Growing Cotton is a Science
Cotton likes to grow in warmer climates with lots of water which means only a handful of places in the world can grow truly good cotton. The example that is easiest to picture is, of course, Egypt. Egyptian Cotton™ is some of, if not the finest on the planet, with threads up to 50% longer than those of usual cotton, and much of that is due to the stable high temperature and the bountiful water supply of the Nile River. When you have managed to grow a mature cotton plant, the next step is to pick it.
The Process of Cleaning Cotton
Mechanical gins were invented by Eli Whitney in the late 18th century and have very little semblance with what is used today. For instance, they weren’t always massive. Mechanical cotton pickers have come a long way. In the US, Europe and Australia, they have become the standard. They now do a decent job of separating the seed pods (bolls) with the fluffy cotton fibers inside everything else. The ginned fiber is called lint, and it is stored in bales. The leaves, stems, dirt and all impurities are discarded. This is accomplished, usually, by massive machines called cotton gins. But cleaning cotton isn’t only about removing impurities. This is why some still prefer the traditional way over science: handpicking.
The Art of Cotton Weaving
Lint is by no means a finished product, and the work and care that is put into this product, even if it is already remarkable, is what separates good textiles from great textile mills.
The first step is for the lint to go into a carding machine to be cleaned again. What comes out is a soft, untwisted, rope called a sliver. This is what goes into the spinning frames of a cotton spinning machine to become yarn. The spinning devices can rotate fibers up to 2500 times to complete this process.
This is where the stunning looms come in. Looms weave cotton yarn into fabric in much the same way the first hand-weaving frames did. They interlace lengthwise yarns (warp) with crosswise yarns (weft) at incredible speed.
The Amalia Home Collection Touch
Yarn can be dyed, but the most common method is for fabric to be dyed or printed after it is completed and bleached. Other procedures need to be done to ensure fine cotton quality such as washing and preshrinking. After that is when Amalia Home Collection comes in as the finished cotton product is a blank canvas for creativity.
At Amalia Home Collection, we have been making cotton fabrics, clothes and bedding for four-generations as a family business. We have almost 100 years of experience and heritage in the textile industry. Its roots can be traced back several generations to the 1920s, when some of the original mills of northern Portugal began to manufacture products that personified the European quality and craftsmanship.
Today, many of the same methods and techniques used for decades are combined with modern innovation. Machinery has come into the process, but not that much has changed. We still find ways of creating new, stunning products with endlessly inventive material, resulting in luxurious high-end products. Explore our online store to find our beautiful creations.