Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2003
Publication Date: 1/5/2004
Citation: Bel, P., Xu, B. 2004. Cotton quality: white speck neps from fiber to fabric. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: White speck neps, which are composed of immature cotton, are not easily detected until the fabric is dyed, particularly dark shades. The fabric is littered with "white specks" which makes it unusable in the fashion industry, literally costing millions in losses to the textile industry. This research first looks at the biological basis for the defect, and then mechanical processing effects on white specks are reviewed along with field studies (from fiber to fabric). White speck predictions are developed from fiber properties as measured by several high-speed fiber measurement systems. Once the defect is detected, at the bale stage the fibers could be used to make whites or pastel shades of fabrics where it would not be a problem. First, a White Speck Potential (WSP) value needs to be developed from this type of research so it can be used as a tool by the mills and breeders. Bales with high WSP can be put into a special class for whites only, or use for combed, vortex or rotor spun yarns, maximizing the fiber's potential and minimizing mill losses due to white specks. Breeders will be able to change the future of U.S. cottons, by eliminating varieties with high WSP early on in the breeding process, without having going to full field studies.