This article is part of a series dedicated to walking readers through the steps behind Gildan’s t-shirt-making process. View the entire series here.
Yarn-spinning is the first step in transforming raw materials into garments. The first part of this process, cotton – primarily sourced from the U.S. – is converted into a yarn that is strong and flexible enough to be knit into t-shirts, underwear, socks, and other essential garments produced at Gildan.
Unlike many other apparel companies, the vast majority of yarn spinning is done at Gildan’s company-owned facilities. In fact, these state-of-the-art facilities produce enough yarn to circle the globe every 160 seconds!
Inside these facilities, cotton is separated into thin layers of fibre and then meticulously cleaned to remove dirt and leaf material from the cotton plant before the fibres are mixed into a consistent, high-quality homogenized cotton blend.
In the next process the blended cotton is fed through a series of machines where fibres are drafted for uniformity and formed into a continuous bundle of fibres called a “sliver”.
Rows of barrels of slivers at one of Gildan's yarn-spinning facilities
The sliver then passes through a series of automated processes in preparation for the final process called “spinning”. Here, yarn is formed and then spun onto a cone or tube in preparation for shipment to one of Gildan’s textile facilities.
To view behind-the-scenes footage of Gildan’s yarn-spinning process, click here.