Submitted to: Cotton Gin and Oil Mill Press
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: March 2, 2002
Publication Date: April 5, 2002
Citation: Anthony, W.S. 2002. Impact of moisture added at lint slide on cotton color. Cotton Gin and Oil Mill Press. Volume 103(6): 8-12 Interpretive Summary: Cotton is harvested at low moisture contents in many areas of the United States. In those areas as well as more humid areas, cotton is typically further dried to enhance cleaning. However, as the fiber is dried it becomes more difficult to compress and also weighs less. Many gins add moisture to the cotton after ginning and cleaning and immediately before packaging the bale. If too much moisture is added, the fiber degrades and presents quality and processing problems at the textile mill. This study evaluated the impact of bale moisture at 5 levels (6 to 13%) on fiber quality characteristics during storage for 116 days. Cotton color was the only characteristic that changed significantly. The color grade decreased from Middling to Strict Low Middling Spotted as final bale moisture content increased from 6% to 13%. Moisture levels above 8% degrade color and should be avoided. Adoption of this finding should prevent problems associated with color deterioration and subsequent processing at textile mills.
Technical Abstract: This study evaluated the impact of bale moisture on fiber quality characteristics during storage for 116 days. Water (0, 13, 20, 48 and 55 pounds per bale) was sprayed over the top of the fiber as it came down the lint slide. The bales were packaged at universal density. Initial moisture contents after the water was added and before storage ranged from 6% to 15.4%. After 116 days of storage the bale in which no over spray had been applied had increased to 6.1% moisture content, all other bale moistures had changed substantially even though the bales were triple-sealed in polyethylene bags. Most fiber quality characteristics except color remained about the same. The HVI color decreased from Middling (31) to Strict Low Middling Spotted (43) as final bale moisture content increased from 6.1% to 12.9%.