Turning Cotton Into Yarn and Thread

What does it take to change the harvested cotton into the thread that we use to make

Cotton ready for harvest.

Cotton ready for harvest.

Ripe cotton in field ready for harvest

ripe cotton in field ready for harvest

clothing or even sew our quilts with? Quite honestly, it takes a lot!

In our modern, technical world, we often forget and take for granted the products readily available to us. Centuries ago, and even fifty or sixty years ago, a lot of the work to make these products was done by hand labor taking a very long time. Just think back to the early 1800’s before the industrial revolution, no sewing machines, no mechanical harvesting equipment, cotton was hand harvested (even into the 1950’s), all thread and yarn was carded and made using a spinning wheel, then woven on hand looms. If we had to depend on those methods today it would take all of our “spare” time, when not working at our regular job, doing these tasks just to make the yarn and thread so we could make our clothing. Without a lot of household help which only the wealthy could afford, there would be no time for us to enjoy our favorite hobby, quilting.

The short video below shows all of the steps needed to take the raw, harvested cotton and turn it into usable yarn mechanically. I am simply amazed at the machinery needed, the knowledge and creativity it took to design machines to do this work and even take two threads and knot them together and wind them on a cone. Does anyone want to go back to the “good old days?”

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