Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/2010
Publication Date: 9/24/2010
Citation: Sawhney, A.P., Condon, B.D., Reynolds, M.L., Allen Jr, H.C., Slopek, R.P. 2010. Improved prospects of cotton used in nonwovens. The 69th International Cotton Advisory Committee Plenary Meeting. 8p. Interpretive Summary: Use of cotton in nonwovens has been minimal (~ 2 %) mainly because of: 1) the classical greige cotton lint supplied to industry need considerable cleaning, which the existing nonwovens industry does not have; 2) the greige cotton is hydrophobic, which defeats the cotton’s main attribute, i.e., its high absorbency, in its finished (washed and bleached) goods; 3) the bleached cotton, which is clean and absorbent, normally costs almost twice as much as an equivalent greige (raw) cotton, which, in turn, makes cotton less competitive compared to the popular, competing manufactured fibers; and 4) the nonwovens industry is a bit hesitant to use a fiber that considerably varies in its overall, uniformity, quality and supply. The research conducted at Southern Regional Research Center has advanced some viable solutions to most of the adverse conditions/problems said above. This manuscript describes in detail the whole story of cotton’s limited use in nonwovens.
Technical Abstract: The major difficulties and headwinds encountered by the nonwovens industry in incorporating cotton in their products have been identified. The research was conducted to resolve those major problems facing the industry. The research results have shown that most of those problems can be adequately handled by selecting pre-cleaned, greige (raw, non-bleached) cotton and by using a hydroentanglement system of producing nonwoven structures at certain specific operating conditions that significantly impact absorbency of the resulting nonwoven products. This manuscript describes the said problems facing the industry and how best they can be efficiently handled to increase use of cotton in nonwovens.