Denimatrix who distributes their denim to many other big name stores. My ears perked up because I've been thinking a lot about clothes and where they come from. This is a result of my friend Christa giving up her wardrobe for lent. (She's still wearing clothes, just limiting them to 9 items.) She is using this time to think about the labor behind our clothes and the side effects of "Fast Fashion." Our tour guides did say that most of their material is exported because of the cost of garment making in the United States. All of this was on my mind as we continued on our fabulous tour!
They start out blending all of the different grades of cotton to make more consistent yarn fibers.
At this point the cotton still has lots of pieces of dirt and plant in it.
The cotton is fed into this machine which blows it up and fluffs it while the heavier non cotton material is allowed to fall away from it.
Then it is fed into the carders.
It is removed from the carder in this long tube of roving.
Look at that giant skein of mega yarn! Imagine making a blanket out of that scrumptiousness!
Here you can see all of the sections.
Then it is spun down into threads to weave into denim.
In some cases it is spun with spandex for stretchy jeans!
Remember all of those pictures in your history books of kids in factories changing spools of thread and tying together broken pieces of thread and yarn? Well this little machine replaces the void left by them when labor laws went into effect.
These bundles are sent up into the air and back down into the indigo to be dyed.
Then came the weaving process. It was happening so fast you could hardly see it!
Ever get a pair of jeans and have them shrink on you? Or even worse, have the legs twist so the seam lies on the front of your leg instead of the side? This machine's job is to prevent all of that. Because the yarn is spun in one direction, there is a tool that un-twists the fabric!
It makes a map for the person who is cutting the bolts so they can cat the bolts without any blemishes in them. Here's a whole wall of examples of errors that came back. Anything from not untwisting enough to an irregular amount of acid in the dye or wash causing an extreme amount of distressing!
It was a really cool experience! It's changed how I look at denim! Now if only they had a souvenir shop where you could buy a pair of jeans made from it!
Thanks Uncle Doc for setting that all up!