Now that most of the machines at Tower Mill have been optimised, it’s time to start producing our luxury cotton yarns.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been working with commercial grade cotton fibres to run-in our machines and we’ve been impressed with the high quality results they’ve been able to produce.
But English Fine Cottons aims to manufacture the very best in cotton yarns, so now we have laid down bales of extra long staple Californian Supima, which will be the mainstaple of our cotton production.
Divisional manager Paul Storah has already developed a spinning programme to start producing fine yarns ideal for luxury garments and says the new bales are perfect for the job.
“The fibres are longer, 32-34mm as opposed to the 28mm we were previously working with, it’s clean and it has a yellow colour, which in itself isn’t an indicator but the colour is extremely consistent which is very important.”
Using the test cotton has not only helped run-in any machines and get rid of any oil and residue from the building process, it also helped Paul and his team assess wastage and get a better understanding of the technology.
He added: “We we able to make adjustments and optimise settings.
“To start a blow-room from scratch like this is a terrific project but the machinery is so modern there are a few trials we have to run.
“Even though we are working with the newest machines available, the overall aim is the same as it always has been – to produce a cotton yarn as clean and as even as possible.
“We can set these machines now to work to precise fibre lengths and to remove more or less short fibres, we can go into much more detail at every stage of the process and get an even better product.
“And that is why our spinning programmes are so detailed and every step has to be mapped out.”
As our operations continue to pick up pace, forms of cotton at every stage of the process are starting to fill up the mill as you can see in the pictures below.
More and more of the large cans of sliver have been carded
And lapped cotton fresh off the lapformer ready to be combed.
The most impressive sight of all is the lines of cans behind the speed frame which is spitting out roving bobbins for spinning at a steady rate.
All this will continue to mount up while the final machines to get ready, the ring frames, are run-in on the third floor.
Come back soon for a full report on that process.