cotton picking

Undeniably, textile manufacturing is one of the oldest industry in commerce. From the manufacturing of carpets, to drapes, upholstery, rugs, and the most popular of them all, clothing, textile manufacturing is considered a part of human culture.

People from different ethnic groups possess a strong history of handcraft in the manufacturing of textiles. For example, the Yorubas of Nigeria are known for Aso Oke and Batik (Adire), an indigenously made textile using the tie and dye method. Kente, is of the Asantes in Ghana. Bambara is the mud-resist dyed cloth of Mali. The barkcloth of the Buganda people, in Uganda. All these are examples of how important textile manufacturing is to people.

The African style of mixing western clothing with their traditional attires is also noteworthy.

What is Textile Manufacturing?

When we say textile, most people think of heavy materials like carpets and rugs, and generalize all others as ‘’clothing’’. But, they all are varieties of textile.

Textile manufacturing is every activity involved in the processing of natural and synthetic fibers into usable final products.

Traditionally, cotton is the primary fiber in textile manufacturing. When cotton is harvested, it goes through several processes before becoming a semi-finished product. This is why knowledge of its end-use is important in production stages.

Some of these processes are:

Ginning: This is the process of separating cotton from dirt, leaves, and stem.

Cotton ginning

Carding: Here, cleaned cotton fibers are disentangled and joined together to form parallel strings.

cotton carding

Spinning: Cotton is spun in a spinning machine in order to thin winded cotton onto a bobbin. The spun cotton is then woven, dyed, and sold to producers of its end-use.

cotton spinning

Other natural fibers include flax, Jute, and Hemp, which are all derived from plants, but most suitable for heavy wear like bags, sacks, wall and floor covering.

Wool and silk are also derived from animals.

Furthermore, synthetic fibers such as nylon, viscose (Rayon), and polyester became popular in the late 1800s, aiding the development of the textile industry. So much so, that most durable and weather−resistant wears you own are either made from synthetic fibers, or a mix of natural and synthetic fibers.

Popular fabrics like we listed here are all products of the rigorous processes of textile manufacturing.

Textile Patterns and Designs

textile patterns and designs

Textile patterns and designs are first determined in the process of dying and weaving fibers for end use. And because fashion designing is extremely diverse, they help to determine how best fabrics can be sewn and in what styles they’re most suitable for.

In early times, the most popular textile patterns and designs were floral and geometric. Even most African wax prints and lace patterns take this form. And although colouring and size varied, (colourways), 3D printing now allows more creativity in textile designing.

What’s your favourite textile for clothes making? Drop a comment and share!