Submitted to: Textile Research Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/30/2005
Publication Date: 7/1/2006
Citation: Bel Berger, P., Bugao, X. Image analysis measurements of white specks on U.S. extreme varieties of cotton. Textile Research Journal. 76(7). P. 525-533. Interpretive Summary: Of paramount economic concern to the textile industry are undyeable portions of a finished fabric, known as white specks. These clusters of immature or dead fibers absorb very little dye, are flat and ribbon-like and thus optically reflect light differently than their mature, more rounded counterparts, which results in their appearing white in color. As of late, there is no accurate means to measure this white speck problem. Initially a reliable method for measuring white specks is needed. Several image analysis systems have been evaluated and are reported here. The AutoRate system gives the most accurate measurements of white specks in the minimal amount of time, with minimal operator error, of all of the systems studied. The current version of AutoRate is being used to analyze fabrics for a study to develop white speck predictions form bale fiber data obtained from several high-speed measurement systems. Once these predictions are available, they can be used as a tool in industry to minimize white speck defects in dyed fabrics. This information should be immediately useful as a tool to measure the effects of field and ginning practices on the levels of white specks without having to use the equations in the development of new varieties with low white speck potential, by eliminating varieties with high white speck potential early on. The research will continue on a much larger scale in the U.S. and hopefully a WSP (White Speck Potential) value will be developed that could be incorporated into the U.S. Cotton Grading System.
Technical Abstract: White specks are a specific type of fiber defect that result in high financial losses to the cotton industry. Fiber entanglements are called neps. Neps that involve immature fibers do not dye properly and appear as white specks on the dyed fabrics. Studies to predict white specks from bale fiber measurements are underway. Initially a reliable method for measuring white specks id needed. Several systems have been evaluated and are reported here. The systems accuracy was compared using fabrics from the U.S. Extreme Variety Study (EVS), which has grown specifically to have different levels of white specks. This paper sets out the experimental work and analysis undertaken to develop and validate a system for reliability quantifying the amount of white specks in woven fabric. Four image analysis systems are compared. This includes two industrial imaging system (Cambridge and Optimas) and two systems specifically developed for white speck analysis (Cotton Incorporated's prototype, the Cotton Incorporate system was found to have drift in the data over time and the problem could not be identified. The Optimas system is time consuming and not accurate enough for this application. The AutoRate system gives the most accurate measurements of white specks in the minimal amount of time, with minimal operator error, of all of the systems studied and is currently being used in developing prediction of white specks from bale fiber properties.