resource Material
The relevant resources for this section are: PPS 1.43: Cotton Count Systems PPS 1.44: English Cotton Count PPS 1.45: Tex Direct System PPS 1.46: Yarn Count Conversion PPS 1.47: Ring Spun Cotton PPS 1.48: Open End Yarn Handout 1.6 DVD

Aim
The aims of this section of the module are to provide participants with a working knowledge of: cotton counts and their application in the manufacture and retailing of towelling products the types of yarn used in the manufacture of towelling products

Timing
The estimated time for Cotton Counts and Yarns is 15 minutes.
15 minutes

The information is presented using PPSs and samples.

Trainers Notes
Give participants Handout 1.6.

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Cotton Counts
Give an overview of cotton count systems using the PPS:
PPS 1.43

Cotton Count Systems


All yarn count systems measure linear density to denote the thickness and heaviness of the yarn Indirect Systems are based on: Length per Unit Weight Direct Systems are based on: Weight per Unit Length

Explain the English Cotton Count System using the PPS:


PPS 1.44

English Cotton Count


English Cotton Count or ECC is an indirect system The basic unit is an Nec A Nec is the number of hanks, each 840 yards in length required to weigh 1 pound, ie. Nec = 840 yards / 1lb The higher the Ne number the finer the yarn, the lower the Ne number the thicker the yarn

Explain the Tex System using the PPS:


PPS 1.45

Tex Direct System


Basic unit is the Tex A Tex is the weight, in grams, per 1,000 Metres or 1 kilometre of the yarn Tex = grams / 1,000 metres The higher the Tex number the thicker the yarn, the lower the Tex number the finer the yarn

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Notes on PPS: The Tex System is regarded as an international system It is now used in most countries, with the exception of the US

Explain the equations for converting yarn counts using the PPS:
PPS 1.46

Yarn Count Conversion


From ECC (Ne) To:
Tex = 590 Ne

From Tex To:


Ne = 590 tex

Den = 5,314 Ne

Den = 9 x tex

Notes on PPS: Emphasise that you cannot directly compare a count from one system to another. You must do the conversion

Cotton Yarns
There are two types of cotton yarn - ring spun yarn and open end yarn. Outline the characteristics and properties of ring spun yarn using the PPS:
PPS 1.47

Ring Spun Cotton


Ring spun cotton in a finished towel product is softer to the touch Generally needs less finishing treatments to give a soft handle Stronger yarn and handles abrasion and wear better More robust/flexible for handling and production Has good colour reflection and better brightness

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Outline the characteristics and properties of open end cotton using the PPS:
PPS 1.48

Open End Yarn


Can have a harsher feel if not treated correctly Hard wearing and durable Great absorbency due to the hollow structure of the yarn Used for the ground or base of the towel

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This section contains the following resource material for Module 1. Cotton: Glossary Assessment Tasks Learning Checklist Handouts

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Glossary
Bale Blending A basic tradeable unit of lint or ginned cotton. In Australia a standard bale weighs 227kgs. Fibres from different bales of cotton are mixed together to make sure that the spun yarn is uniform in physical characteristics such as staple and colour. The room in a cotton spinning mill where the preparatory processes of opening, cleaning and blending occur. A cone shaped object that holds yarn. The fruit or seed pod of the cotton plant. The boll contains the cotton fibre, which are long, white hair like fibres attached to the cotton seeds. Each boll contains about 30 seeds and up to 500,000 fibres of cotton. Carded yarn Carding of the cotton fibre is the basic method of preparing cotton for spinning. It basically draws and lays the fibres parallel to each other in preparation for the spinning process. The cotton fibres are combed using a carding machine to make them run in straight lines. Each line of fibre is called a sliver. Combed yarn Combed yarn has been processed to remove the shorter fibres before the spinning process leaving the longer fibres. The longer the fibres the better the quality, yarn fineness, strength, fibre shedding and colour intensity. A structure for holding bobbins or cheeses of yarn. Removal of the fibres that remain on the cotton seed after ginning. Once the fibres have been removed the cotton seed can be further processed into oil or used to planting. Gin Lap Lint A machine designed to remove the cotton fibres (lint) from the cotton seed. A long roll of cotton. Cotton fibre produced by the ginning process once the cotton seed, leaves and casing have been removed. Lint is used to produce cotton yarn.

Blowing Room Bobbin Boll

Carding

Creel Delinting

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Linters -

Very fine, short fibres which are still attached to the cotton seed after ginning. Linters are chemically removed and used in the manufacture of rayon and other products.

Motes -

A mixture of trash and fibre as a by-product of ginning. The fibre can be used for lower grade cotton yarns and paper but requires special opening and cleaning.

Nep Opening Picker Roving Ring Spinning

A small knot of entangled fibres, usually dead or immature cotton hairs. The separating of closely packed fibres of cotton. Opening occurs in the early stages of processing raw cotton into yarn. A machine used to harvest cotton that removes the seeded cotton from the boll. Relatively fine fibrous strands used in the later or final processes of preparation for spinning. A yarn spinning method in which roving (a thin strand of fibre with very little twist) is fed to a "traveler" which rotates around the edge of a ring. Inside the ring is a faster rotating bobbin. The process simultaneously draws and twists the roving into yarn and winds it around the bobbin. A method of open-end spinning which uses a rotor (a high speed centrifuge) to collect individual fibres into a yarn. The fibres on entering a rapidly rotating rotor are distributed around its circumference and temporarily held there by centrifugal force. The yarn is withdrawn from the rotor wall and because of the rotation, twist is generated. An assembly of fibres in continuous form without twist. The final stage of cotton processing using machines that stretch out the cotton sliver and make it into long, thin threads of yarn. Length of the cotton fibres, eg. short staple length or long staple length. A machine used to harvest cotton that strips the entire boll off the plant.

Rotor Spinning

Sliver Spinning Staple Stripper

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Assessment Tasks
1. When did cotton first come into Australia?

2.

When did cotton become a major crop and the surplus exported?

3.

Mark on the map of Australia the main cotton growing areas.

4.

Complete on the diagram the stages of the cotton growing cycle.

The Cotton Cycle


100 days

DAY 0 DAY 180

GROWING SEASON

50 to 80 days

By end of 2nd day

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5.

What advantages does machine harvesting have over hand picking?

6.

What advantages does hand picking have?

7.

What is the purpose of ginning cotton?

8.

Which by-products of ginning are used to produce cotton?

9.

Why is cotton cleaned?

10. How is the cotton carded?

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11. What is the main reason that cotton is combed?

12. What are the key differences between ring spun yarn and open end yarn?

13. Why are these cotton properties important features of towelling products? a. Handle b. Absorbency c. Laundering d. Durability e. Colour Retention & Clarity 14. Name two major cotton varieties used in the production of towelling products. Describe the properties of each a.

b.

15. What are the two types of cotton count systems? Give an example of each system a. b.

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Learning Checklist
Learning Outcomes
Learning Outcome 1 Identify a key milestone for the Australian cotton industry Learning Outcome 2 Identify the main cotton growing areas in Australia Learning Outcome 3 List the key steps in the cotton growing cycle Learning Outcome 4 Identify the differences between machine picking and hand picking Learning Outcome 5 State the purpose of ginning cotton What advantages does machine harvesting have over hand picking? What advantages does hand picking have? What is the purpose of ginning cotton? Which by-products of ginning are used to produce cotton? Complete on the diagram the stages of the cotton growing cycle

Assessment Tasks
When did cotton first come into Australia? When did cotton become a major crop and the surplus exported? Mark on the map of Australia the main cotton growing areas

Results

Demonstrates Competence

Yes

No

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Learning Outcomes
Learning Outcome 6 Identify the key reasons for cleaning cotton Learning Outcome 7 Outline the steps in carding

Assessment Tasks
Why is cotton cleaned?

Results

Demonstrates Competence

Yes

No

How is the cotton carded?

Learning Outcome 8 Explain the primary purpose of combing

What is the main reason that cotton is combed?

Learning Outcome 9 Describe the differences between ring spun and open end yarn Learning Outcome 10 Describe the characteristics and properties of cotton that are most relevant to towelling products

What are the key differences between ring spun yarn and open end yarn?

Why are these cotton properties important features of towelling products? a. b. c. d. Handle Absorbency Laundering Durability

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Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks
e. Colour Retention & Clarity

Results

Demonstrates Competence

Yes

No

Learning Outcome 11 Identify the main types of cotton used in towelling manufacture and describe the properties of each Learning Outcome 12 Outline the two types of cotton count systems

Name two major cotton varieties used in the production of towelling products. Describe the properties of each

What are the two types of cotton count systems? Give an example of each system

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Unit 1: Introduction

Cotton from Grower to User


Module 1:
COTTON
Introduction Cotton: Fundamentals & History Growing & Harvesting Cotton Cotton Processing Drying Cotton Properties & Varieties Cotton Counts & Yarns Colour Harmonies Finishing Finished Product Colour: FAQs

Module 2:
MANUFACTURING
Introduction Yarn Preparation

Module 3:
COLOUR & DECORATING
Introduction

Colour Forecasting Weaving Dyeing Psychology of Colour

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Unit 2: Cotton: Fundamentals and History

What is Cotton?
Cotton fibres are the seed hairs of the plant Gossypium Each fibre is formed by the elongation of a single cell from the surface of the seed The word cotton is derived from its Arabic name pronounced kutan, qutn or qutan Under a microscope, a cotton fibre appears as a very fine, regular fibre, looking like a twisted ribbon. These twists are called convolutions

Fundamentals of Cotton
Cotton is composed of long cellulosic molecules It is typically around 88 96% cellulose. The rest is protein, pectic substances, ash and wax After scouring and bleaching, cotton is then about 99% cellulose The cellulosic wall of the cotton fibre give cotton its unique characteristics: its crimp, wall thickness, maturity, pliability, moisture absorbance and retainability These characteristics contribute to making cotton the most sought after natural fibre in the world

Cotton Fibre
The cotton fibre length varies with the type and quality It is stronger when wet Cotton absorbs moisture readily, which makes cotton clothes comfortable to wear in warm weather (water retention of 50%, moisture regain of 7%)

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History of Cotton
5000 Remnants found woven with feathers & fur years ago India produced fine quality cotton fabric. 3,000 years ago Grown in the USA, China, Japan, Middle East & Pakistan 1769 1788 1793 1920s Spinning Jenny invented in England Cotton seeds arrive in Australia on First Fleet Cotton gin invented USA producing > 50% of worlds cotton

Cotton is one of the oldest known fibres It has been grown and used for more than 5,000 years Cotton was first cultivated in Pakistan Invention of the Spinning Jenny in England enabled cheap mass-production Invention of the Cotton Gin in the USA to remove the seeds from cotton fibre lead to further improvements in production

History of Cotton in Australia


1788 Cotton seeds arrive on First Fleet 1861 > Australia fills gap caused by the US Civil War 1954 Cotton industry all but non-existent

1960s First exportable surplus produced Emerged as major crop Cotton consistently profitable 1970s Cotton production increases as availability of irrigation increases 1992 Environmental audit and introduction of Best Management Practices

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Growth in Cotton Production


3.5 3

2.5

Millions of Bales
1.5

0.5

0 1980 1985 1992 1995 1997 1999

1830 1934 1971 1975 1992 1995

3 bags of cotton were exported to England Production was 17,000 bales Production was 87,000 bales Production was 110,000 bales Production was about 2% of the worlds ginned cotton Production dropped due to drought

The Australian cotton industry: is internationally competitive is increasingly efficient at processing cotton has a substantial share of its total production exported as cotton yarn, fabric or finished product

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Unit 3: Growing and Harvesting Cotton Growing Cotton

Ideal Growing Conditions


Cotton needs: Warm, humid climate or a warm climate with adequate irrigation Long, frost-free period of 6-7 months Mild temperatures About 12 hours of sunlight per day During the growing cycle 7.5cm12.5cm of rain monthly or adequate irrigation

China is the leading producer of cotton world-wide Other major producers are the USA, the states of the former Soviet Union, India, Pakistan, China, Brazil and Australia

Cotton Growing in Australia

Qld

NSW

Cotton is primarily grown in central and north-western NSW and central and southern Queensland Approximately 70% of Australias cotton is produced in NSW, with most of it being grown in the Murray-Darling Basin The majority of cotton grown in Australia is irrigated cotton There are few areas in Australia suitable for non-irrigated or dryland cotton growing Hence most cotton is grown on land near major irrigation schemes and river valleys

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The Cotton Cycle


Harvest Cotton Seed Planted
DAY 0 DAY 180

100 days

Cotton Blossoms

Open Boll

GROWING SEASON

Boll
50 to 80 days By end of 2nd day

From planting time to harvesting time is approximately 180 days or about 6 months Day 1: Day 3-5: Day 100: Cotton seed is planted Seedlings appear Cotton blossoms The cotton plants blossom over a period of time and their yellowish/pink flowers bloom for 1 day By the end of the 2nd day the flowers wither and drop to reveal the formation of the boll or young seed pod Between Blossoming and Maturity Day 150 -180: Bolls grow and mature It is during this time in the growing cycle that the bolls need adequate rainfall or irrigation Bolls open to reveal the white fluffy cotton Each boll contains about 30 seeds and up to 500,000 fibres of cotton Again the bolls do not all open together so the picking season occurs over a period of time. In Australia most on-farm activities related to cotton growing occur in Australia between August and May August September: September October: November February: March May: Soil Preparation Planting Growing Season Picking and Ginning

Cotton comes come from the Arabic word kutun which describes a fine textile Cotton is a bushy plant that is a member of the Hibiscus family

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Harvesting Cotton

Harvesting: Machine Picking


Cotton is harvested by either a:
Cotton Picker: removes the cotton from the bolls without damaging the plant Cotton Stripper: strips entire boll off the plant
Australian cotton is harvested by pickers because the cotton is cleaner

Cotton pickers give much greater cleaning efficiency as the picker does not collect as much trash, or unwanted twigs and leaves, as a cotton stripper. Cotton that is cleaner when it is picked lessens the requirement for cleaning during the ginning process Machine picking of cotton allows mass harvesting Australia, the USA and Israel are the only countries in the world to harvest their cotton exclusively with machines

Harvesting: Hand Picking


Hand picking cotton: is slower than machine picking better preserves fibre characteristics leaves behind unwanted trash like leaves and boll selects fully grown cotton and leaves young cotton for later picking

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Unit 4: Cotton Processing Overview of Cotton Processing

Cotton Processing
Cotton Fields

Ginning

Classing

Bailing

Spinning Mills

Ginning

Ginning
Ginning separates the cotton fibres from the cotton seed
Picked Cotton

Drying and Removing Trash Lint - fibre Classing Bailing Mote trash & fibres Seed linters & seed

The primary purpose of ginning is to separate the cotton fibre from the cotton seeds. This process is carried out by a machine called a gin There are two types of gin: saw gins and roller gins In a saw gin, circular saws grip fibres and pull them through narrow slots leaving the seed behind. Saw gins are used with shorter fibres Saw gins are primarily used in Australia because we grow more short staple length cotton In a roller gin a rough roller grabs fibres and pulls them under a rotating bar with gaps too small for seed. Roller gins are used with longer fibres

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The by-products of ginning are: Lint: Lint is the technical name for cotton fibre produced in the ginning process Lint is used to produce cotton yarn Motes: Mixture of trash like dirt, stalks, leaves and fibre The fibre can be used for lower grade cotton and paper but requires further processing Seed: Seed contains linters or short, very fine fibres The cleaned seed is crushed to produce cotton seed oil and the residue can be used for cattle feed. It may also be used as seeds to plant again for the next cotton crop The word gin in cotton gin is related to the word engine and means device. It is unrelated to the alcoholic drink called gin! 55% of ginned cotton is made up of cottonseed, 35% is lint and 10% is trash. Cotton fibre waste has been used to clean up oil spills in the sea, as it soaks up the oil well but the natural waxes that it contains help to keep the fibre afloat. Cotton trash such as left over sticks and leaves can be used as compost, and put back into the soil.

Classing & Baling


Ginning Classing
Fibre is measured against a set of standards or grades to assesses quality of ginning, fineness and fibre length.

Bailing
Lint is pressed into bales of a standard size

Classing is the process of measuring the fibres against a set of standards or grades. The lint is graded on a scale of 1 to 6, which assesses the quality of ginning, fineness and fibre length. Raw fibre or lint is passed from the gin through pipes to a press The press compresses the lint into bales Each bale weighs 227 kg or 500 lbs, which is the standard Australian size. The standard bale size for the rest of the world is 400 lbs. A sample for classing is taken from every bale The bales are then sold to local spinning mills or overseas buyers or they are stored

A standard Australian bale of cotton makes approximately 500 light bath towels

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Cleaning

Cleaning
Ginning

Ginning

Lint & Trash

Cleaned Blended

Removes Seeds

Leaf Stalk Sand Soil Dust

Removes 40-70% Trash

Ginning removes seeds but not trash Trash is leaf, stalk, sand, soil and dust that is mixed in with the lint Lint needs to be opened, cleaned and blended to remove the trash

Cleaning
Bales of Lint

Blow Room
Opening Blending Cleaning
Lap

Separator open cotton

Blend or mix fibres from different bales together Create uniformity of staple and colour

Beaters progressively open cotton Release trash 3-7 major cleaning points

Carding

Break it into small tufts or flocks

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Carding

Cleaning Blow Room


Lap (long roll of cotton Single

Carding
Carding Machine
Removes short fibres
Sliver (long, loose strand of cotton) Fibres

Opening & Fibres Disentangles neps (knots) Partially aligns fibres length wise Cleaning
Blends fibres into web

Removes 80-90% Dust & Impurities

Drawing

Brushes, cleans, disentangles and straightens the cotton fibre All yarn is carded The sliver is output into cans for storage

Drawing

Drawing
Carding Combing
Sliver

Drawing
Straightens and parallelises the fibres Blend slivers to improve regularity of weight, length and fibre mix Draw out slivers to produce slivers of required weight and length

Spinning

The carded slivers are coiled in cylindrical cans with spring-loaded bases so that there is no tension applied to the slivers when drawn out. In the sliver the cotton fibres are not parallel The carded slivers then are passed through a drawing process: slivers are laid parallel in groups of 6 or 8 and passed through high-speed pressure rollers the speeds of these rollers are varied so that the group of is "drawn" to form a single sliver The slivers vary in thickness. Feeding slivers together is known as doubling and leads to an improvement in regularity in the sliver. When fed together the thick part of one sliver is offset by the thin part of another

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This process improves the uniformity of the sliver because of the multiple doubling Doubling feeds multiple slivers together and so it blends the fibres too Each succeeding pair of rollers runs faster than the preceding pair. The fibres are gripped by a faster pair and drawn out from the preceding slower pair The action of reducing the thickness of the feed sliver (input) by drawing is known as drafting The operation of doubling and drafting may be carried out two or three times using identical machines. One operation does not usually give sufficient regularity, fibre parallelism and blending. Fibre parallelism means that the fibres are running parallel to each other lengthwise along the strand Parallel fibres are the key to fine yarns and higher yarn strength

Combing

Combing: Lap Former


This process is used to prepare the feeder material for the combing operation Similar to the drawing process, slivers are laid parallel and passed through high speed rollers to form a sheet of compressed cotton lap, which is wound on to spools The spools of cotton laps are then transported to the comber for the crucial combing process Instead of single slivers, these laps are the feeder material for the combing process

Combing: Comber
Metal combs tease the cotton lap fed between pressure rollers, so that the combing process individually separates every cotton fibre The amount of short fibre reduction can be controlled by adjusting the combs in the combing machine Whilst the fibres are combed, all short fibres and trash are removed form the cotton The trash, called Noil can be re used in spinning of coarser counts of yarn or for waste spinning processes for making mop yarns etc Around 18-20 % of re-usable cotton waste (Noil) is extracted during this process

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Combing: Grouping of the Combed Sliver


One comber machine will have commonly up to eight comber heads The combed slivers from all the different combing heads are grouped together along a stainless steel table and passed through a Drawing process This drawing process serves the purpose of doubling to improve the uniformity in the combed sliver This drawn / combed sliver is coiled individually in cylindrical cans with coil springs similar to the gathering of the sliver after carding The combed slivers are further re-processed through drawing frames to improve the uniformity and blending before proceeding to the next process

Combing
Removes short fibres, leaving longest fibres Fibres are prepared in the form of a lap which is even in thickness with fibres parallel to the length of the lap Only best quality yarns are combed due to cost Combing produces a cleaner, finer, more even yarn

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Roving

Roving
Roving reduces the thickness of the sliver to 10 to 15% of its original thickness This process involves drawing the slivers through pressure rollers running at varying speeds This size reduction (from approx. 5,000 grams per km to approx. 600 grams per km) gets the feeder material right for the next process, ie. ring spinning

Roving
After the thickness is reduced the material is called Roving and the machine used here is either called a Roving frame or Simplex frame The roving is wound on to spools weighing up to 2 to 3kg in the roving frames These rovings are held together without breaking by having it twisted slightly The twist given to the roving is a false twist, since this is removed whilst unwound in the ring frame

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Spinning

Spinning: Speed Frame


Combing Speed Frame
Draws sliver to reduce it to a fineness suitable for spinning Inserts a small amount of twist to strengthen the roving Winds the roving onto a bobbin ready for spinning
Roving on Bobbin

Carding

Spinning

Both the carded and combed slivers go through the speed frame Adding twist to the yarn adds strength Drafting is another term for drawing

Spinning
Spinning
Draws roving to reduce the thickness Adds twist to strengthen yarn Winds yarn evenly onto bobbin in preparation for weaving

Speed Frame

Roving on Bobbin

Yarn on Bobbin

Weaving

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Ring Spinning
Used for finer yarns and all combed yarns Involves 6 processes for carded ring spun yarn and 8 processes for combed ring spun yarn

Winding
The ring spun yarn is wound on small ring tubes called Ring Cops mounted on spindles on the ring frames Since the format of this package is so small, this yarn has to be rewound on to larger cones This process is called winding During the winding process, any weak spots in the yarns are removed and clear of any contamination, thick places or other faults Yarn from ring tubes which is approx around 50 grams per tube is wound on to larger cones up to 4 kg This yarn is packed and transported to the end user such as a knitter or weaver

Twisting
Twisting is used to make ply yarns for specific end uses The end product out of spinning is always a single ply yarn This can be doubled along with an identical yarn to form a doubled ply yarn This is achieved through twisting frames The process is achieved in two stages

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Assembly Winding
In this process the two single yarns are assembled next to each other and wound on to a parallel package This package is then fed on to the twisting frame The twisting frame draws the assembled single threads and twists it together to the pre set twist The direction of twisting whilst doubling is always opposite to that of the single yarn This is done to retain a balanced yarn for subsequent processing

Open End Spinning


Also known as rotor spinning Generally used on coarser counts of yarn Not used for combed yarn Involves 4 stages or processes

The two most popular methods of spinning are ring spinning and open end spinning The open end spinning is a relatively new technology compared to ring spinning In Ring Spinning, the cotton fibres are twisted to form the yarn by threading the fibres through a small ear shape metal piece called a traveller onto the high-speed ring tube The fibre is held in cohesion through out the transition stage from fibre to yarn The yarn produced by ring spinning is known as ring spun yarn In Open end spinning, the fibres are inserted loose into a spin box The spin box consists of a funnel spinning at speeds of over 50,000 rpm The cotton fibres direct from the sliver form are fed into the funnel from the outer rim of the spinning funnel The fibres coming into contact with the inner walls of the spinning funnel get thrown along the surface by centrifugal force The fibres are then guided through a fine groove in the inner surface of the funnel and drawn out from the centre of the funnel The drawn yarn is wound directly onto packages ready for delivery to the end user

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The yarn produced by rotor spinning is known as open ended yarn In open end spinning, both the roving process for pre Ring spinning and the winding process for post Ring spinning is eliminated The cost of Open end spinning is therefore reduced dramatically compared to ring spinning

Vortex Spinning
This is a recent invention (1997) on spinning methods as a further advancement to the open end (OE) spinning The production output rates are double of that of OE spinning and the quality of the yarn is closer to that of the ring spun yarn The cotton fibre used must have a long staple length (28mm and above) and be stronger

Vortex Spinning
In vortex spinning, the drafted fibres are sucked into a nozzle where a high speed 'vortex' air current wraps the fibres around the outside of a hollow stationary spindle A vacuum around the base of the spindle acts to 'comb' out shorter fibres and neps Fibres are pulled down a shaft that runs through the middle of the spindle Yarn twist is inserted as the fibres swirl around the apex of the spindle before being pulled down the spindle shaft

This system has the same advantages of the OE spinning as the yarn is produced directly from the sliver without any roving process and the limitation of the ring spinning processes

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Blending of Cotton with other Fibres


Though not used in terry towel production, cotton fibre is blended with many other man made fibres to achieve excellent end products One of the most popular cotton blended yarn is Poly cotton The Poly cotton yarn is popularly used in apparels, as the cotton component takes care of the moisture absorbency, the polyester gives the required durability and design/colour feature to the product

Cotton is also blended with regenerated cellulosic fibres like staple viscose In this blend both fibres have very similar characteristics due to the cellulosic fibres The blending is usually done in the draw frame or the blow room of the spinning mill

Cotton Fibre Testing


The key quality parameters defining the characteristics of the cotton fibre are: The staple length of the cotton stated in millimetre ranges The fibre fineness or maturity stated as Micronaire value The fibre strength The cotton colour The trash content Presence of honey dew produced by aphids which causes a sticky sugary substance to foul the cotton, or any other pest damage

Technology has been developed to assess these parameters accurately As cotton is a naturally grown product, these characteristics will vary from crop to crop depending on the soil and weather conditions It is therefore crucial that these parameters are well tested before blending of different lots of cotton in the spinning mill

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Unit 5: Cotton Properties and Varieties Cotton Properties

Cotton Properties
Handle Absorbency Felting Laundering Durability Hypoallergenic Colour Clarity Colour Retention Shrinkage Versatility

The characteristics and properties that are valuable/desirable in the production of towelling products are shown below: Handle Soft and comfortable feel Drapes well No static electricity Naturally absorbent Can absorb up to 1/5 of its weight before it feels damp Can absorb 24 - 27 times its own weight Is stronger wet than dry Does not felt or mat like wool Does not form pill(s) like wool, acrylic or polyester fibre Machine washable Can be sterilised/sanitised Can be tumble dried Dry cleanable Long-lasting if well looked after Does not irritate sensitive skin or cause allergies Easily dyed Prints well Reflects colour well Retains colour

Absorbency

Felting Laundering

Durability Hypoallergenic Colour Retention & Clarity

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Shrinkage

Occurs only to remove stretching in manufacture Occurs usually only at first wash Occurs the least in leading brand quality products Easy to handle and sew Can be easily blended with other fibres Can be treated, eg. for heat resistance, wrinkle resistance, stain resistance or permanent press

Versatility

Cotton Varieties

Cotton Varieties
There are many varieties of cotton used in towel production, some are: Egyptian Pima Upland

Egyptian Cotton
Extra Long Staple (ELS) cotton grown in Egypt is classified as Egyptian cotton Generally regarded as best cotton fibre Natural colour enhances colour of final product Roller ginned because of its long fibre length Generally combed and ring spun

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Pima Cotton
Pima cotton is ELS length cotton Originated in Peru Hybrid of Upland and Sea Island cotton Grown primarily in the USA, Australia and Peru Longer and stronger fibre Roller ginned because of its long fibre length Spun into higher count yarns for better quality product Can be made into fine quality fabric Relatively costly to produce and to process

Upland Cotton
Originally named American Upland but commonly called Upland Grown in many countries, including Australia Average staple length is 2 to 3 centimetres Most commonly available cotton Light cream to off-white in colour Either combed or carded Can be ring or open end Used for large range of very good to average quality cotton goods

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Unit 6: Cotton Counts and Yarns Cotton Counts

Cotton Count Systems


All yarn count systems measure linear density to denote the thickness and heaviness of the yarn Indirect Systems are based on: Length per Unit Weight Direct Systems are based on: Weight per Unit Length

English Cotton Count


English Cotton Count or ECC is an indirect system The basic unit is an Nec A Nec is the number of hanks, each 840 yards in length required to weigh 1 pound, ie. Nec = 840 yards / 1lb The higher the Ne number the finer the yarn, the lower the Ne number the thicker the yarn

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Tex Direct System


Basic unit is the Tex A Tex is the weight, in grams, per 1,000 Metres or 1 kilometre of the yarn Tex = grams / 1,000 metres The higher the Tex number the thicker the yarn, the lower the Tex number the finer the yarn

The Tex System is regarded as an international system It is now used in most countries, with the exception of the US

Yarn Count Conversion


From ECC (Ne) To:
Tex = 590 Ne

From Tex To:


Ne = 590 tex

Den = 5,314 Ne

Den = 9 x tex

You cannot directly compare a count from one system to another. You must do the conversion

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Cotton Yarns

Ring Spun Cotton


Ring spun cotton in a finished towel product is softer to the touch Generally needs less finishing treatments to give a soft handle Stronger yarn and handles abrasion and wear better More robust/flexible for handling and production Has good colour reflection and better brightness

Open End Yarn


Can have a harsher feel if not treated correctly Hard wearing and durable Great absorbency due to the hollow structure of the yarn Used for the ground or base of the towel

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