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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: New and Improved Assessments of Cotton Quality

Location: Cotton Structure and Quality Research

Title: Impact of storage on fiber quality

Authors
item Delhom, Christopher
item Gamble, Gary
item Fortier, Chanel
item French, Alfred
item Thibodeaux, Devron -
item Rodgers, James
item Martin, Vikki -

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 31, 2013
Publication Date: May 24, 2013
Citation: Delhom, C.D., Gamble, G.R., Fortier, C.A., French, A.D., Thibodeaux, D., Rodgers III, J.E., Martin, V. 2013. Impact of storage on fiber quality. Proceedings of the 2013 National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. p. 1056-1059.

Interpretive Summary: The majority of cotton in the United States is exported. Exporting cotton subjects the crop to long storage times in a variety of conditions. The length of time and environment of storage can negatively impact the quality of the cotton in terms of both color and processing. The most notable change is an increase in the “yellowness” of the cotton which can result in appearance defects in textile products. A hand-held instrument has been deployed to allow new color measurements to be collected at textile mills. A long-term project is underway to store cotton bales under various conditions and monitor the effects of the storage condition on the quality of the cotton. These twelve bales of cotton will be subjected to a wide-variety of chemical and physical analyses after storage to quantify the changes in quality. Additionally, these bales will be subjected to textile processing and testing from bale form through to dyed and finished fabrics.

Technical Abstract: The vast majority of cotton produced in the United States is exported for processing. The exporting of the crop results in long storage and shipping times which introduces a new challenge for cotton quality. The duration and environmental conditions of cotton storage and shipping can impact cotton quality in terms of color and processing. The most notable change is that the +b value for many bales increases between classing and processing overseas. The increased yellowness can result in appearance defects in the finished yarn as well as impact yarn strength and performance. A method has been created to easily update the original +b grade with a more recent +b grade measured using a handheld instrument at the mill. A long term project is underway to store multiple bales, produced from the same module, under various conditions and monitor the effects of storage condition on color and other physical properties as well as processing performance through to finished fabric. Twelve bales were ginned from a single module and are being subjected to 18 months of storage under various conditions. Standard physical testing as well as a variety of chemical and morphological analyses will be performed on the samples with the goal being to predict and model the quality changes due to storage time and condition.

Last Modified: 4/23/2014
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