Derived from the Arabic qutn or qutun, which means cotton. A vegetable seed fiber consisting of unicellular hairs attached to the seed of several species of the genus Gossypium, of the family Malvaceae. The length of the fiber is usually 1″ but varies from less than 1/2″ to over 2″ and an exceedingly fine diameter. A distinct feature of the mature fiber is the spirality or twist; under a microscope, it appears as a twisted ribbon with thickened edges. Cotton is grown in the tropical and warm temperate regions of the world including the southern United States, China, India, Australia, Brazil, and Russia.


Preliminary process in the manufacturing of spun yarn. The fibers are separated, distributed, equalized, and formed into a thin web and condensed into a continuous, untwisted strand of fibers called a sliver. This process removes most of the impurities and some of short, broken or immature fibers. The operation is performed on a card.


A step subsequent to the carding process in cotton yarn manufacture. The process separates the long, choice, desirable fibers of the same length, from the nep and short, immature, undesirable stock that is called noil. The comb straightens and arranges them in parallel order, in the form of sliver. Practically, all remaining foreign matter is removed from the fiber stock. Only the best grades of cotton may be combed. Combed yarns are finer and cleaner than carded yarns. Combing is necessary for the production of fine yarns and is also applied to coarser yarns when high quality is desired.

Cam Loom

A loom that utilizes cams as the medium for raising and lowering harnesses which control the warp threads. Weaves with a small repeat-plain weave are usually woven on cam looms.