GINNING

From the field, seed cotton moves to nearby gins for separation of lint and seed. The cotton first goes through dryers to reduce moisture content and then through cleaning equipment to remove foreign matter. These operations facilitate processing and improve fibre quality. The cotton 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 lint is removed from the saw teeth by air blasts or rotating brushes, and then compressed into bales weighing approximately 500 pounds.

Cotton balls are put into a gin where the usable cotton is mechanically separated from the seeds and chaff. Modern cotton gins use multiple powered cleaning cylinders and saws which leads to higher productivity and less labor intensive work than previous methods required.

OPENING & BLENDING

This is the initial stage of denim production, with baled cotton being separated into small tuffs.

The opening process blends these various ingredients with their different fibre lengths and thickness in order to achieve consistency and to attain the desired specification for the fabric. To achieve the good mixture, cotton is taken from different origins and mixed together in a blending machine.

CARDING & COMBING

Carding is one of the most important operations in the spinning process as it directly determines the final features of the yarn.

Carding removes foreign matter and short fibres, forms the cotton into a web and convert the web into a rope-like form known as sliver.

SPINNING & DRAWING

This step creates a thin yarn and adds resistance.

Spinning is a major part of the textile industry. It is part of the textile manufacturing process where three types of fibre are converted into yarn, then fabrics, which undergo finishing processes. Drawing, also called Drafting, in yarn manufacture, process of attenuating the loose assemblage of fibres called sliver by passing it through a series of rollers, thus straightening the individual fibres and making them more parallel. Each pair of rollers spins faster than the previous one.

KNITTING

Knitting is a method of constructing fabric by using a series of needles to interlock loops of yarn. Cotton is knit on circular machines which have needles fixed to the rim of a rotating cylinder. As the cylinder turns, the needles work their way from stitch to stitch producing a tubular fabric. Its width is regulated by the size of the cylinder, which usually ranges from 9 to 60 inches in diameter.

Depending on the width of fabric desired, a modern knitting machine might use over 2,500 needles. A flat knitting machine makes over one million stitches a minute, and can be set to drop or add stitches automatically in order to narrow or widen the fabric at certain points to conform to specific shapes.departments. Alexander City High School was renamed Benjamin Russell High School in honour of the founder of the Russell brand.

DYEING

The process of applying colour to fibre stock, yarn or fabric is called dyeing.

Dyes can be used on vegetable, animal or man made fibres only if they have affinity to them. Textile dyes include acid dyes, used mainly for dyeing wool, silk and nylon and direct or substantive dyes, which have a strong affinity for cellulose fibres. Mordant dyes require the addition of chemical substances, such as salts to give them an affinity for the material being dyed. Reactive dyes combine directly with the fibre, resulting in excellent colorfastness. The first ranges of reactive dyes for cellulose fibres were introduced in the mid-1950. Today, a wide variety is available.

CUTTING

The fabric is now ready to be cut into the individual pieces a tee requires. Therefore special patterns are printed and used as mask.

Up to 100 sheets of fabric are stacked and the cloth then cut following the precision of the pattern pieces. The pieces are marked, sorted, bundled and prepared ready for construction on the sewing lines.

PRINTING

In this process the artwork is screen-printed onto the tee.

The films are used to expose the image onto mesh screens that have a photo sensitive emulsion. Each screen is exposed on a vacuum sealed UV Light table. The screens are rinsed with water and the images are checked for accuracy. The screens are registered into place on an automatic screen press that can print up 900 t-shirts an hour! Each screen has a unique colour loaded into it with either plastisol or water based ink.

SEWING & LABELLING

Once the fabric is cut, it is then brought to the sewing facility where it is sewn in to the required garments.

Often times the finished fabric travels great distances to its next stop, the sewing facility. 15% of the fabric will end up on the cutting room floor as sewers create the blank garments.

FINISHING & PACKING

In the last stage, the printed t-shirts are folded, sorted and placed into inventory. QUALITY CONTROL: the tees are checked for any faults and marked if not 100% perfect. The good quality t shirts are moved on the next process where the faulty tees are sent back to correction.

IRONING: 100% checked tees are then bought to Ironing, where the tees are prepared and folded for packing.

PACKING: after the ironing process the tees are then brought to the packing section, where the hangtag is attached to the product and the tees are packed in transparent bags and boxes for shipping.