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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Research Project #445225

Research Project: U.S. Hemp Fiber Classification for Textile Applications – Characterizing Fiber Length

Location: Cotton Ginning Research

Project Number: 6066-41440-009-014-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

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

To develop methods to characterize industrial hemp fiber which will lead to the establishment of a fiber classification system for industrial hemp fiber. Characterization of fiber length and length distribution within a natural fiber sample is important for the textile industry, and other end users, to establish economic value and determine how best to convert the raw material into finished goods. Natural fibers are inherently more variable in fiber length than manufactured fibers. Bast fibers, such as industrial hemp, are especially variable due to the impact of post-harvest processing such as retting and decortication and in-turn presents an even greater challenge for measuring fiber length. The accurate measurement of fiber length and length distribution is also a vital component of breeding and processing research: 1. Measure fiber length parameters of industrial hemp fiber samples. 2. Measure fiber length distribution of industrial hemp fiber samples.

The objectives will be achieved using a variety of methods. An automated instrument to measure the length and length distribution of a bundle of fibers will be assessed. The results from the automated method will be compared to reference techniques and standard methods used in other fibers. The Cooperator will apply analyses developed for the measurement of other natrual fibers to industrial hemp and adjust algorithms as needed to allow for the characterization of industrial hemp. Length parameters, such as Mean Length, Upper Half Mean Length, Upper Quartile Length, and Lower Half Mean Length will be assessed for appropriateness for use in characterizing industrial hemp fibers. Additionally, the distribution of fiber length within a sample of hemp will be characterized for skew and kurtosis as well as other descriptive values. Experimental design and statistical analysis will attempt to identify the amount of sample or measurements needed to accurately represent the values of a larger sample. All results will be compared against the techniques and methodologies established for use in characterizing cotton fiber samples.