Hemp vs Cotton

a. RETTING 

b .DECORTICATION 

c. WASHING 

d. COMBING 

e. SPINNING 

f. KNITTING OR WEAVING


Retting

Harvesting is done with a conventional combine harvester machine. Once cut, the plants, which are composed of two types of fibre – long outer fibres suitable for textiles, and short inner fibre suitable for paper or industrial applications – are left in the field for about 45 days to ‘ret'. Retting is a natural process that is triggered by dew that falls on the crop each morning. Once this process is complete (dry), the stalks are collected and sent to the “decortication” machine.


Decortication

A big word for a simple process. The plants are laid on a conveyer belt and run through the machine that separates the two fibre types. The short fibre falls to the floor where it is collected for other uses and the long textile fibre moves to the next step –washing.

Process flow sheet of the technology used


1 – Straw bale 2 - Bale cutting 3 – Metal detector 4 – Stone eliminator 5 – Straw metering system 6 – Conveyor 7 – Decorticating machine 8 – Condenser 9 – Multiple ultra cleaner 10 – Saw tooth opener 11 – Condenser 12 – Fiber baler 13 – Shives


Washing

When first separated from the plant, the long fibre appears strawlike, and needs to be further refined. A natural glue, called lignin, holds hundreds of thousands of individual strands of fibre not much wider than a human hair together and has to be removed. The first step is to wash the fabric in warm water and enzymes – harmless bacteria that break down the glue that bonds the fibers together.


Combing

Once these hemp fibres are separated, washed and treated they are sent through a carding machine. Carding fibre is very much like brushing your hair. The process smoothes and aligns the fibres to get ready for spinning.


Spinning

Several strands of fibre are then sent through the spinning machine at once and twisted together to create a single length of yarn. The yarn is collected on large spools that hold hundreds of meters (yards) of yarn. The yarn is then sent to the knitting mill. This yields the softest hemp yarns ever, maintaining the outstanding strength and flexibility that continues to astound scientists and customers alike!


Knitting or Weaving

The last step is knitting or weaving the yarn into fabric. The fabric is then sent to the Clothing manufacturing studios, to be made into all sorts of


clothing from t-shirts to jeans to tote bags.



How do you turn hemp into cloth?

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