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Cotton Fibre Maturity

Fibre Maturity
Maturity is a dimensional characteristic of
natural cellulose fibres especially cotton
It indicates how well-developed the fibres are at
harvest
It is associated with the development of
cellulose in the secondary wall
It is extremely important in terms of downstream processing and yarn/fabric quality
Maturity and fineness are interrelated, although
not in a simple way

Maturity (of Cotton Fibres)


The fibres collapse when they dry out on harvesting to give a

kidney-bean shape

On the plant

Dry

Cross-sectional area changes, but perimeter


remains approximately constant

Maturity (of Cotton Fibres)


Technological importance

Maturity largely determines whether a batch


of cotton can be spun into a good yarn - or
indeed into any yarn
Some maturity Variations

Mature/Over-mature

Immature

Dead
Cause neps clumps of
4
matted fibres

Maturity (Degree of thickening ())

Cellulose

Lumen

Ao

A
Idealised cross-section of a cotton fibre
A = area occupied by cellulose

Degree of thickening ()

The distribution of fibre wall thickness


in cotton.
8

Value of Lumen
width/wall
thickness

Class

Between 0 and 1

Mature

Between 1 and 2

Half mature

Above 2

Immature

Average Degree of
cell wall
thickening

Class

0.79

Normal

0.41

Thin walled

0.23

Dead

Percentage of
mature fibres
Percentage of mature fibres (PM) = (m
t) 100
where
m = total number of mature fibres, and
t = total number of observations

Maturity
Coefficient

Maturity Coefficient shall be


calculated by the following formula:
CM = (m+ 0.6 h + 0.4 i)/100

where
m = percentage of mature fibres,
h = percentage of half mature fibres, and
i = percentage of immature fibres.

Maturity Ratio
M = 0.7 + (N-D)/200

Gives M ~ 1 for a high-grade Egyptian cotton

M can be greater than 1


M less than ~ 0.8 is not good
M less than 0.7 is very rare

Relation between Maturity Ratio and


Degree of Cell Wall Thickening
= 0.577 M
M - maturity ratio
degree of cell wall thickening

Methods to determine
Maturity
Direct measurement methods
Fiber cross-section image analysis
Causticare - Caustic soda Swelling method
Indirect measurement methods
AFIS - optical sensor
Cottonscope polarized light microscopy and
image analysis
Differential dyeing method
HVI also provides Maturity value
Unavailability of a rapid and precise measurement
of fiber maturity

Caustic soda swelling test


18 % solution of sodium hydroxide
Magnification of 400x

Cottonscope
Cotton fibers assume different colors
according to their wall thickness
when they are examined through a
microscope fitted with a crossed
polarizer
Fibers that have very thin walls
appear violet or indigo, immature
fibers appear blue, and mature
fibers appear yellow

Differential Dyeing Method


Bath containing Red and Green Dyes
Mature Fibres Red
Immature Green

3 gram sample taken in a piece of gauze


Bath 180g water
1 grain of diphenyl fast red supra
2 grain of Chlorantine fast green
Dye for 15 min
Add 1.8 grain of NaCl, Again add after 15min,
Wash twice in cold, then hot and cold

Problems due to immature


fibres
immature fibers break easily during
processing to generate short fibers and
neps (entanglement of fibers).
This results in yarn defects and decreased
productivity.
Immature fibers also create non-uniform
dyeing of fabrics
Immature fibers result in low dye uptake,
increased fabric defects and waste.