Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/5/2000
Publication Date: 6/30/2000
Interpretive Summary: Tangles or knots of fiber (called neps by the industry) in roller ginned Pima cotton are of special concern to the textile industry. Recent complaints from foreign mills, who are important users of U. S. Pima cotton, are of concern to the American Pima industry. To address this concern, research was done to determine where and to what extent neps are formed during the Pima cotton harvesting and ginning processes. The Advanced Fiber Information System (AFIS) nep measurement was the criterion used to evaluate nep levels. It was determined that the nep levels for hand-picked and hand-ginned Pima cottons averaged approximately 50 pct of the nep levels of cotton that had been processed through the roller gin and baled. Substantially different nep levels did not result in a discernable difference in dye uptake of the raw fiber. Further work needs to be done to determine how these AFIS nep counts relate to textile processing.
Technical Abstract: Complaints from foreign textile mills of high levels of neps in U.S. Pima cotton are of concern to the American Pima industry. Previous research has shown that the rotary-knife roller gin stand does not create very many neps during the ginning of Pima cotton. However, there may be other points during the harvesting and ginning process where a large number of neps are made. Using the AFIS nep test, research was done to determine the level o neps in Pima cotton from before machine-picking through to the bale press. The level of AFIS neps in the cotton lint on the plant was shown to be approximately 50% of the total number of neps at the bale press. Also, most of the increase in nep count occurred during the harvesting and seed- cotton cleaning part of the process. Roller ginning and lint cleaning did not significantly change the level of neps in the lint.