The Journey of Cotton: Nonwoven Manufacturing & Conversion into Final Products

The Journey of Cotton- Nonwoven Manufacturing & Conversion into final products

In the last installment of The Journey of Cotton, we reviewed the different finishes that can be applied to cotton. After moving through our multi-step purification process, purified cotton leaves Barnhardt’s facility in compact, 500-pound bales of fiber. We ship these bales to nonwoven roll goods manufacturers around the world. Manufacturers utilize several platforms of nonwoven fabric formations to produce cotton nonwoven fabrics. They can use purified cotton alone or blended with any other types of natural or synthetic staple fibers, depending on the desired fabric properties.

Today, let’s take a look some of the different techniques that manufacturers use to convert cotton into their final products. Continue reading

China Shuts Down Polyester Plants, Industry Sees Ripple Effect

China is shutting down polyester plants

As part of an unprecedented crackdown on pollution from its manufacturing sector, the Chinese government has shut down nearly 40 percent of its manufacturing facilities nationwide, with a heavy impact on the textiles industry.

The pollution reduction program, initiated in 2016, has applied fines and criminal charges, as well as shutdown orders, to more than 80,000 factories across 30 provinces on the Chinese mainland. Entire towns and regions have seen their factories hobbled, as inspectors turn off fuel and electricity supplies during inspections. Continue reading

The Journey of Cotton: Finishing

The Journey of Cotton- Finishing

In the last installment of The Journey of Cotton, we reviewed the purification process. Cotton naturally possesses oils and waxes, which are stripped away during the purification process. As these oils and waxes have been removed, newly-purified cotton can be difficult to process due to very high fiber-to-fiber friction. Therefore, to allow for more efficient processing on high production web-forming equipment, we add a fiber finish (also known as a lubricant). We can apply many types of finishing, depending on the market application.

Today, let’s take a look some of the fiber finishes that match to unique marketplace specifications for products. Continue reading

Extraneous Matter in US Cotton

Extraneous Matter in US Cotton

As the appeal  of more natural products continues to grow around the world, demand for US grown cotton leads the way.  With that growing demand, however, comes responsibility.

Responsibility means continuing to provide the world’s premium cotton.  US cotton growers have long prided themselves as offering the first fruits of a world class supply chain, providing more than two-thirds of the US crop to customers around the globe. Continue reading

Domestic and Global Cotton Markets: Economic Outlook 2nd Quarter 2018

Domestic and Global Cotton Markets: Economic Outlook 2nd Quarter 2018

As cotton gins across America finish  ginning the last of the 2017 crop, they have ginned almost 19.5 million bales compared to 16 million at this point last year.  Without exception, each of the 10 classing offices across the country have classed more cotton than a year ago. Even with the impact of Hurricane Harvey, the Corpus Christi classing office – which would have been the most impacted by the hurricane – has classed one million more bales than the prior year.  Despite the ravages of Harvey, the 2017 crop is still expected to top out at 21 million bales. Continue reading

The Journey of Cotton: Purification

The Journey of Cotton: Purification

This post is part of our blog series entitled “The Journey of Cotton.” This series will focus on the seven unique steps that it takes to process cotton, starting with the planting of the crop to the point it becomes a specific consumer product. We previously discussed cotton ginning, but today’s post will focus on the fourth step in that journey: cotton purification.

The raw cotton arrives in densely packed bales. The bales contain fiber as well as small plant parts and field trash (non-lint or foreign matter). The fiber also has a coating of natural waxes to protect it from rain making it hydrophobic, is water repellent. This makes it unsuitable for use in products that require absorbent clean cotton fibers. Continue reading

Cotton LEADS – Who They Are & What They Stand For

Cotton LEADS & Barnhardt Purified Cotton

Since 2014, Barnhardt Natural Fibers Group has been an active member of the Cotton LEADS ™ program, as part of its commitment to responsible and sustainable cotton production.

Today, the Cotton LEADS™ program has grown to almost 500 cotton producers, manufacturers, brands, and retail partners across 28 countries, all committed to responsible cotton production by supporting research projects and sharing best practices around the globe. Last month, L.L. Bean, the famous Maine-based retailer of outdoor gear and apparel, confirmed its commitment to sourcing responsible cotton by by joining the program.

Relative Share of World's Cotton

Barnhardt also believes in this program’s mission, and we’d like to share a few of its details with our readers. Continue reading