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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Measurement of the Short Fiber Content of Cotton

Authors
item CUI, XIAOLIANG
item Calamari Jr, Timothy
item Robert Jr, Kearny
item Price, John
item Watson, Michael - COTTON INCORPORATED

Submitted to: Textile Research Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 5, 2003
Publication Date: October 1, 2003
Citation: Cui, X., Calamari Jr, T.A., Robert Jr, K.Q., Price, J.B., Watson, M.D. 2003. Measurement of the short fiber content of cotton. Textile Research Journal. 73:891-895.

Interpretive Summary: A cotton of high short fiber content is inferior because it will exhibit increased waste during fiber processing, will produce weaker, less uniform and more hairy yarn, and will result in poorer quality fabric. Short fiber content (SFC) is defined as the percentage of fibers shorter than 1/2-inch in length. An accurate knowledge of the SFC can provide guidance both to cotton breeders to produce high quality cotton, and to textile manufacturers to optimize processing. The objectives of this investigation are to compare the SFC measured by different instruments and thereby learn how to improve the accuracy and precision of the measurements. A selection of cotton samples was tested by use of three length-measuring procedures. SFC as measured by different methods showed significant differences. It was found that the instrument calibration level was one of the major factors causing this difference. The lack of uniformity in the sample, which is a characteristic of cotton fiber, is another factor which contributes a major portion of the variation in the measured SFC. It was concluded that a major effort should be directed toward improving sampling and sample preparation methods to reduce the sample nonuniformity in order to achieve better measurements of SFC. The results from this investigation facilitate a more accurate measurement of cotton SFC, which benefits cotton research, cotton sales, and textile processing.

Technical Abstract: A selection of cotton samples was tested by use of the Suter-Webb Array, AFIS (Advanced Fiber Information System), and HVI (High Volume Instrument) methods. The short fiber content as measured by these different methods showed significant differences. The calibration level was found to be one of the major factors causing these differences. Provided all other conditions are the same, a 0.01-inch shift in fiber length calibration can cause approximately 0.37% change in measured short fiber content based on the average of the test data. The lack of uniformity in the sample, which is a characteristic of cotton fiber, is another factor. Based on the results from AFIS tests and computer simulation, sample nonuniformity contributes a major portion of the variation of the measured short fiber content. The confidence intervals calculated from the test data are worse than + or - 1% for two tests (replications), while the theoretical best achievable confidence intervals are about + or - 0.5% for two tests. Therefore, a major effort should be directed toward improving sampling and sample preparation methods to reduce sample nonuniformity and achieve better results in determination of short fiber content.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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