We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Carded Cotton?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Carded cotton is cotton which has been prepared for spinning into thread or yarn. Carding is an important step in the processing of many textiles, ensuring that debris is removed while aligning the fibers to make them easier to spin. Without carding, cotton thread would be coarse and extremely fragile.

Hand-carded cotton is prepared with the use of hand carders, which look sort of like the fine-toothed brushes used to smooth animal coats. Cotton is strung out across one brush, and then the other brush is gently run over the first, pulling the fibers into chunks which are aligned in the same direction, while also removing very short fibers, vegetable material, and other impurities which could have a negative impact on the thread or wool spun from the cotton.

When the carding process is finished, all of the cotton will have been transferred to the second brush, at which point it can be divided into clumps and spun. Depending on how the fiber is treated before spinning, it may turn into a sliver, a simple chunk of material, or a roving, a sliver which has been twisted for extra tensile strength. For extra-fine cotton, people may use a cotton comb to pull out additional short fibers after carding, ensuring that the cotton fibers are all the same length. Combed cotton is extremely soft and silky to the touch, and it tends to be more expensive, because a higher volume of cotton is removed during processing.

Industrially carded cotton is prepared on large spinning drums which are capable of processing high volumes of cotton at once. For rapid processing, cotton spinning machines are usually located close to the carding area, ensuring that minimal time is wasted transferring cotton products around a factory.

It is possible to buy loose carded cotton, for people who wish to spin cotton at home, and carded cotton is also used to make products like cotton balls. The advantage to using your own raw carded cotton is that crafters can control the dye lot, thickness, and strength of the resulting thread for their own projects.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a HomeQuestionsAnswered researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By irontoenail — On Aug 11, 2012

@pastanaga - Yeah, if you aren't buying for a company you're better off just following the instructions, either on whatever guide you're following, or on the catalog listing the carded cotton.

You can actually get some really nice organic cotton yarn online and I have often hoped that I'll be able to afford a spinning wheel one day in order to make something for myself or maybe to sell.

By pastanaga — On Aug 10, 2012

@anon16485 - I believe the 40S refers to the fineness of the cotton. The higher the number, the finer the product. 40 is about average I think.

I believe that the 110/90 is another measure of density, but that one is a bit more complicated. I don't really understand these terms myself very well, but if you look up a guide to "units of textile measurement" you will be better equipped to figure it out.

Cotton is graded in so many different ways that you almost need a degree to figure it all out and I think that if I was going to buy some carded yarn, I would go by the description, as the manufacturer will almost always add a blurb about what that particular kind of cotton can be used for.

By anon265210 — On May 01, 2012

The warp is the vertical series of yarn and the weft is the horizontal series of yarn. When these yarns are interlaced, they produce end products like fabric or towels.

By samir01 — On May 01, 2009

What is meant by warp and weft?

By anon16485 — On Aug 07, 2008

What does it means : 40Sx40S,110/90 Cotton? Does this 40S has relation with carded, and 110/90 has relation with thread count? I am confused.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.