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