12. March 2015 / Equal Standards of Quality Determination Essential

There have been considerable advances in productivity in the processing of cotton. On the one hand, this is due to effective research and development work in textile machinery, while on the other hand, comprehensive expert knowledge in the field of fibre quality and the properties and process capability of cotton has also played a part. Karsten Froese, Director and responsible for Cotton Quality and ICA Bremen at the Bremen Cotton Exchange and Axel Drieling, Head of Testing Methods and Senior Manager for Cotton at the Fibre Institute Bremen underline the importance of cotton quality testing and the push for the worldwide standardisation of methods.

Cotton Report: What are the most important quality characteristics that affect the processing of cotton into yarn and fabric?

Axel Drieling: Crucial in the processing of cotton are the fineness of the fibres, the maturity of the cotton, the staple length, the proportion of similar fibres, their strength and elasticity, the cleanliness of the fibre material and the degree of contamination with seed and capsule shells.

CR: What has the most damaging effect on manufacturing processes?

Karsten Fröse: Spinning processes are susceptible to particular contaminations of cotton. Unwanted contamination is caused for example by seed, bark or wood residue, dirt and sand, stickiness of such fibres caused by honeydew from insects, foreign materials such as metal and fabric scraps, packaging materials or other foreign fibre material.

CR: Which processes determine the quality of cotton?

Axel Drieling: It is clearly dependent on the conditions of cultivation, the fertility of the soil and the weather conditions. Moreover, it is also dependent on harvesting methods, the nature of the ginning process, the intensity of the pre-processing and the production of the bales, their storage, packaging and shipping.

CR: Where is the quality determined?

Karsten Fröse: If the quality of a cotton range decreases, this may lead to price reductions at the expense of cotton farmers, processors and cotton traders. That is why quality determination directly in the cotton producing country is of the utmost importance. …

Read more in our Cotton Report No. 10


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