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Textile Industry: Types of Machines

Instructor: Brianna Whiting

Brianna has a masters of education in educational leadership, a DBA business management, and a BS in animal science.

Because so many things we need and use daily is made from fabric, it is not surprising that there are many machines responsible for creating all of those products. In this lesson, we will learn all about the textile industry and the machines that take a raw material and end with a finished product.

The Textile Industry

We all can appreciate the textile industry as it is responsible for many products we use in our daily lives. The industry makes our clothes, curtains, types of flooring, and even furniture. Because it has such an impact on our lives, the textile industry is large and has a high demand. But how does an industry produce all of the products we want and need? Well, there are specialized machines that make the items quickly and efficiently. In this lesson, we will learn about some of the commonly required machinery in the textile industry.

Basic Background Information

Before we dive into the types of machinery, let's break down the industry a bit first. Textile is the word used to describe fabric that has been woven. Thus, the textile industry is the industry that completes that process. There are many different types of fabrics consisting of both natural, like cotton and flax and are obtained naturally, and synthetic, like polyester and spandex, which are created in a lab. Raw materials must go through several processes with the help of textile machinery to produce a finished product.

Types of Machines

Now, let's look at some of the machines that are commonly used in the textile industry today.

1. Cotton gin- Cotton is one of the primary fabrics utilized in the textile industry. This means there needs to be an efficient machine that can separate the cotton fibers from the cotton seed. The cotton gin is responsible for not only completing the separation process, but also removes stems, leaves, and other dirty matter from the cotton.

2. Spinning machines- Before a thread can be woven together, you have to create the thread through spinning. Spinning machines spin substances like cotton into a piece of yarn or thread. The yarn or thread can then be weaved or knitted together to create a piece of fabric.

3. Looms- Looms are used to weave pieces of thread together. The loom can weave threads that are one color or can weave multiple colors to create a pattern or design. There are three common weaves a loom performs, and they include the plain weave, satin weave, and twill.

4. Knitting machines- Thread or yarn that is not weaved together, is often knitted together. Much like the hand process of knitting, knitting machines use needles to pull yarn through hoops to create stitches that hold it together.

5. Dyeing machines-Many pieces of fabric are colorful. While some may have started that color, most are probably dyed. Dyeing machines are responsible for adding color to the yarn or fabric.

6. Finishing machines-When the yarn has been knitted together, the finishing machine is used to make sure the fabric won't come apart and to strengthen it. Some finishing machines compact the fabric together so that it can be sewn into different pieces like ropes. Some finishing machines remove water from the materials so that colors don't bleed, or the fabric does not shrink. Additionally, some finishing machines remove wrinkles from the fabric.

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