MissionThe mission of the Cotton Structure & Quality Research Unit is to develop and improve the methods for assessing quality and structural attributes of cotton fiber through all stages of production and processing. Applied disciplines include physics, chemistry, plant science, engineering, and textile technology. Specific research areas include improved understanding of the cotton fiber structural components such as primary wall composition and structure; more complete understanding of the relationship of water to cotton and its impact on fiber processing characteristics; determination of the ability to measure and the desirability of measuring key cotton fiber-yarn-fabric properties; demonstration of the value of adding new quality measurements to better predict cotton processing efficiency and product quality; and development of new quality assessment tools for cotton breeders.
The Cotton Structure and Quality Research Unit increases the value and global competitiveness of U.S. cotton by enabling new technologies and methods for accurately assessing the quality of cotton fiber at various processing stages from field to fabric (or “from dirt to shirt”). Specific research areas include development of new rapid and accurate methods to assess cotton fiber quality; development of economical, accurate and real-time methods to assess product quality and process efficiencies in pre-mill operations (prior to textile manufacturing); demonstration of new methods to detect, quantify and remove undesirable non-lint materials such as various sugars, seed coat fragments, non-leaf plant trash, etc. from cotton; determination of the impact of fiber quality and fiber processing practices on yarn and fabric quality and processing efficiencies; and determination of the expected impact of new germplasms, agronomic practices, and ginning practices upon fiber quality, textile processing efficiency, and final product quality.