From the field, seed cotton moves to nearby gins for separation of lint and seed. The cotton first goes through dryers to reduce moisture content and then through cleaning equipment to remove foreign matter. These operations facilitate processing and improve fiber quality. The cotton is then air conveyed to gin stands where revolving circular saws pull the lint through closely spaced ribs that prevent the seed from passing through. The lint is removed from the saw teeth by air blasts or rotating brushes, and then compressed into bales weighing approximately 500 pounds. Cotton is then moved to a warehouse for storage until it is shipped to a textile mill for use.
A typical gin will process about 12 bales per hour, while some of today’s more modern gins may process as many as 60 bales an hour.