Spinning in textile industry

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General description

Almost all textile apparel products are made from spun yarns of 100 % natural fibres, 100 % man-made staple fibres or blends. Only a few apparel products, for instance smooth sportswear, are made exclusively of filament yarns (although increasing use is being made of fabrics that contain multifilament yarns, generally textured, and one or more staple fibre yarns).

Secondary spinning is the process by which staple fibres are transformed into yarn suitable for the textile industry. There are two main spinning processes:

  • the wool spinning process
  • the cotton spinning process.

The wool spinning process

The wool spinning process is mainly used to produce wool and wool-blend yarns. A distinction is made between the worsted and woollen process. In worsted spinning, higher-quality and longer fibres are processed and the result is a fine yarn which is used to produce worsted fabric. In the woollen spinning system, shorter fibres are processed. In the worsted process the fibres are paralleled in a combing machine and are then drawn and spun. In the woollen system the fibres are only carded and then spun. The resulting yarn is then twisted (if required) and finally prepared for the subsequent treatments (dyeing, weaving, tufting, etc) through an operation called winding. In both the woollen and worsted systems the various fibres (e.g. wool fibres from different sources, different types of synthetic fibres) are combined during the blending operation. In order to allow efficient mechanical processing in the subsequent operations, spinning lubricants are applied to the fibres at this stage (or later, before or after carding, depending on the system applied).

The cotton spinning process

The cotton spinning process is generally used for cotton and man-made fibres. Cotton fibres are first submitted to opening and cleaning operations. The following steps, which are the same for cotton and man-made fibres, are:

  • carding
  • combing
  • drawing
  • roving
  • spinning
  • twisting (if required)
  • winding

Typical process parameters

Process Temperature [°C] Heat transfer medium Residence time Details Literature
Short-fiber spinning 180 °C aqueous vapour discontiniously vapour pressure digestion Cherif, C. (2011). Textile Werkstoffe für den Leichtbau.
Spinning 120-300 °C polymers continious spinning extruder