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Kelly, Br, .
Texas A&M University
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Fiber length distributionWhile the within sample distribution is an important fiber quality concern, it is not captured by the most readily available HVI length parameters, Uniformity Index (UI) and Upper Half Man Length (UHML). For example, UI is supposed to capture variation in fiber length. Improving the prediction of yarn quality parameters using complete fiber length distribution from the AFIS for spun yarns remains an important research objective. Indeed, research suggests that the within sample distribution of fiber length may also capture important variation needed in breeding. While AFIS is relatively fast, it operates much slower and is more expensive than HVI testing. This limits the widespread use of AFIS testing in many breeding programs. In addition to improving the utilization of AFIS parameters, new protocols and testing techniques are needed for assessing the within sample variation in fiber length.2. Maturity measurementIn spite of the importance of maturity and fineness for the textile industry, there is no direct or indirect measurement method that is both fast and reliable. The lack of standards of reference for maturity has made it impossible to calibrate the existing instruments (air flow instruments with double compression, Advanced Fiber Information System - Maturity module). Therefore, we created a set of reference cottons for maturity measurements and demonstrated that the AFIS maturity readings correlate well with the reference method but with a slope of only 0.4. Consequently, there is a need for a new AFIS calibration, which calibrates based on the distribution of maturity within the sample, rather than simple averages. The second issue we would like to investigate is the problem of the length-maturity/fineness relationship within a sample.3. ContaminantsOur research is necessarily focused on breeders' samples, which typically contain high levels of vegetative contaminants. The bias introduced from trash in breeder samples may have a negative impact on selection. One possible solution to this is to clean the samples before fiber quality evaluation. However, additional processing will break and entangle fibers. While excessive fiber breakage is undesirable, some level of sample processing could be used to represent the type of processing expected at a commercial mill. Thus, we will evaluate the impact of laboratory scale processing on fiber quality evaluation, and investigate the potential for using laboratory scale processing to clean samples in a breeding program.4. Cotton breeding and effect of growing practices on fiber and yarn qualityThe new tools developed to assess fiber, yarn and fabric quality make necessary a renewed educational effort. Cooperation with cotton breeders through fiber, yarn and fabric testing as well as education of the scientific community (breeders, biotechnologists, agronomists, etc.) and the student communities is critical for the future success of the US cotton industry. For example, new Texas High Plains varieties having a more balanced fiber profile could gain market share for ring spinning applications that are demanding in terms of fiber quality. However, there will be a need to adapt growing practices, crop termination procedures, harvesting methods, and ginning procedures that preserve these improved fiber qualities.
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Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
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Education and Training