Bed sheets are normally a rectangle of broad loomed fabric that is made with a center seam. Bed sheets have hems sewn in both, at the top and the bottom. The finished edges are known as the selvages of the woven sheet as it is made on the loom and are used as side seams so there is no need of hemming the sides. Today, bed sheets come as a part of a set of bed linens that are alike in fabric, details and color. The set also will include a fitted sheet to cover the mattress, a flat sheet and pillow cases.
Bed sheets are made in a wide variety of fabrics like cotton, linen, synthetics and even silk. A popular bed sheet fabric choice is percale that is a closely-woven plain weave of either cotton or cotton-polyester mix that has a smooth, cool feel that is very comfortable. Muslin is another fabric choice that is more coarsely woven than percale. Flannel bed sheets are the fabric of choice during the colder months and flannel is woven using nappy cotton fibers that are ideal to provide extra warmth.
The manufacturing process
Certain manufacturers spin the bales of cotton delivered to them. Other manufacturers purchase yarn that is already spun on spools. Below, the process of making bed sheets from bales of cotton that isn’t spun is elaborated:
– Obtaining the cotton: Bales of cotton is first purchased and delivered to the sheeting manufacturer.
– Blending: the cotton bales are then laid out side by side in a blending area. The bales are opened by a machine that removes a part of the cotton from the top of each bale. Then, the machine beats the cotton together, simultaneously initiating the blending procedure and removing any impurities. Next, the fibers are then blown through tubes to a mixing division where the blending continues.
– Carding: once fully blended, the fibers then move through tubes to a carding machine that adjusts and aligns the fibers in the same direction. Cylinders with millions of teeth are used to pull and straighten the fibers to further remove impurities.
– Drawing, testing and roving: next, the cotton fibers are again blended together and the strands are drawn together into one strand by a roving frame. The frame is used to twist the fibers slightly and winds a cotton roving onto bobbins.
– Spinning: the rovings are then spun on a ring spinner that draws the cotton into a single small strand and twists it as it spins. The yarn is wound onto bobbins and they are placed onto winders that wind the thread onto section beams that will ultimately fit onto a loom ready for weaving.
– Warping a section beam: it takes between 2,000 to 5,000 lengthwise yarns or warps to make a single width of sheet. The warping beam that holds all of the cotton yarns is very large and so cannot be loaded at once. About 500 to 600 ends of yarns are pulled onto a single section beam, warping it. Afterward, numerous section beams will be loaded onto the large warping beam. Each one of these warping beams contributes a section of the warp.
– Slashing: each section beam then goes through a slasher. This is a machine that coats the yarn with starch or sizing to guard the ends and makes the yarn easier to weave.
– Warping the beam: once the yarn is coated with sizing, several of the section beams are loaded onto a single large loom beam. About 6,000 yarns are automatically tied onto old yarns with the help of a machine that is called a knotter in a short space of time. The knots are pulled through this machine and the weaving can begin.
– Weaving: the weaving process is where the filler threads or weft intertwine with the warp threads and this is done on high speed automatic air jet looms. It takes about 90 insertions to weave one inch of sheeting.
– Cleaning and bleaching: the woven fabric, called greige, is a gray colored fabric. The fabric is further finished by singeing. This is a process in which bits of yarn are burned off the surface. The sheeting fabric is now ready for bleaching. Bleaching is done in three steps. The fabric is first desized by bathing it in water and soap that removes any contaminants. Secondly, caustic chemicals are used to further remove remnants of debris found in the cotton yarn. The caustic is then washed off and concentrated bleach is used to dispel the gray color. The now white sheeting fabric is then rolled into a rope and put in a dryer which removes any moisture before the dyeing process.
– Dyeing: Sheeting needs to be dyed; even the sheets that are supposed to be white. For this, pigments are used to the sheeting fabric in color vats that use large rollers to press the color onto the material. Once dyed, the sheeting fabric is steamed to set the color. Then, a resin is used to the sheeting to manage shrinkage. The sheeting is rolled onto huge rolls is now ready to be cut and sewn.
– Cutting and sewing: Automatic cutting equipment is used to pull the fabric off the rolls. This equipment cuts the sheeting to the required lengths. The rolls are then transferred to a sewing machine that hems in the top and the bottom of the sheeting fabric.
– Packaging: the finished sheets are then folded by hand or by machine. Machine-folded bed sheets are ejected, shrink warped and packaged individually for sale.
Creative Textile Mill (Pvt) Ltd is the leading bed sheet manufacturers in Sri Lanka. Cliftex Sri Lanka is a quality Standard certified company in Sri Lanka and is the premium place for high quality fabrics.