You Tube

Skip Navigation LinksMagazines > Wearables > From Seed To Shirt - The Textile Process
Seed to Shirt
Growing Cotton
Processing Cotton
The Textile Process -- Knitting, Dyeing and Finishing
The Cut-and-Sew Process
  • The Textile Process – Knitting, Dyeing and Finishing

    photos/Textile1.jpg

    The spools of yarn from Parkdale Mills arrive by truck to AKH.

  • The Textile Process – Knitting, Dyeing and Finishing

    photos/Textile2.jpg

    The yarn is threaded (above) through the knitting machine, which uses automated needles to create a series of connected loops that turns strands of yarn into giant rolls of fabric (right).

  • The Textile Process – Knitting, Dyeing and Finishing

    photos/Textile3.jpg

    Spools and spools of yarn are knitted into the fabric, which is housed inside the bottom of the knitting machine.

  • The Textile Process – Knitting, Dyeing and Finishing

    photos/Textile4.jpg

    The rolls of fabric are collected and then transported over to the dyeing machines.

  • The Textile Process – Knitting, Dyeing and Finishing

    photos/Textile5.jpg

    The fabric is then fed into the dyeing machine through the four portholes, where an automatic dispensing system uses water, dye, soaps, salt and soda ash to create even coloring. “The heart of the plant,” says AKH General Manager Tem Mcinville about the dyeing process.

  • The Textile Process – Knitting, Dyeing and Finishing

    photos/Textile6.jpg

    The dyed fabric then goes through the pad process, which adds fabric softener and aims to keep the moisture content as low as possible.

  • The Textile Process – Knitting, Dyeing and Finishing

    photos/Textile7.jpg

    In the pad process and later the drying process, drive rolls on a motor are used to give the fabric enough slack to avoid stretching it further. "We got our work cut out, 'cause the dyers stretch the hell out of it," Mcinville says.

  • The Textile Process – Knitting, Dyeing and Finishing

    photos/Textile8.jpg

    Next, the fabric rolls through a conveyor drier that heats up to 185 degrees.

  • The Textile Process – Knitting, Dyeing and Finishing

    photos/Textile9.jpg

    Lastly, the fabric goes through a compactor that stretches it to 23 inches in width. The goal is to keep potential shrinkage between 1.5% and 5% when it’s washed by the wearer. The fabric lots are then shrinkwrapped and sent to the STAR cut-and-sew facility.


From Seed To Shirt: Vlogs


W
earables Editor C.J. Mittica witnessed the making of apparel firsthand with a multinational trip that took him from Texas to North Carolina to Honduras. Check out his videoblog posts from each step along the way as you follow his journey.

Watch the videos in the custom player at left, or on YouTube by clicking on the videos below.