Continuing the cotton-to-cloth story from the last blog:
Instead of going through the baling, unbaling and blowroom processes, the cotton that comes to malkha units comes in lint form straight from the ginning mill. [In two of the three units that are presently working in Andhra, the cotton is organically grown]. The lint is fed into our revolutionary carding machine [pictured here], where it is treated gently. Trash is easily dislodged, since it has not been pressed into the lint. The lighter-than-air fibres are hardly touched by the metal, guided rather than forced, into alignment and first form a lap, and then blanket, and then carded sliver, or loose rope form.
From here the carded sliver is fed into the second machine, the draw-frame, where 6 individual slivers are drawn into one, in the process equalizing all the uneven parts. And here is a picture of the draw-frame. What comes out is called the drawn sliver, and this goes into the flyer-frame, where it is drawn down to about the thickness of a pencil, and wound onto roving bobbins which will then be spun on ring-frames into yarn... more later