Submitted to: Faserinstitute Bremen Cotton Exchange Meetings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2001
Publication Date: 3/15/2002
Citation: Akin, D.E., Mcalister III, D.D., Foulk, J.A., Evans, J.D. 2002. Cotton fibers: properties and interaction with flax fibers in blends. Proceedings of the 26th International Cotton Conference, Bremen; Faserinstitute Bremen Germany; pp. 199-206.
Interpretive Summary: Flax continues to have considerable interest in blends with cotton for improved properties of textiles. However, research is needed to solve problems associated with use of flax, including improved retting procedures and standards for judging properties. Research in ARS-USDA has shown progress with enzyme treatment of flax fibers to improve fiber properties for cotton-flax blends. Data are important in showing benefits to having flax blends and in showing a promising improvement in retting.
Technical Abstract: Addition of flax fibers with cotton in blends can provide improved properties, especially in moisture absorbance. The commercial method of retting flax, i.e., dew-retting, results in flax of inconsistent properties, and lack of standards creates difficulties in optimizing textile mills for use of flax fibers. Enzyme-retting is being explored, and laboratory and pilot plant tests have indicated the potential for this method to produce light-colored fibers fo good quality. Future work will address optimizing the enzyme formulation and integration of retting with commercial cleaning systems in a pilot plant operation for specific fiber properties. Simultaneously, modifying dew-retted flax fibers through use of specific enzymes for improved flax-cotton blends is being explores.