From Bolls to Bags: The Journey of Your Reusable Printed Cotton Bags
The task of saving the planet is not all about chaining yourself to trees in the rainforests. You can take a small step towards saving the environment by carrying reusable cotton printed eco bags with you when you go shopping. Every carrier bag that you bring back home might end up in a landfill adding to the pollution. You need to know the process that is involved in producing the renewable resource that is used to make the reusable bags.
Seeds to Plants
Most of the cotton used to make cotton printed eco bags come from the top cotton-producing countries like India and China. In spring the seeds of cotton are sewn into the black soil and tended throughout the year until autumn when the plants have grown, and the fluffy cotton bolls are ready to get picked.
Picking the Bolls
The bolls burst out of their green casings in autumn, and it marks the cotton harvest season. Earlier cotton used to be picked by hand. The industry was the main consumer of slave labour during the colonial era. However, today cotton is picked by machines instead of by hand.
Once the cotton is picked from the plant, it is not ready to be spun into threads. The cotton bolls contain cotton seeds that need to be taken out of the cotton. Removal of cotton seeds from the boll is done by a process called ginning.
After ginning the cotton seed is separated from the cotton. The cotton is then fed into a machine that creates large bales of cotton. Each bale of cotton contains 227 kg or 500 pounds of cotton. By winter the bales of cotton are shipped out to various industries that require cotton.
The bales are dismantled at factories where the processed cotton is spun into threads. The raw material is fed into machines that sort the stands of cotton and twist them together to make the thread. There have been many cotton-spinning machines like the Chakra, Water frame and Spinning Jenny that were used to spin cotton. However, today more sophisticated cotton-spinning machines are used at cotton mills. After the yarn is spun, it might be dyed to change the colour of the cotton.
The threads are then woven together to make cloth. This process too has become a mechanised one ensuring that the process is fast and efficient.
The woven cloth is then sent to different factories where they are made into different products. At cotton printed eco bags manufacturing factories the cloth is cut and sewn to create the unprinted bags. Depending on the kind of bag to be made, different specialised types of machines are used.
The bags are then sent to various shops. There are printing companies that buy these bags, print customised prints and sell them. The final step of manufacturing cotton printed eco bags is the printing stage taken care of by a printing businesses.
From the farm to your local shops, cotton changes its form in many ways, to become your handy carrier bag that hold its all in while helping the environment.