How Is Cotton Turned Into a Fabric?

To turn cotton into fabric, grow and harvest cotton plants, separate the lint and seed, make the yarn and weave the yarn into fabric. This process requires cottonseed, a cotton harvester, a cotton gin, a carding machine, a spinning machine and a weaving machine.

  1. Grow cotton plants

    Grow cotton in an area that has a long growing season, such as the U.S. Southwest. Plant the seed between February and June depending on your location in well-drained soil. Place the seed in 3/4-inch deep furrows. Keep the soil moist.

  2. Harvest the cotton

    Harvest the cotton between July and October using a stripper harvester or spindle picker. If you planted the cotton in February, it can be harvested in July. Cotton planted in June needs to be harvested in October.

  3. Gin the cotton

    Pass the cotton through a cotton gin to remove the seed from the fiber. The seed can be planted to grow more cotton.

  4. Make cotton into yarn

    Pass the cotton through a carding machine to clean and align the fibers, and pull the fibers through a trumpet to create long sliver strands. Finally, spin the slivers into yarn using a spinning machine.

  5. Weave the yarn into fabric

    Weave the yarn into fabric using a loom or weaving machine.