Every wondered how cotton is made into fabric...?

Sourcing sustainable cotton is an important part of our approach to invest back into our chosen fibre and mitigate social & environmental impacts. For our company we partner up with suppliers that focus on quality being front of mind, committing to a field initiative that caused less disruption to an established supply chain and poses less risk to the availability of quality cotton, made the most sense for us. Better Cotton is produced in greater quantities than organic cotton as it has a more ‘inclusive’ approach alongside other farming methods.

How is cotton picked?

Cotton is picked differently around the world.

In developed countries, cotton is picked by machine and in developing countries, the harvest is still picked by hand.

There are two machines used in the harvesting of the cotton plant:

1. Cotton Picker

The first cotton picker was invented in the 1920s!

Incredibly, this machine can pick the cotton from the boll and leave the plant undamaged – it has revolving prongs which pick the cotton from the bolls when ripe.

2. Cotton Stripper

A cotton stripper ‘strips’ the entire cotton boll along with its stalk, and is not only very invasive, but also incredbily wasteful, as many of the bolls end up being picked before they are ripe and are then discarded.

Once the cotton is picked is needs to be cleaned.

The cotton cleaning process removes any stalks, leaves and other matter that got caught up when being picked and depending on the textile mill processing it, can be quite a lengthy process!

Once clean, the carding machine – a roller with teeth! – is used to turn those short fibres into longer lengths by breaking up the fibre lumps and smoothing the fibre out.

The next step in making cotton fabric is to create the cotton yarn! On a commercial level the cotton fibre would be taken to a spinning mill so that the fibre can be spun into cotton yarn.

And of course, as well as yarn, cotton is also created in thread form too!

Cleaning the Cotton

Spinning the Cotton

Fun Facts About Cotton

Cotton has an interesting history and some surprising characteristics.

1. Cotton is stronger when wet

2. Cotton has been used for over 7,000 years

3. There are 50 different natural species of cotton

4. Cotton plants produce fruit

5. Most banknotes are made using cotton

6. Cotton was the first plant to grow on the moon