October 13, 2017
This is part of an ongoing series where our fearless leader, Ted, muses about family, work, and life. Enjoy!
When we buy the material to make the products we sell, there are many variables we look at before purchasing.
Generally the material we purchase is still in the raw form, an open weave, and brownish color. Sometimes it comes in big rolls and sometimes cut pieces.We have to decide the quantity of the product we need to make, thinking about things like how many pieces we get from a yard and consistency from the mill - will each shipment be the same?. We then have to decide: who will cut the material and sew the edges? Then there are all the technical terms for the material we are buying. Tex, Mommes, Denier, Thread Count and make sure we are ordering the correct stock we need for our customers.
We often get asked the thread count of our towels. Our industry standard is not per square inch thread count. We use the “Ends per End” thread count as the standard. In general, this means that the higher the ends per inch, the finer the fabric is. Plain weaves generally use lower thread count per inch for the number of ends per inch, denser weaves like a twill weave will use a higher number. Finer threads require more threads per inch than thick ones, and thus result in a higher number of ends per inch. So, the common T shirt will have a 18 ends per inch thread count. Our Standard Flour Sack Towels have a 20 ends per inch thread count. Once we decide on all of these factors and we receive the material, we then have to finish processing the towels to make them soft and absorbent. And we might dye or bleach the material to the customer’s needs. When we process and color the material we make sure the material is thoroughly rinsed so that there are no soaps or excess dyes left in the towel.
We then hand-inspect each batch of towels for stains, rips and anything else that might shorten the life of the towel, to make sure it is ready to use. From start to finish this is a lengthy process, sometimes taking days or even weeks. We’re happy to do it for our customers, though. We are not a big company, we like to think our processing from raw material to finished product is much like the craft beer industry, smaller companies making beer from raw ingredients to finished products that are as good, if not better than the big brewers.
There are many people at ACS who have helped create, inspect and ship the orders you’ve received. It is a lengthy process but it is a work of love from our employees to you.
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