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Cotton cultivation and processing
In the beginning the seeds are planted into the soil.
For this, the ground is plowed and divided into seed rows.
Afterwards, the seeds which have a size of about 0,5cm are inserted into the soil with a mechanical planter. Irrigation causes the seed to germinate and break through the surface to reach daylight.
After the seedling have emerged, cultivators start uprooting weeds and grass relatively early.
Cotton is grown in large monocultures and therefore susceptible to pests.
After bloom the cotton bolls become visible, each containing up to 25 seeds. After about 8 weeks these bolls tear open and the fluffy cotton bursts forth.
Now the harvest can start.
When harvesting with a cotton picker or stripper, huge quantities are being brought in at once. The plants are sprayed with defoliant beforehand to minimize the contamination with leaves.
The freshly picked cotton is pressed into large modules. The cotton gin mechanically separates the fibers from the seed and turns it into ginned cotton also called lint.
The lint is pressed into large bales and transported to the textile mill.
At the mill, the bales are picked apart, cleaned again before being fed into a carding machine.
The fibers are laid side by side and made into an untwisted rope called a sliver.
A spinning frame turns these slivers directly into yarn.
In the next step, yarn is dyed and looms are used to weave it into ready-to-use fabrics.