Cotton is one of the most commonly used commercial fabrics across the world. It is completely organic, which means that it does not include any synthetic compounds in its entire manufacturing process to make cloth. Cotton, as we know it, derives from the fibres that surround the seeds of cotton plants, which mature in a round, fluffy formed ball. This is how YOLKE’S cotton clothing starts its journey, but how do these plants end up as beautiful YOLKE pyjamas? What’s the secret of how cotton pyjamas are made? We find out…
Cotton production usually begins in spring when it is the best environment to plant cottonseeds. Automated machines, or sometimes cotton planter/pickers in teams, plant cottonseeds in 10 or more rows simultaneously. The seedlings then emerge in about a week’s time, and the mature cotton bolls (the fluffy fibrous ‘balls’ of cotton) appear between 55 and 80 days, ready for harvesting.
Once the cotton plants are picked, workers are required for defoliation: the process of removing the leaves from the cotton plants. It is then necessary to separate the cottonseed from the boll, which had also been carried out by hand for many years. This was indeed a lengthy process, and continued until American entrepreneur Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, a mechanical device that sped up the cotton separation process. In the present day there are now machines that harvest the cotton bolls from the fields, to then be passed on to machines that separate the seeds from the bolls.
The cotton gin separates the seed. This ‘separation’ process also helps to remove any dirt and contamination. The lint is then packed into large 500-pound bales, which are sent out to textile production facilities to make yarn. The cotton from the bales is ‘combed’, making all of the fibres run parallel, which can then be spun into thread.
At this stage of the process, the material is in its basic state, and complete (so far!) This yarn can then have a variety of chemical treatments, and can also by dyed at this stage. It is then woven into the chosen garment – this is done on a weaving loom. The cotton yarns are placed vertically on the loom, and the machine then weaves horizontal rows of yarn across the vertical yarns. This is called ‘creating’ woven fabric. Different types of cotton fabric require different weaves; for example our cotton pyjamas will use an ‘over-and-under’ weave structure, whereas sturdier fabrics such as denim use a tighter weave.
After the cotton fabric is woven, it is passed through some metal plates that smooth out any wrinkles, disperse any escaping threads and remove any lasting lint – a bit like an industrial iron. The cotton fabric needs to be very flat and smooth to absorb any dye that is required. The fabric is then pre-treated with hydrogen peroxide, removing any natural colours and making the dyeing process easier. This is when YOLKE’S fabulous prints are applied to our pyjamas!
The cotton garments can then have special finishes applied to the fabric, such as chemicals to make it water-resistant or shrink-resistant, or can also make the fabric seem glossy with a ‘painted’ finish. Our cotton pyjamas don’t need any of these special finishes; they are beautiful and soft as they are.
An insight into cotton production, this is how our cotton pyjamas are made! Browse all our luxury cotton sleep and daywear for your perfect fit…