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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVED COTTON QUALITY MEASUREMENTS

Location: Cotton Structure and Quality Research

Title: Fiber Longitudinal Measurements for Predicting White Speck Contents of Dyed Cotton Fabrics

Authors
item Xu, Bugao -
item Bel, Patricia

Submitted to: Textile Research Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 23, 2009
Publication Date: December 7, 2009
Citation: Xu, B., Bel, P. 2009. Fiber Longitudinal Measurements for Predicting White Speck Contents of Dyed Cotton Fabrics. Textile Research Journal. 80: 1047-1055.

Interpretive Summary: FIAS1 (Fiber Image Analysis System) was developed as a relatively high-speed method of measuring fiber maturity. It can measure maturity based on ribbon width and density or analysis of cross-sections, which has a much slower sample preparation. For the longitudinal measurements, sample preparation is a matter of seconds; an uncombed cotton sample is chopped and sprayed on a slide and then measured under the microscope using image analysis. The highly transmissive sections are detected by the system as “dead” fiber. These dead fibers may entangle and become the dye defects known as white speck neps in finished fabrics. Preliminary FIAS maturity data is compared to cross-section maturity data and white speck levels determined by image analysis. Strong relationships were seen between maturity data for both FIAS and Cross-sections to the level of white specks on the dyed fabrics. The main advantage was that FIAS sample preparation is extremely fast compared to cross-section fiber preparation, making it more useful to breeders. One of the main differences in fiber preparation was that no fibers were removed from the sample as combing of the fibers for cross-sections does. The fibers that were removed in combing are typically neps, hence immature fibers which may skew the data in relation to the level of white specks in the finished fabrics.

Technical Abstract: Fiber Image Analysis System (FIAS) was developed to provide an automatic method for measuring cotton maturity from fiber snippets or cross-sections . An uncombed cotton bundle is chopped and sprayed on a microscopic slide. The snippets are imaged sequentially on an microscope and measured with customized image analysis software. Cotton maturity is assessed from fiber width variability (convolution) and intensity (translucency) of fiber ribbons. The highly translucent fibers are labeled by the system as “dead” fiber. Dead fibers are the main source of nep formation, causing dye defects, known as white specks, in finished fabrics. This work compares the fiber longitudinal measurements with white speck data of 16 different cottons, and studies the possibility of establishing a predictive equation for white speck contents from bale fiber samples. The main advantages of using the longitudinal FIAS test are that it can more readily detect dead and immature fibers and take much less time in preparing sample slides than the cross-sectional FIAS test.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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