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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Research Project #445198

Research Project: Developing Industrial Hemp Fiber Standards

Location: Cotton Ginning Research

Project Number: 6066-41440-009-012-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 29, 2023
End Date: Sep 28, 2028

To characterize industrial hemp fibers, specifically fiber length and fiber diameter (also called ribbon width). Fiber length and fineness are key attributes throughout textile processing steps for converting fibers into yarn. Developing methods and standards for fiber characterization will be critical to assess textile applications of industrial hemp fibers. We will investigate the use of an optical fiber analyzer for length and diameter/ribbon width measurements: 1. Measure fiber length and length distributions of hemp fibers. 2. Measure hemp fiber diameter or ribbon width, both mean values and distributions.

Objectives 1 and 2 will be accomplished using an optical fiber analyzer instrument. This type of instrument was originally developed for wool and has recently been shown to be successful in measuring cotton fiber properties. Limited information is available on the use of the latest versions of the instrumentation on cotton, but Cooperator has performed preliminary studies to measure cotton fiber ribbon width successfully. Others have demonstrated that the system is able to measure cotton fiber length distributions. Several parameters can affect the quality of fibers produced from industrial hemp such as type of cultivars, growing conditions, methods of extractions/ decortication, and methods of delignification. The quality of the fiber depends also on the location of the fiber in the plant stem. Measurements using the optical fiber analyzer instrumentation will be compared to measurements using more commonly available and generally accepted methods of measuring cotton fiber length and ribbon width. Cotton fiber samples will be tested along side industrial hemp fiber samples to provide a consistent baseline for comparison of results from different measurement approaches.