Cotton Fibre Quality Issues in Brief

Cotton & Yarn Quality Co-Relation:
Instead of buying any cotton available at lowest price, spinning it to produce yarn of highest count possible & selling yarn at any market in random, it is advisable to locate a good market where Yarn can be sold at highest price & select a Cotton which has characteristics to spin yarn of desired specifications for that market. Essential Characteristics of cotton quality & characteristics of yarn quality are given from detailed experimental investigations. Some of important conclusions which help to find co-relation between Yarn quality & Cotton quality are given below:

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Staple Length : Finer yarn count as well as stronger yarn is spun from longer fibre which assures higher prices. Strength: : Stronger fibres give stronger yarn. Further, processing speeds can be higher so that higher productivity is achieved with less end-breakage. Fibre Fineness : Finer Fibers produce finer count of Yarn & it also helps to produce stronger Yarns. Fibre Maturity : Mature fibres give better yarn evenness. There are fewer end-breakages & better dye absorbency is additional benefit. Uniformity Ratio : If ratio is higher. Yam is more even & there are reduced end-breakages. Elongation : A better elongation value helps to reduce end-breakages in spinning & hence higher productivity with low raw material waste. Non-Lint Content : Low Trash% reduces process waste in Blow Room & cards. There is less chances of yarn defects. Sugar Content : Higher Sugar Content creates fibre stickiness & create processing problem of licking in machines. Moisture Content : If Moisture Content is more than standard (8.5%), invisible loss is higher. But if it is less, then there gets a tendency for fibre brittleness resulting in frequent yarn breakages. Feel : Smoother feel Cotton produces smoother yarn which has potential for weaving better fabric. Class : Cotton having better grade in classing produces less process waste & yarn gets better appearance. Grey Value : Rd. of calorimeter is higher it means it reflects light better & Yarn give better appearance. Yellowness : Higher yellowness value deteriorates fibre grades & they produce weaker & inferior yarn. Neppiness : Neppiness creates due to entanglement of fibres in ginning process of immature fibres which are sorted out by careful processing But, Neps due to immature fibre presence in end products cause higher yarn defects level.

An analysis can be made of Yarn properties which are directly attributed to cotton quality. ð ð ð ð ð ð ð
Yarn Count : Higher Count of Yarn .is produced by longer, finer & stronger fibres. C.V. of Count : Higher Fibre Uniformity & lower short fibre% is beneficial to keep C.V (Co-efficient at lowest. Tensile Strength : This is directly related to fibre strength. Longer Length of fibre will also help to produce stronger yarns. C.V. of Strength : Is directly related CV of fibre strength. Elongation : Is beneficial for weaving efficiently. Fibre with better elongation has positive impacts. C.V. of Elongation: C.V. of Yarn Elongation can be low when C.V. of fibre elongation is also low. Mars Variation : This property directly related to fibre maturity and fibre uniformity.

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Hairiness Dyeing Quality Brightness

: Is due to faster processing speeds and high level of very short fibers, : Will defend on Evenness of Yarn and marketing of cotton fibres. : Yarn gives brighter appearance if cotton grade is higher.

Quality Standard for Ring frame Cop-Combed Cotton
Sl.No Yarn characteristic
01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Average count Count C.V% Twist Multiplier TPI C.V% U% -50% thin place / 1000m -30% thin place / 1000m +50% thick place / 1000m +200 Neps / 1000m Total Imperfection / 1000 m RKM ( tenacity) gm/tex RKM C.V% Elongation % Hairiness H Hairiness Standard Deviation Objectionable classimat faults(short & long) Total classimat faults H1- thin faults shade variation on cones in UV lamp

Reqrd value for 30s
30 ( 29.6 - 30.4) less than 1.5 3.5 - 3.6 less than 2.5 9.2 - 9.8 less than 4 less than 650 less than 30 less than 50 less than 85 more than 16.5 less than 7.5 % more than 5.5 4.0 - 4.5 less than 1.5 less than 1 per 100 km less than 150 less than 5 per 100 km No Shade Variation

Other counts
Nominal count plus or minus 1.3% Less than 1.5% 3.5 - 3.6 less than 2.5% 5 - 10 % Uster Stat. value 5 - 10 % Uster Stat. value 5 - 10 % Uster Stat. value 5 - 10 % Uster Stat. value 5 - 10 % Uster Stat. value 5 - 10 % Uster Stat. value more than 16.5 5 - 10 % Uster Stat. value more than 5.5 < 50% value of Uster Statistics 25% Uster stat value less than 1/100km 5 - 10 % Uster Stat. value 5 - 10 % Uster Stat. value No Shade Variation

Cotton Quality Specifications: Length- The most important fibre quality is Fibre Length
Staple classification Short Medium Long Extra Long Length mm Less than 24 24- 28 28 -34 34- 40 Length inches 15/16 -1 1.1/132-1.3/32 1.3/32 -1.3/8 1.3/8 -1.9/16 Yarn Fineness Coarse Medium Count Fine Count Superfine Count Yarn Count Below 20 20s-34s 34s - 60s 80s - 140s

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Spinning Count depends not only on staple length but also on fineness & processing machinery. Length is measured by hand stapling or Fibro graph for 2.5% Span Length 2.5%SL (Spun Length) means at least 2.5% of total fibres have length exceeding this value. 50% SL means at least 50% of total fibres have length exceeding this value.

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Length Uniformity
Length Uniformity is calculated by 50SL x 100 / 2.5 SL. Significance of UR (Uniformity Radio) is given below:

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UR% Classification : 50-55 Very Good : 45-50 Good : 40-45 Satisfactory : 35-40 Poor Below : 30 Unusable M= 50% SL UHM SL - Average value of length of Longest of 50% of Fibers UI Uniformity Index UI M/UHM

Interpretation of Uniformity Index- Now Uniformity is measured by HVI
Below 77 77-99 80-82 83-85 Above 85

Very low Low Average High Very High

Below 0.99 0.99-1.10 1.11-1.26 Above 1.26

Short Medium Long Extra Long

Fibre Strength
Fibre Strength, next important quality is tested using Pressley instrument & value is given in ‘000 lbs/inch2 (1000 psi). For better accuracy, Stelometer is used & results are given in gm/tex. Lately, strength is measured in HVI & result is given in terms of gm/tex.

Interpretation of Strength value is given below: Classification
Weak Medium Average Strong Very Strong

Below 23 24-25 26-28 29-30 Above 31

Strength is essential for stronger yarns and higher processing speeds.

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Fibre Fineness & maturity are tested in a conjunction using Micronaire Instrument. Finer Fibers give stronger yarns but amenable for more neppiness of Yarn due to lower maturity.

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Micronaire values vary from 2.6 to 7.5 in various varieties.

Fineness & Maturity
Micronaire value is referred to evaluate fibre fineness & its suitability for spinning particular yarn count. As it is a combined result of fibre fineness & maturity, it cannot be interpreted, property for ascertaining its spinning value which is taken in conjunction with standard value of Calibrated Cotton value. Table below explain that micronaire value goes up along with maturity but declines with fibre thickness. An Egyptian cotton variety-3 sample of High, Low & Medium maturity were taken & tested which are given below: Maturity High Medium Low Micronaire 4.3 4.0 3.9 Perimeter 52.9 54.4 54.7 Maturity 85.1 80.1 79.3 Maturity Ratio 1.02 0.96 0.95

Here, Micronaire Value of 4.3 is higher than 3.9 of lower maturity. Greek Cotton was tested & results are as below:
High Medium Low 3.8 3.5 3.2 57.0 54.9 55.2 75.1 70.7 65.8 0.88 0.84 0.80

Micronaire Value of 3.8 is higher than 3.2 of low maturity cotton. US Cotton was tested & results are as below:
High Medium Low 4.1 3.4 2.7 64.4 62.1 59.8 75.9 68.0 56.1 0.87 0.80 0.67

Hence, it is essential to know what Micronaire value is good for each variety of Cotton.
Maturity Ratio 1.00 and above 0.95 - 1.0 0.85 - 0.95 0.80 - 0.85 Less than 0.80 Classification Very Mature Above Average Mature Below Average immature

Cotton Grade
Cotton grade is determined by evaluating colour, leaf & ginning process. Higher grade ensures better yarn appearance & reduced process waste. Colour is determined by using Nickerson-Hunter Calorimeter that gives values Rd (Light or Dark) & +b(Yellowness).

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White Colour- American Upland Cottons are classified According to Grades as Given Below
S.No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Grade Good Middling Strict Middling Middling Strict Low Middling Low Middling Strict Good Ordinary Good Ordinary Below Grade Symbol GM SM M SLM LM SGO GO Code 11 21 31 41 51 61 71

Similar grading is done for Light Spotted, Spotted, Tinged and Yellow Stained Cottons. PIMA cottons are graded I to 9

Yarn Testing
Yarn occupies mid-position in manufacture of fabric from raw material. So, yarn test resuls are essential, both for estimating raw material quality & for controlling fabric produced. Important characteristics of yarn being tested are:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Yarn Twist Linear Density Yarn Strength Yarn Elongation Yarn Evenness Yarn Hairiness etc.

In order that results obtained are reproducible & give reliable information about material, sampling must be true & representative of bulk lot. Sampling procedure is designed to take account of & to minimise known sources of variability such as variation between spindles, variation along bobbin length, etc. Sampling procedure & number of tests carried out are given under each characteristic:

Suitable Conditions for Yarn Testing
Some textile fibres are highly hygroscopic & their properties change notably as a function of moisture content which is particularly critical in case of yarn tenacity, elongation, yarn evenness, imperfections, count etc. So, conditioning & testing is carried out under constant standard atmospheric conditions. Standard atmosphere for textile testing involves a temperature of 20+-2ºC, & 65+-2% RH%. In tropical regions, maintaining a temperature of 27+-2ºC, 65+-2%RH is legitimate. Prior to testing, samples must be conditioned under constant standard atmospheric to attain moisture equilibrium & that requires at least 24 hours.

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"Twist is defined as spiral disposition of components of yarn, which is usually expressed as number of turns/unit length of yarn, e.g turns/inch, turns/meter, etc. Twist is essential to keep component fibres together in a yarn. Strength, dyeing, finishing properties, feel of finished product etc. are all dependent on twist in yarn. With increase in twist, yarn strength increases first, reaches a maximum & then decreases. Depending on end use, 2 or more single yarns are twisted together to form "plied yarns" or “folded yarns" & a number of plied yarns twisted together to form "cabled yarn". Among plied yarns, the most commonly used are doubled yarns, where in 2 single yarns of identical twist are twisted together in a direction opposite to that of single yarn. Thus for cabled & plied yarn, twist direction & number of turns/unit length of resultant yarn as well as of each component have to be determined for a detailed analysis. Twist direction is expressed as "S" Twist or "Z" Twist depending on direction of rotation of twisting element. Twist take up is defined as, "The decrease in yarn length on twisting, expressed as a percentage of yarn length before twisting:

Linear Density or Yarn Count
The fineness of yarn is usually expressed in terms of its linear density or count. There are a number of systems & units for expressing yarn fineness. But they are classified as follows:

a) Direct System:
1. English count(Ne) : No of 840 yards yarn weighing in 1 lbs 2. Metric count(Nm) : No of 1 km yarn weighing in 1 km 3. French count(Nf) : No of 1 km yarn weighing in 0.5 km

b) Indirect System:
1. Tex 2. Denier : Weight in gm of 1000m yarn
: Weight in gm of 9000m yarn

Determination of Yarn Count
For determination of count of yarn, it is necessary to determine weight of a known length of yarn. For taking out known lengths of yarns, a wrap-reel is used. The length of yarn reeled off depends on count system used. Another factor which determines length of yarn taken for testing is type of balance used. Some balances like quadrant balance, Beesley's balance is specially designed to indicate yarn count directly from tests on specified short lengths of yarn & is very useful for determining yarn counts removed from fabrics where minimum balance accuracy required is 0.001mg. One of the most important requirements for a spinner is to maintain average count & count variation within control. Count variation is usually used to express variation in weight of a lea & this is expressed as C.V. % which is affected by number of samples & length being considered for count checking. While assessing count variation, it is very important to test adequate number of leas. After reeling appropriate length, yarn is conditioned in standard atmosphere for testing before its weight is determined. Minimum number of sample required per count is 20 & per machine are 2.

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Yarn Strength & Elongation:
Breaking strength, elongation, elastic modulus, resistance abrasion etc are some important factors which represent performance of yarn during actual use or further processing. Strength testing is broadly classified into 2 methods:

1. Single end strength testing 2. Skein strength or lea strength

Tensile Strength of Single Yarn
During routine testing, both breaking load & extension of yarn at break are usually recorded for assessing yarn quality. Most of instruments record load-elongation diagram also. Various parameters such as initial elastic modulus, yield point, tenacity or elongation at any stress or strain, breaking load, breaking extension etc is obtained from load-extension diagram. 2 types of strengths are determined for a yarn:

1. Tensile strength -load is applied gradually 2. Ballistic strength - applying load under rapid impact conditions
Tensile strength tests are the most common tests & these are carried out using either a single strand or a skein containing a definite number of strands as test specimen. An important factor which affects test results is length of specimen actually used for carrying out test. Strength of a test specimen is limited by that of weakest link in it. If test specimen is longer; it is likely to contain more weak spots, than a shorter specimen. Hence test results are different for different test lengths due to weak spots. Yarn moisture content also influences test results. Cotton yarn when fully wet, show higher strength than when dry, while opposite is case with viscose rayon yarns. Hence, to eliminate effect of variation due to moisture content of yarn, all yarn strength tests are carried out after conditioning in a standard atmospheric condition is maintained. The rate of loading as determined by "time-to-break", which is time interval between commencement of application of load & yarn rupture, is an important factor, which determines strength value recorded by using an instrument. Same specimen shows a lower strength when time-to-break is high or higher when time-to-break is low. Instruments used for determining tensile strength are classified into 3 groups, based on working principle:

1. CRT - Constant rate of traverse 2. CRE - Constant rate of extension 3. CRL - Constant rate of loading
In instruments of CRE type, application of load is made in such a way that elongation rate of specimen is kept constant. These types instruments load application is made in such a way that rate of loading are constant throughout test duration. These types of instruments are usually preferred for accurate scientific work. In CRE & CRL types of instruments, it is easy to adjust "time-to-break" while this adjustment is not easy in CRT types of instruments. Uster Tensorapid applies CRE principle of tensile testing. Constant Rate of Extension describes simple fact that moving clamp is displaced at a constant velocity. As a result, specimen between stationery & moving clamp is extended by a constant distance/unit time & force required to do so is measured. Apart from single values, this instrument also calculates mean value coefficient of variation & 95% confidence range of maximum force, tenacity, elongation & work done. Total coefficient of variation describes overall variability of a

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tested lot, i.e within-sample variation plus between-sample variation. If 20 individual single-end tensile tests are performed on each of 10 packages in a sample lot, total coefficient of variation is calculated from pooled data of total number of tests that were carried out. In tensorapid, breaking tenacity is calculated from peak force which occurs anywhere between beginning of test & final rupture of specimen. Peak force or maximum force is not identical with force measured at very moment of rupture. Breaking elongation is calculated from clamp displacement at point of peak force. Elongation at peak force is no identical with elongation at very moment of rupture (elongation at rupture). Work to break is defined as area below stress/strain curve drawn to point of peak force & corresponding elongation at peak force. Work at point of peak force is not identical with work at very moment of rupture. To compare tensorapid test results with other results:

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A measurement must be performed according CRE principle Testing speed must be exactly 5m/min Gauge length or length of specimen should be 500mm Pre-tension should be 0.5cn/tex

2 fundamental criteria affect compatibility between different measurements of yarn tensile properties. 1. Testing conditions, i.e testing principle (CRE, CRL), testing speed, gauge length, & pre-tensioning. 2. The 2nd criteria, which also affects magnitude of differences, relates to specific stress/strain characteristic of yarn itself, which is determined by fibrous materials, blend ratio, & yarn construction.

Skein Strength or Lea Strength:
Skein breaking strength was the most widely used measure of yarn quality in cotton textile industry. Yarn quality measurement by this method has certain drawbacks. Firstly, in most of subsequent processing, such as winding, warping or weaving, yarn is used as single strand & not in form of a skein except occasionally when sizing, bleaching, mercerising or dyeing treatments are carried out on hanks. Secondly, in method used for testing skein strength, rupture of a single strand at a weak place affects result for whole skein. Further, this method of test does not give an indication of extensibility & elastic properties of a yarn, characters which play & important role during weaving operations. However, since a large size sample is used in a skein test as against that in a single strand test, sampling error is less. The skein used for strength test can be used for determination of linear density of yarn as well. In addition to factors influencing yarn strength, size of skein (lea) affects to a large extent strength recorded. Usual practice is to use a lea (120yds) of yarn prepared by winding 80 turns on a wrap-reel having a perimeter of 54”, so that during a test, there are 160 strands of 27" length. There are different systems in use. But actual breaking strength recorded on machine depending on type of skein used as both number of strands & test length may differ. The most commonly used instruments for this test is CRT type, where bottom hook moves at 12”/min. After finding out skein strength, broken skeins are also weighed to determine linear density. The most common skein used is lea & results of lea strength tests are expressed as C.S.P., which is product of linear density (count) of yarn in English system (Ne) & lea breaking strength expressed in lbs. In view of fact that C.S.P. is much less dependent on yarn count than on strength, especially when count differences are small, C.S.P. is the most widely used measure of yarn quality.

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