Textile plants operate with the use of a wide range of machinery and equipment that make it possible to create, refine, and package the goods produced. In some cases, the textile equipment is utilized to create the thread or yarn that will ultimately be shipped to other companies that produce fabrics for clothing, towels, and housewares like draperies and bedding. The most basic of all equipment of this type is usually associated with one of four specific processes: dyeing, carding, spinning, and weaving.
Carding and spinning machinery essentially convert the fiber from a raw state into roping and finally single-ply yarn. Both natural and synthetic fiber usually begins this dual process in a mass that resembles pillow stuffing. The carding machinery compresses the loose fibers into thick sections of roping that in turn can be transferred to spinning machinery. There the roping is further refined and strengthened into high quality yarn that is strong.
For many productions, single-ply yarn is not considered strong enough for durable goods. When this is the case, textile equipment such as twisting machinery will be used to create a strong two-ply product. One of the older forms of textile machinery used in the United States was known as the ring twister. Ring twisters would unravel single-ply yarn wrapped around bobbins in the spinning process and wrap the two yarn filaments into one strong yarn strand. Twisters of this type were more or less obsolete by the 1970’s, and were often replaced by more powerful twisters that were capable of producing ten to twenty times the output per hour.
In some cases, the two-ply yarn was wound onto cones and shipped directly to a client for use in the creation of everything from terry cloth to carpeting. However, some larger projects called for the yarn to be wrapped onto large spools. Textile equipment that accomplished this was usually known as warping machinery or simply warpers. An intricate framework was used to simultaneously unwind several hundred cones of yarn onto a large spool. The spool would then be covered with a thin cardboard shell, labeled as to the weight, merge and lot of the yarn on the spool, and be shipped to the end client.
Dyeing machinery is a type of textile equipment that fits into the general production process at different phases of the operation. In many cases, dyeing vats are used to color and treat the raw fiber before it ever goes through the carding and spinning process. This helps to ensure the color is uniform throughout the lot and merge. However, some other processes call for the raw fiber to be refined into yarn first. With this approach, the yarn is ran through a series of dyeing tanks that help to gradually infuse the product with color. Often, the dyeing equipment also dries the product as a final stage, making it possible to immediately move on to the next step in the production process.
Weaving equipment is often the final type of textile machinery that the yarn or thread will go through. At this stage, the yarn is woven into whatever end product is desired. This may be bolts of fabric, rolls of carpeting or upholstery material, or specialized textiles like terrycloth, microfiber, or denim.
One final form of textile equipment that many people overlook is the packing machinery. While some textile companies tend to combine manual inspection with the packing process, some examples of this type of equipment are fully automated. The final product is packed in uniform casing, automatically weighed and labeled, then stacked at the end of a packing line area. From there, the final product can be transported to a warehouse facility until it is sold and shipped to a customer.