I’m in Trangie in New South Wales, a cotton growing area and home to a large cotton gin. I’ve now seen what happens to those huge round yellow modules that you might have seen in fields or on trucks being taken to the gin.
The plastic is removed and the modules are ‘teased’ apart by a big comb type machine where they are then sucked up through air tubes into the gin itself.
These blowers force the cotton down over very fast mechanical saws that strip the seeds and trash from the cotton.
The white fluffy lint is then pressed into cotton bales that are wrapped and labelled with all the info about where it was grown and they are then ready to be trucked to port for export.
This whole process, from the time the module enters the blowers for cleaning to when it is baled takes about 50 seconds! Amazing.
I’ve had a fascinating morning thanks to Andrew at the Trangie Caravan Park, who gives about an hourlong talk on the cotton industry then leads you out to the gin where you view the process.
Intrigued? I’ve found this great website that tells you everything you’d ever want to know about cotton at http://www.cottonaustralia.com.au