What is Ring Spun?

What Sets Ring Spun Cotton Apart?

Ring spun cotton is a specialized type of fabric that undergoes a unique spinning process before becoming the final product. During this process, the cotton yarn is continuously twisted and thinned, resulting in ultra-fine fibers. The twisting action accentuates the short hairs of the cotton, enhancing the strength and creating a smoother texture. The more the fibers are twisted, the softer the fabric becomes. Unsurprisingly, this type of cotton is most commonly used in the production of t-shirts.

Understanding Thread Weight

When browsing for t-shirts, you may come across a number like “40-singles ring spun”. This number actually refers to the thread weight. The higher the thread weight number, the finer, softer, and thinner the shirt will be. Higher thread weight allows for a tighter weave, ensuring a more refined fabric. Conversely, a smaller thread weight number indicates thicker fibers.

The Advantages of Ring Spun Cotton

The exceptional benefits of ring spun cotton lie in its remarkable strength and unparalleled softness. The twisting process effectively binds the cotton fibers together, creating a stronger, more durable fabric compared to regular cotton. Additionally, ring spun cotton surpasses its carded open-end counterpart in terms of softness. In regular cotton, the fibers run perpendicularly to the fiber bundle, whereas in ring spun cotton, the fibers are aligned and run in the same direction.

The Drawbacks of Ring Spun Cotton

Due to its incredible softness, ring spun cotton is more prone to snarling and tangling. Maintaining consistent spinning conditions can also be challenging, leading to slight inconsistencies and imperfections in the fabric. Furthermore, the requirement for more fibers in the yarn cross-section contributes to a higher cost. The manufacturing process of ring spun cotton is more labor-intensive, making t-shirts made from this fabric slightly pricier.

Exploring Other Cotton Varieties

  • Combed cotton: This luxurious cotton undergoes special treatment before being spun into yarn, resulting in an exceptionally soft fabric. However, combed cotton is more expensive and can shrink when exposed to heat. It should never be washed in hot water or put in a hot dryer. Combed cotton is also stain-resistant.
  • Pique cotton: This style of weaving, characterized by raised and fine ribbing, is used with cotton yarn. Pique cotton also shrinks when exposed to heat and should be treated accordingly. Like combed cotton, it is stain-resistant.
  • Pima cotton: Considered one of the finest cotton blends, Pima cotton is known for its absorbency and durability. However, it is not heat-resistant and may shrink when subjected to hot water or a hot dryer. Pima cotton is also stain-resistant.
  • Carded open-end cotton: This cotton variety is significantly cheaper but offers a notably different feel. If you’ve ever worn a heavy and scratchy t-shirt, you’ve likely experienced carded open-end cotton. On the other hand, t-shirts made with ring spun cotton are super soft and comfortable. Up close, carded open-end fabric appears fuzzy and has an uneven knit, while ring spun cotton boasts a smoother, finer texture with consistent knitting.

Ring Spun Cotton

Related Articles

Back to top button