Inspection of A Cashmere Yarn Factory for Our Company-Huhhot Harmony Industry and Trade Co., Ltd.
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Inspection of A Cashmere Yarn Factory for Our Company

date:2019-08-31 【Large】 【medium】 【small】 

Why did we decide to give up spinning our own yarns?


Simply put – integration of resources. It's always the change of thinking that changes how close you can get to your goals.  We loved spinning our own cashmere yarns because we believed we could have control over everything that way. It was true, but only to some degree. Then it had many shortcomings, which were hidden under the facade of a prosperous industry.


Business is all about sales and costs. If marvelous quality and excellent services boost the first, wise allocation of resources will surely rein in the latter, which in turn makes prices much more competitive. Yes, now we are down to pennies.

The only thing: the yarn factory has to be good, I mean, real good.

1. It has to have a steady supply of raw cashmere fiber both in quality and quantity.

2. It has to reach economies of scale so that its prices are reasonable.

3. It has to have all the certificates to prove its legitimacy.

4. It has to be equipped with up-to-date machinery to take good care of all sorts of pollutants.

5. Its yarn quality has to meet our standards.

6. Its workforce has to be with high morale.

7. Its treatment of Cashmere Goats – the most important factor in our business – has to be impreachable.

Did I find one such factory? Please have a look: The North Land Cashmere Spinning Factory


The inspection was planned as a tour from scratch to finish of the whole production line, during which Scale of the Factory, Machinery, Sanitation, Staff Morale, Quality and Quantity of Raw Material and Finished Products, Warehouses, Sampling Equipments, Laboratories were scrutinized with professional advice from our workteam.


Here's how it went:

Accompanied by Mr. Zhang, a guy quite reserved but never shy to expound on his job and company, we arrived at the factory in the early morning. The tour around the factory starts with the Picking process, the first step after the arrival of cashmere fiber. All the impurity is taken out by hand from the fiber that's sent to workers by a conveyor belt.


Hand Picking


Then the fiber is washed in a long line of machines before it's shipped for a Second Hand Picking process.The factory's annual raw cashmere consumption is around 2,300 metric tons. That's a lot of cashmere for one factory to gobble if you know the annual output of raw cashmere worldwide is just a shade over 20,000 metric tons. And they manufacture each year around 1,500 metric tons of yarns made from the famous Mongolian Cashmere fiber.


Washing


Second Hand Picking



After several washings and pickings, the fiber arrives at Combing, the main purposes of which  include eliminating neps and short fibers, blending fibers, and orienting fibers.


Combing Factory


Combing Workshop


Combing


     For worsted yarns, the selected fiber will go through a further process called Refined Combing, where shorter fiber is sifted out and the remaining longer fiber is aligned in one direction, finally forming rovings. This of course adds to the cost but sweaters made from this kind of yarn is most ideal for higher guages such as 16GG.Our 26s/2 yarn is woolen and 48s/2 yarn is worsted.


Refined Combin Workshop


Refined Combing - Rovings



     Time to give the fiber beautiful colors(for natural color yarn, this process is skipped).  Dyeing is operated in vats with different sizes. This is a sensitive procedure that involves most pollutatns. Waste water treatment is crucial and the factory has invested RMB20 million(around $3 million) for pollution-preventing purposes. Their waster water recycling rate can reach over 50%.


Dyeing Workshop


Waste Water Treatment



      The actual yarn spinning starts in Blow Rooms, where fibers of different colors are mixed together to produce melange colors. For example, melange grey is a blend of black and white fibers of different proportions. Fiber is also given oils to become lubricated during spinning process. 90% of the machinery used in the factory is from Italy and they have an Italian engineer residing permanently at their factory to keep maintenance.


Blow Room



      Now the fiber is fully prepared for spinning. The first step is to spin the fiber into thick yarn on a long line of machines.


Spinning - OCTIR from Italy


      Then the thick yarn is sent to Walking Frame to get thinned and also twist is added.


Walking Frame- Bigagli from Italy



      Winding is done on Autoconers that are quite fun to watch while they are fixing snapped yarn. Compared with hand fixing, yarn wastage is higher much more time and labor efficient.  


Autoconer - Savio from Italy


Yarn is almost finsihed at this stage but needs to plied if required. That's where yarns of different plies come from!


Plying



Finally, finished yarn is packed and sent to either warehouse or customers.


Yarn Warehouse



     For me, this is a key point for inspecting finished yarns.


1. the yarns should be in uniform size across all bobbins. (passed. )



2. each bobbin should weigh the same with a tolerance of 15g/kg. (passed. among randomly chosen 20 bobbins, highest 1043.9g, lowest 1031.3g, average 1038.8g)






3. there shouldn't be noticeable unevenness when yarn is stretched.(passed)

4. there shouldn't be too much fluffy hair on the yarn when stretched.(passed)



After the tour, another important thing is to negotiate pricing. The factory offers different prices for different quantities. Since we can consume a fair amount of yarn each year, the contract price given to us can guarantee we are competitive with pricing on our finished products. On scrupulous calculation, we are happy to say that cost on yarn is actually lower working with them than spinning our own yarns! Contract signed, my mission is officially completed.


Every successful change in strategy is spawned by intrepid determination but carried out with preemptive foresight. Weighing pros and cons, we deem it to be a wise decision to have people do what they excel at. For us, now we can supply yarns in more colors as stock service at a lower price with more consistant quality. Most importantly, we can focus on what we specialize in – yarn to garment production and services.


As a semi-layman, I would very much appreciate any correction of my mistakes or misunderstandings in the article. If you have anything to say, I'm thanking you in advance for sending me an email to tergel@northlandcashmere.com. Your good advice  will be listed in the article as updates. 


Tergel

July, 2019

Dec 14, 02 : 05Time in New York

Dec 14, 07 : 05Time in London

Dec 14, 14 : 05Time in Hohhot