Cotton is a natural fiber, which can be processed to produce a wide variety of end products. The staple length, fineness, cleanliness and strength determine method of processing the cotton fiber for various end products. The staple length, fineness and strength drive the yarn count for which a particular variety of cotton is appropriate. The cleanliness or cotton is another parameter that affects the quality of the end product and has an impact on the process irrespective of the count of yarn for which the fiber may be appropriate. For example, longer staple length and finer fiber make it possible to spin high value, fine yarns such as 40s. Extra long staple cotton with good fineness and high strength is required to spin extremely fine counts such as 80s and 100s or even higher counts.
The first process after harvesting cotton from farms is ginning. Ginning is the process of removing the seeds and debris from cotton. The ginned cotton is known as lint or raw cotton. This raw cotton has been ginned, but has not been carded.
Glenmex offer wide varieties of ginned cotton like extra long staple cotton, Long staple cotton, medium staple cotton and short staple cotton from major origins like India, USA, Brazil, Australia Benin and Burkina Faso.
EXTRA LONG STAPLE COTTON
An Extra Long Staple is a term used to describe high end cotton based upon the length of the fiber pulled from the cotton plant. If the fibre is an inch and 3/8 or longer, it is considered extra long. In essence, when a cotton plant is given the surroundings it needs, the “happier,” sturdier, and more bloom producing the plant becomes. The more durable the plant becomes, the more durable the fibres become attached to it. And Extra long fibers are more durable and result in luxurious and lush fabrics. Extra long staple cotton producing countries are USA, Egypt, Sudan, China, India, Australia, Israel, Peru, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
LONG STAPLE COTTON
Long staple cotton is considered to be finer quality because they can be spun into finer yarns and those finer yarns can be woven into softer, smoother, stronger, and more lustrous fabrics. Long staple cotton makes stronger yarns, especially in fine yarns, as there are fewer fibers in a given length of yarn and the longer fibers provide more points of contact between the fibres when they are twisted together in the spinning process.
Common areas that grow long staple cotton in the world would be India, Australia, Peru, Egypt, Sudan, the United States and Western China.
MEDIUM STAPLE COTTON
Medium staple cotton is the term used to describe upland cotton which have staple length between 1” to 1-1/8” (2.54cm to 2.86cm).
Common areas that grow long staple cotton in the world would be India, Benin, Burkina Faso and Brazil.
SHORT STAPLE COTTON
Short staple fibers produce a cotton that is great for basic, everyday use. The most common short staple cotton is known as Upland cotton. Upland is primarily used to make denim jeans and flannel clothing thanks to its soft, strong, and low maintenance fibers. Short staple cotton is between 3/8” to 15/16” (.95cm to 2.4cm) in length
Using short staple cotton exposes fibre ends on the surface of the fabric, producing bedding hat feels rough to the tough, is susceptible to bobbling, and which will degrade over time. The characteristics of short staple cotton make it perfectly suitable for use in some products, but not those that you plan to spend a third of your life in contact with.