The Basics of Yarn Manufacturing: Opening through Carding

Welcome to Opening Through Carding where you will learn about “Opening”, “Cleaning”, “Batt Formation” and “Carding.”


Through the opening process, the bales selected for a particular product are blended together for consistency, and the dense, compacted bales are broken down into smaller and smaller tufts of fiber.


As the tufts of fiber are broken down into smaller units, cleaning machines use mechanical action and directed air flow to remove non-fibrous material. This process uses both coarse and fine cleaners.

Batt Formation

After the fiber is broken down into small units and cleaned, the mass of fiber is formed and compressed into a very uniform batt, with a constant mass per unit length — ready to be fed into the carding machine.


Carding has been called the “foundation process” of yarn manufacturing — in part because at this stage, the loose, unoriented cotton fiber first takes on a textile form, called a “sliver.” A series of wire-covered cylinders are used to straighten and further clean the fiber. The fiber is then formed into a uniform web, which is condensed into a rope-like sliver and placed in a container for use in other processes.