Submitted to: Textile Research Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/24/2001
Publication Date: 10/15/2001
Citation: Epps, H.H., Akin, D.E., Foulk, J.A., Dodd, R.B. 2001. Color of Enzyme-Retted Flax Fiber Affected by Processing, Cleaning and Cottonizing. Textile Research Journal.
Interpretive Summary: Standards for flax fibers do not exist but are needed for a new flax fiber industry to go forward in the US. Scientists at the University of Georgia and ARS-USDA collaborated on a project to define color for a diverse set of flax samples retted and cleaned by a variety of methods to determine variations in color. Data are essential to provide information further used to develop a Color Practice, an official document submitted for balloting with ASTM.
Technical Abstract: Twenty seven samples representing variations of retted flax fiber were analyzed using a color spectrophometer and CIELab methods. Variables included enzyme- or dew-retting, fiber or seed type flax, enzyme and chelator concentrations, and sequential cleaning steps. In addition to differences in color with enzyme- or dew-retting, the variables involved in enzyme-retting also contribute to differences in lightness, redness, & yellowness of fibers. Dew-retted flax was significantly darker than nonweathered, enzyme-retted fiber flax. Lower enzyme concentrations produced redder and yellower fiber samples than ones retted with higher enzyme levels. Higher chelator levels produced redder fibers. Fiber lightness was significantly increased by additional cleaning steps. Results presented herein indicate that objective color measurements, and color standards, can define important fiber properties toward tailoring raw wmaterials for specific industrial applications.