'Compact Spinning' Technology Makes Sheets with Superior Smoothness and Strength

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Newer technology in textile manufacturing, called "compact spinning," has given rise to smoother, stronger sheets. Compact yarns not only make sheets more resistant to wrinkling and pilling, but the process of making them is more efficient and environmentally friendly. Linenplace.com, Inc., an online linens retailer, has taken advantage of this technology and is offering a compact yarn sheet as part of the Echelon Home Collection.

In the textile industry, "ring spinning" has been the standard method of manufacturing cotton yarn for decades. A recent advancement in technology has not only improved the quality of the yarn, but has made the process more environmentally friendly as well. This new technique, called compact spinning, creates a compact yarn that is significantly smoother and stronger. An online luxury linens boutique, http://www.linenplace.com, has taken advantage of this trend and is now offering a 100% Egyptian cotton sheet set made with compact yarn.    

Ring spinning is a method of twisting fibers together (usually cotton) and then around a bobbin to be stored. The characteristics of the cotton fiber itself are very important in the quality of the spun threads - the length of the fiber staple being one of the most important. While many improvements have been made over the years to increase the speed and practicality of production, a certain mechanical weak-spot has prevented weavers from fully taking advantage of long-staple cotton, such as Egyptian or Pima.

During the ring-spinning process, a "triangle" is created as fibers are drawn out of an apparatus to be twisted. This unwanted but seemingly unavoidable triangle resulted in a yarn (or thread) that was uneven and hairy - meaning the ends of fibers stuck out from the thread. Unevenness compromises the strength of the yarn, and hairiness will cause the resulting fabric to pill, (develop little balls of stray fiber that can make sheets feel rough).    

Compact spinning virtually eliminates the twisting triangle, and significantly reduces the amount of stray fibers and weak spots in the thread. It is called 'compact' because outside fibers are compacted towards the core of the yarn as they are twisted. Sheets made with compact yarns are smoother, stronger, dye more uniformly, and tend to be less wrinkly out of the dryer.

Heather Young, Vice President of http://www.linenplace.com, explains some of the pros and cons of compact yarn: "Our Echelon sheets made with compact yarn keep their sheen quite well after multiple washings, and we were very pleased with how wrinkle-resistant they were after drying, (all Linenplace.com products are personally tested by in-house experts). The fabric is smooth and supple, but some people actually prefer a lighter sheet with a touch of hairiness for added softness - although those sheets won't last as long."

Ms. Young continues, "An added bonus is that because compact ring-spinning technology uses up less energy, these sheets are more eco-friendly."

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Emily Haselby
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