Using the Physics of Acoustics to Reduce Weight in Cars

As automotive manufacturers continue to push for improved fuel consumption and lower carbon emissions, they are squeezing every single gram of weight out of every single part that goes into a car.  Meanwhile, however, the pressure to save money and create a smoother, quieter driver experience is also increasing. Greensboro, North Carolina headquartered Precision Fabrics Group, has commercialized a unique nonwoven fabric called Nexus AFR which helps solve the car makers need to improve acoustics and reduce weight without breaking the bank. Physics of acoustics The Precision Fabrics solution is based on the ‘physics of acoustics’ and the science focuses on two dominant properties in part design – thickness and resistance to airflow.  Because sound moves through air in waves of minute pressure variations, the solution has to work for long wavelengths (low frequency) and for short wavelengths (high frequency). The frequency of sound, the wavelength of sound, and the speed of sound are related The thickness of the existing insulation layer is important and determines what low frequency wavelengths can be absorbed.  The new Nexus AFR nonwoven material replaces the traditional black scrim on the surface and controls the mid and high frequency wavelength by managing the sound pressure level variations and ‘trapping’ the energy in the insulation layer of the part.  This makes the composite more efficient than just the Homogeneous insulation material by itself.

Advantages over traditional homogeneous insulation

According to Precision Fabrics’ Richard Bliton, this two material approach has many advantages over the traditional homogeneous insulation, one material approach. “Traditional black scrim – the commodity black scrim used in the auto industry is a descendent of the fabric interlining and lining materials.  The typical nonwoven manufacturing technology is a chembond or thermalbond technology,” explains Bliton. Low cost fibres are carded and oriented primarily in the machine direction and a chemical spray or waterfall coats the web and it is compressed and dried.  The web then has a hot melt adhesive powder sprinkled on the face which is to be reactivated during on processing.  Properties such as FR or repellency can be added to the waterfall treatment. “The strength of this type of web is low compared to other nonwoven structures, but the prime advantage is that it is low cost.   Most of the purchasing specifications for this type of material only specify- fabric basis weight, colour, width, and amount of adhesive.  Acoustic characteristics such as Rayls are not controlled, tested or reported,” Bliton continues. An example, Bliton says, is an automotive hood liner.  A traditional design would have a 30 gsm black nonwoven scrim on the back (B) side, 1600gsm resonated fibreglass about 10mm thick as the insulation layer and a 50 gsm black scrim on the front (A) side. A recently launched next generation hood liner with Nexus AFR was made up of 30 gsm B side, 600 gsm Fiberglass insulation 10mm thick and 100 gsm Nexus AFR on the face.  The weight reduction is 950  grams/m² which is more than 2 lbs/m². In this particular case, the acoustics stayed the same and there was cost reductions generated in the raw material line, and additional improvements in manufacturing related to shorter cycle times required to mould a 600 gsm fibre glass part as compared to a 1600 gsm part. Alpha Cabin Random Incidence Sound Absorption

Automotive industry quick to adopt solution

According to Precision Fabrics Group, the automotive industry is moving quickly to implement this new approach. Parts using the AFR nonwoven are commercial in 10 platforms within 5 OEMs and one major OEM has adopted the low density fibreglass with AFR facing design approach as a worldwide corporate best practice. The focus on reducing weight and cost is one of the drivers for the adoption of the new material, but in some cases a vehicle may have a sound problem that has to be solved.  In these cases, the company says, a properly selected AFR facing can significantly improve that acoustic absorption of the part. The physics based solution offers the acoustic engineer some flexibility to tailor the part to focus the acoustic absorption on mid to high frequency ranges. “Some of the commercial parts on the road are last minute ‘fixes’ to acoustic problems found during pre-launch road tests.   The switch to an AFR facing is an easy change for a part manufacturer and an OEM to make,” Rich Bliton adds. The new fabric meets or exceeds all of the fabric specifications that are in place, the modified part can be made on the same tooling and the improved part will have the same fit as before. “The design approach to build a part with low density material for thickness and an acoustically tuned fabric facing for impedance as opposed to the traditional parts where performance was defined by the weight/thickness of the insulation is a new paradigm.  The science can be applied all types of insulation materials. Each situation will have to be tuned and validated, but early feedback is generating 30-40% weight reductions without loss of acoustic absorption performance,” Bliton concludes.

About Precision Fabrics Group

Precision Fabrics manufactures, markets and sells value-added products and services to selected, highly specified markets. The company’s high-performance products play a key role in several diverse markets, which demand engineered, finished fabrics, the common thread amongst which is  the technical nature of their requirements. Precision Fabrics was the first ISO-qualified textile supplier in the USA. – and ISO continues to provide the discipline and framework for effective and efficient product development, customer service, and manufacturing. Precision Fabrics has been ISO-registered to 9001 since 1993 and upgraded to 9001-2008 in October 2009. Precision Fabrics was created in 1988 via a leveraged buyout from Burlington Industries and continues as a privately-held company today. The company has evolved from a traditional textile company into an engineered materials business, focused on highly technical, high-quality woven and nonwoven fabrics. Today, Precision Fabrics employs approximately 600 people and operates plants in North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee. Corporate headquarters are located in Greensboro, North Carolina and sales offices are maintained in Greensboro and in Bamberg, Germany. Precision’s Vinton, VA, Plant specializes in weaving some of the most technically challenging continuous-filament fabrics in the world. The Greensboro and Madison facilities are world-class in the range of nonwoven products that they produce.   Ref:



Olefin fibers, also called polyolefin fibers, are defined as manufactured fibers in which the fiber-forming substance is a synthetic  polymer of at least 85 wt% ethylene, propylene, or other olefin units (1). Several olefin polymers are capable of forming fibers, but only polypropylene [9003-07-0] (PP) and, to a much lesser extent, polyethylene [9002-88-4] (PE) are of practical importance. Olefin polymers are hydrophobic and resistant to most solvents. These properties impart resistance to staining but cause the polymers to be essentially undyeable in an unmodified form.

The first commercial application of olefin fibers was for automobile seat covers in the late 1940s. These fibers, made from low density polyethylene (LDPE) by melt extrusion, were not very successful. They lacked dimensional stability, abrasion resistance, resilience, and light stability. The success of olefin fibers began when high density polyethylene (HDPE) was introduced in the late 1950s. Yarns made from this highly crystalline, linear polyethylene have higher tenacity than yarns made from the less crystalline. Markets were developed for HDPE fiber in marine rope where water resistance and buoyancy are important. However, the fibers also possess a low melting point, lack resilience, and have poor light stability. These traits caused the polyethylene fibers to have limited applications.

Isotactic polypropylene, based on the stereospecific polymerization catalysts discovered by Ziegler and Natta,was introduced commercially in the United States in 1957. Commercial polypropylene fibers followed in 1961. The first market of significance, contract carpet, was based on a three-ply, crimper-textured yarn. It competed favorably against wool and rayon–wool blends because of its lighter  weight, longer wear, and lower cost. In the mid-1960s, the discovery of improved light stabilizers led to the development of outdoor carpeting based on polypropylene.

In 1967, woven carpet backing based on a film warp and fine-filament fill was produced. In the early 1970s, a bulked-continuous-filament (BCF) yarn was introduced for woven, texturized upholstery. In the mid-1970s, further improvement in light stabilization of polypropylene led to a staple product for automotive interiors and nonwoven velours for floor and wall carpet tiles. In the early 1980s, polypropylene was introduced as a fine-filament staple for thermal bonded nonwovens.

The growth of polyolefin fibers continues. Advances in olefin polymerization provide a wide range of polymer properties to the fiber producer. Inroads into new markets are being made through improvements in stabilization, and new and improved methods of extrusion and production, including multicomponent extrusion and spunbonded and meltblown nonwovens.

To download full article please click following link.

Olefin Fibers


It is important to understand carpet construction in order to apply the variables that affect performance of a specific installation. Tufted carpet consists of the following components: the face yarn, which can be cut pile, loop pile, or a combination of cut and loop pile; primary backing fabric; a bonding compound, usually SB latex, but may be polyurethane, PVC, or fabric; and (often) a secondary backing fabric.

The development of the broadloom tufting machine and the introduction of synthetic carpet yarns in the early 1950s transformed the American carpet industry from low-volume production of woven luxury products to mass production of high quality and comfortable, yet popularly priced, goods. The explosive growth of carpet sales in the United States in the ensuing years paralleled the continual development of tufting technology, the proliferation of high-speed tufting machines, and the development of synthetic carpet fibers and alternative backing systems. As a result, today’s carpet is both better and less expensive.

Figures 1.1 and 1.2 illustrate how these elements are combined to form carpet.


The primary carpet fabric construction methods include tufting, weaving, knitting, needle punching, and bonding.


Over 90% of carpet produced is tufted, the most prevalent carpet construction method. Tufting machines are similar to giant sewing machines, using hundreds of threaded needles in a row across the width of the machine. Today’s machines are increasingly complex and sophisticated, providing a wide variety of styles and constructions.

The creel, located in front of the tufter, may be racks of many yarn cones or multiple large spools, referred to as beams, and containing many individual strands of yarn. From the creel, the yarns are passed
overhead through guide tubes to puller rolls. The speed of the puller rolls controls the amount of yarn supplied to the tufter and, along with other factors, determines the carpet’s pile height.

The eyed needles, which number up to 2,000 for very fine gauge machines, insert the yarn into a primary backing fabric supplied from a roll of  material located in front of the machine. Spiked rolls on the front and back of the tufting machines feed the backing through the machine.

Below the needle plate are loopers, devices shaped like inverted hockey sticks, timed with the needles to catch the yarn and hold it to form loops. If a cut pile is called for, a looper and knife combination is used to cut the loops. For cut-loop combinations, a special looper and conventional cutting knife are used.


Tufting has reached a high degree of specialization, utilizing a variety of patterning devices, many of which are computer-controlled. Stepping, or zigzag moving, needle bars, and individually controlled needles greatly expand patterning possibilities. Such patterned carpet is frequently referred to as a graphics pattern. Other advanced tufting techniques are loop over loop and loop over cut (LOC) machines

After completion of tufting, the unbacked tufted carpet is dyed (if precolored yarns were not used) then followed by a finishing step to add an adhesive compound backing and, usually, a secondary backing material.

Tufted carpet styles range from loop, cut pile, and combinations of both in solids, tweeds, stripes, and patterns from the most simple to the exotic and complex. The designer has an endless variety of carpet choices due to advances in tufting–technology, coloration options, and finishing techniques.


While there are several methods of weaving and several types of looms, there are basic similarities to all. In general, woven carpet is formed by the interweaving of warp and weft yarns. The warp yarns are wound from parallel or heavy beams that unwind slowly as weaving progresses. Two main types of warp yarns form the carpet back: chain and stuffer. Chain yarns provide structure and stability while stuffer warp yarns increase bulk and stiffness of the fabric. The face yarns of woven carpet are also pre-dyed warp yarns that are normally fed into the loom from a yarn creel.


The warp yarns run through a heddle, a series of vertical wires, each having an eye in the center through which the yarn is threaded. The heddle controls the action of the warp yarns. The wires are  mounted on two frames that rise alternately to form a space or shed.

The face of the carpet is formed with warp yarns moving into the loom from yarn creels. These pile yarns are looped over wires that lie at right angles to the warp yarns that are then bound with a yarn known as the weft, which is shot through the shed with a shuttle or other means. When a cut pile carpet is desired, wires with a knife blade at one end are used.


A carpet knitting machine, known as a double needle bar knitter, has a row arrangement of hundreds of latch needles that move in an up-and-down motion in conjunction with yarn guide bars. Yarn guide tubes are attached to a guide bar that passes the yarns between and about the needles, thus laying down the pile face yarns and weft backing yarns. Separate sets of guide bars control each of the yarns–knitting, backing and face yarns. Additional bars may be used for color and design variety.

Knitted carpet is used mainly for commercial loop construction and is sometimes referred to as woven interlock. It often is used in school applications.


In the needle punching process, several webs of staple fibers are superimposed to create a thick, loose batting. The batting is then tacked, or lightly needled, to reduce its thickness before it is fed into the  machine. As the batting is fed into the machine, it passes between two plates. The stationary lower plate contains many holes, while the upper plate, or headboard, contains several rows of barbed needles. The batting passes between the plates and the headboard moves up and down, passing the barbed needles through the fibers. As the needles pass through the fibers, they carry fiber ends from the top of the batting to the bottom, and when they are withdrawn, vice versa. The needles are passed repeatedly through the batting as it moves through the machine to form the carpet.

Needlepunch carpet is used mainly for outdoor applications and may include uses like entrance mats, marine uses, wall coverings and automotive applications. Surface patterning creates a large number of design possibilities.


Fusion bonded carpet is produced by implanting the pile yarn directly into a liquid polymer, usually PVC, which fastens it directly to the backing. This results in very little buried yarn compared to other processes. The yarns can be closely packed, producing very high densities suitable for high-use areas. This process is used most frequently to produce carpet to be cut into carpet tiles or modules. Fusion bonded carpet may be loop construction, but most often is a cut pile product, made by a two-back process, slicing apart two simultaneously made carpets that are mirror images.

The Care Of Textiles

( Originally Published Early 1900’s )

Importance of proper care.-Not a small share of the dissatisfaction that arises among consumers of textiles regarding specific fabrics is due to lack of proper care of the cloth. Each textile has its own constitution and therefore needs its special attention. Linen must be treated differently from cotton, and both in turn must receive a care quite different from that needed by wool. Silk calls for still different care. A textile fabric cannot be expected to give its fullest service unless cared for according to its specific qualities.


Certain general observations concerning the care of textiles are applicable to all alike; these we shall first note. Such little attentions as keeping garments and fabrics free from dust by frequent brushings are matters of everyday knowledge by all, but are by no means always observed. Nor is the danger from dust clearly understood. If dust were simply dead, inert matter as it seems to the eye, there would be little danger of loss from letting garments and cloths go undusted for some time. But dust, unfortunately, usually contains great numbers of little germs, living organisms, that fly about with currents of air, seeking food and resting places. It so happens that the textile fibers are excellent foods for some of these germs. Leaving the dust on a garment may mean leaving some of these hungry and industrious little germs which attach themselves upon a fabric and multiply at a very rapid rate, soon covering entire spots if not whole garments. When this has occurred, no amount of brushing can dislodge them all. They eat their way into the very heart of the fiber, leaving it weakened, discolored, and dust stained.

Protection from mildew.-One of the commonest forms of cloth destruction is that called mildew. Mildew is caused by the penetration of large numbers of microscopic plants into the cloth fiber. When the work of these tiny forms of life has gone far enough, the color of the fabric changes and in time the cloth actually falls to pieces; nothing remains but the mildew plants themselves and their waste matter. Knowing these facts concerning the dangers of dust, we can see the value of the injunction to brush clothing after every using and to store it or hang it away only after it is perfectly dry. Moisture helps these little organisms materially.

Unused garments should be hung away carefully so that wrinkles may not form. Sleeves of valuable garments should be pressed out flat or filled with tissue paper. All spots should be removed as soon as possible for fresh spots or stains are always more easily eradicated than old ones. Light injures some colors, especially on fabrics that were never intended for daytime use. Such fabrics should be kept in dark, cool closets, or should be so wrapped as to keep out sharp light.

Storing textiles.-Storing goods is a science in itself. Providing the right temperature and the right amount of moisture, regulating the light-such things are matters which need to be carefully studied by anyone who has anything to do with textiles. Cloths and garments to be stored should, as a rule, be wrapped in blue, brown, or other dark-colored paper, first, for the sake of protection from light which penetrates lighter papers more easily, and, second, because light papers-whites and yellowstend to spot light-colored fabrics with yellow, as the bleaching process used in whitening paper is cheap and somewhat imperfect.

Goods to be packed should be perfectly dry, clean., brushed, and in order, that is, properly folded. All steel pins should be carefully removed or rust spots will form. Cloth should be rolled into bolts, ribbons into rolls, embroidery and laces should be wound on cards. This is, to be sure, the way in which these goods come to the retail store; but the point needs to be emphasized that in this same fashion these goods should be kept, even at home, and in small quantities. Consumers should carefully heed this caution.

Protection from insects.-All textiles are subject to attacks by insect or other living organisms, commonly called pests, the particular variety depending upon the given textile. As we have already seen, mildew attacks cotton and linen. Mildew is similar in nature to molds, several of which attack not only vegetable fibers but also wool and silk. Housewives of the past kept insects out of their linen chests by using aromatic oils or essences, such as cloves, tobacco leaves, camphor, cedar sprigs, wintergreen, and so on. This practice had some value but these aromatic substances simply acted as deterrents. They by no means prevented all depredations. There is only one certain preventive and that is to keep the textile goods where insects cannot get at them. Above all, textile goods should be frequently looked over, aired, and dusted, so as to prevent anything that does attack them from getting a very long start.

Prevention of destruction of textiles by moths.-Recently the Bureau of Entomology of the United States Department of Agriculture concluded some practical investigations on the best methods of preventing the destruction of textile goods by moths and published a circular on the subject entitled, “The True Clothes Moths.” The following description and recommendations as to remedies are taken therefrom:

“The destructive work of the larvae of the small moths commonly known as clothes moths, and also as carpet moths, fur moths, etc., in woolen fabrics, fur and similar material during the warm months of summer in the North, and in the South at any season, is an altogether too common experience. The preference they so often show for woolen or fur garments gives these insects a much more general interest than is perhaps true of any other household pest.

“The little yellowish or buff-colored moths sometimes seen flitting about rooms, attracted to lamps at night, or dislodged from infested garments or portieres, are themselves harmless enough, and in fact their mouth-parts are rudimentary, and no food whatever is taken in the winged state. The destruction occasioned by these pests is, therefore, limited entirely to the feeding or larval stage. The killing of the moths by the aggrieved housekeeper, while usually based on the wrong inference that they are actually engaged in eating her woolens, is nevertheless a most valuable proceeding, because it checks in so much the multiplication of the species which is the sole duty of the adult insect.

“The clothes moths all belong to the group of minute Lepidoptera known as Tineina, the old Latin name for cloth worms of all sorts, and are characterized by very narrow wings fringed with long hairs. The common species of clothes moths have been associated with man from the earliest times and are thoroughly cosmopolitan. They are all probably of Old World origin, none of them being indigenous to the United States. That they were well known to the ancients is shown by job’s reference to a “garment that is moth eaten,” and Pliny has given such an accurate description of one of them as to lead to the easy identification of the species. That they were early introduced into the United States is shown by Pehr Kalm, a Swedish scientist, who took a keen interest in house pests. He reported these tineids to be abundant in 1748 in Philadelphia, then a straggling village, and says that clothes, worsted gloves, and other woolen stuffs hung up all summer were often eaten through and through by the worms, and furs were so ruined that the hair would come off in handfuls.

“What first led to the association of these and other household pests with man is an interesting problem. In the case of the clothes moths, the larvae of all of which can, in case of necessity, still subsist on almost any dry animal matter, their early association with man was probably in the role of scavengers, and in prehistoric times they probably fed on waste animal material about human habitations and on fur garments. The fondness they exhibit nowadays for tailor-made suits and other expensive products of the loom is simply an illustration of their ability to keep pace with man in his development in the matter of clothing from the skin garments of savagery to the artistic products of the modern tailor and dressmaker.

“Three common destructive species of clothes moths occur in this country. Much confusion, however, exists in all the early writings on these insects, all three species being inextricably mixed in the description and accounts of habits.

“The common injurious clothes moths are the case-making species (Tinea pellionella L.), the webbing species or Southern clothes moth (Tineola biselliella Hummel), and the gallery species or tapestry moth (Trichophaga tapetzella L. ) . “A few other species, which normally infest animal products, may occasionally also injure woolens, but are not of sufficient importance to be here noted.

“The case-making clothes moth.-The case-making clothes moth (Tinea pellionella L.) is the only species which constructs for its protection a true transportable case. It was characterized by Linnaeus, and carefully studied by Reaumur, early in the last century. Its more interesting habits have caused it to be often a subject of investigation, and its life history will serve to illustrate the habits of all the clothes moths.

“The moth expands about half an inch. Its head and forewings are grayish yellow, with indistinct fuscous spots on the middle of the wings. The hind wings are white or grayish and silky. It is the common species in the North, being widely distributed and very destructive. Its larvoe feed on woolens, carpets, etc., and are especially destructive to furs and feathers. In the North it has but one annual generation, the moths appearing from June to August, and, on the authority of Professor Fernald, even in rooms kept uniformly heated night and day, it never occurs in the larval state in winter. In the South, however, it appears from January to October, and has two or even more broods annually.

“The larva is a dull white caterpillar, with the head and the upper part of the next segment light brown, and is never seen free from its movable case or jacket, the construction of which is its first task. If it be necessary for it to change its position, the head and first segment are thrust out of the case, leaving the thoracic legs free, with which it crawls, dragging its case after it, to any suitable situation. With the growth of the larva it becomes necessary from time to time to enlarge the case both in length and circumference, and this is accomplished in a very interesting way. Without leaving its case the larva makes a slit halfway down one side and inserts a triangular gore of new material. A similar insertion is made on the opposite side, and the larva reverses itself without leaving the case and makes corresponding slits and additions in the other half. The case is lengthened by successive additions to either end. Exteriorly the case appears to be a matted mass of small particles of wool; interiorly it is lined with soft, whitish silk. By transferring the larva from time to time to fabrics of different colors the case may be made to assume as varied a pattern as the experimenter desires, and will illustrate, in its coloring, the peculiar method of making the enlargements and additions described.

“On reaching full growth the larva attaches its case by silken threads to the garment or other material upon which it has been feeding, or sometimes carries it long distances. In one instance numbers of them were noticed to have scaled a fifteen-foot wall to attach their cases in an angle of the cornice of the ceiling. It undergoes its tranformations to the chrysalis within the larval case, and under normal conditions the moth emerges three weeks later, the chrysalis having previously worked partly out of the larval case to facilitate the escape of the moth. The latter has an irregu lar flight and can also run rapidly. It has a distinct aversion to light, and usually conceals itself promptly in garments or crevices whenever it is frightened from its resting place. The moths are comparatively short-lived, not long surviving the deposition of their eggs for a new generation of destructive larvae. The eggs are minute, not easily visible to the naked eye, and are commonly placed directly on the material which is to furnish the larva: with food. In some cases they may be deposited in the crevices of trunks or boxes, the newly hatched larvae entering through these crevices.

“The webbing, or southern clothes moth.-The webbing, or southern clothes moth (Tineola biselliella, Hummel) is the more abundant and injurious species in the latitude o£ Washington and southward. It occurs also farther north, though in somewhat less numbers than the preceding species. It presents two annual broods even in the northern states, the first appearing in June from eggs deposited in May, and the second in August and September. It is about the size of pellionella. The forewings are, however, uni formly pale ocherous, without markings or spots. Its larva feeds on a large variety of animal substances-woolens, hair, feathers, furs, and in England it has even been observed to feed on cobwebs in the corners of rooms, and in, confinement has been successfully reared on this rather dainty food substance. The report that it feeds on dried plants in herbaria is rather open to question, as its other recorded food materials are all of animal origin.

“The larva of this moth constructs no case, but spins a silky, or more properly cobwebby, path wherever it goes. When full grown, it builds a cocoon of silk, intermixed with bits of wool, resembling somewhat the case of pellionella, but more irregular in outline. Within this it undergoes its transformation to the chrysalis, and the moth in emerging leaves its pupal shell projecting out of the cocoon as with the preceding species.

“The tapestry moth.-The tapestry moth (Trichophage tapetzella, L.) is rare in the United States. It is much larger than either of the other two species, measuring three-fourths inch in expansion of wings, and is more striking in coloration. The head is white, the basal third of the forewings black, with the exterior two-thirds of a creamy white, more or less obscured on the middle with gray; the hind wings are pale gray.

“This moth normally affects rather coarser and heavier cloths than the small species and is more apt to occur in carpets, horse blankets, and tapestries than in the finer and thinner woolen fabrics. It also affects felting, furs, and skins, and is a common source of damage to the woolen upholstering of carriages, being rather more likely to occur in carriage houses and barns than in dwelling houses. Its larva enters directly into the material which it infests, constructing burrows or galleries, which it lines more or less completely with silk. Within these galleries it is protected and concealed during its larval life, and later undergoes its transformation without other protection than that afforded by the gallery. The damage is due as much or more to its burrowing than to the actual amount of the material consumed for food.

“REMEDIES.-There is no easy method of preventing the damage done by clothes moths, and to maintain the integrity of woolens or other materials which they are likely to attack demands constant vigilance, with frequent inspection and treatment. In general, they are likely to affect injuriously only articles which are put away and left undisturbed for some little time. Articles in daily or weekly use, and apartments frequently aired and swept, or used as living rooms, are not apt to be seriously affected. Carpets under these conditions are rarely attacked, except sometimes around the borders, where the insects are not so much disturbed by walking and sweeping. Agitation, such as beating, shaking, or brushing, and exposure to air and sunlight, are old remedies and still among the best at command. Various repellents, such as tobacco, camphor, naphthaline cones or balls, and cedar chips or sprigs, have a certain value if the garments are not already stocked with eggs or larvae. The odors of these repellents are so disagreeable to the parent moths that they are not likely to come to deposit their eggs as long as the odor is strong. As the odor weakens the protection decreases, and if the eggs or larvae are already present, these odors have no effect on their development; while if the moths are inclosed with the stored material to be protected by these repellents, so that they cannot escape, they will of necessity deposit their eggs, and the destructive work of the larvae will be little, if at all, restricted. After woolens have been given a vigorous and thorough treatment and aired and exposed to sunlight, however, it is of some advantage in packing them away to inclose with them any of the repellents mentioned. Cedar chests and wardrobes are of value in proportion to the freedom of the material from infestation when stored away, but, as the odor of the wood is largely lost with age, in the course of a few years the protection greatly decreases. Fur and such garments may also be stored in boxes or trunks which have been lined with heavy tar paper used in buildings. New papering should be given to such receptacles every year or two. Similarly, the tarred paper moth bags obtainable at dry-goods houses are of some value; always, however, the materials should first be subjected to the treatment outlined above.

“To protect carpets, clothes, and cloth-covered furniture, furs, etc., these should be thoroughly beaten, shaken, brushed, and exposed as long as practicable to the sunlight in early spring, either in April, May, or June, depending on the latitude. The brushing of garments is a very important. consideration, to remove the eggs or young larvae which might escape notice. Such materials can then be hung away in clothes closets which have been thoroughly cleaned, and, if necessary, sprayed with benzine about the cracks of the floor and the baseboards. If no other protection be given, the garments should be examined at least once a month; during summer, brushed, and, if necessary, exposed to sunlight.

“It would be more convenient, however, so to inclose or wrap up such material as to prevent the access of the moths to it, after it has once been thoroughly treated and aired. This can be easily effected in the case of clothing and furs by wrapping tightly in stout paper or inclosing in well-made bags of cotton or linen cloth or strong paper. Doctor Howard has adopted a plan which is inexpensive, and which he has found eminently satisfactory. For a small sum he secures a number of the large pasteboard boxes, such as tailors use, and in these packs away all winter clothing, gumming a strip of wrapping paper around the edge, so as to seal up the box completely and leave no cracks. These boxes with care will last many years. With thorough preliminary treatment it will not be necessary to use the tar-impregnated paper sacks sold as moth protectors, which may be objectionable on account of the odor.

“In the case of cloth-covered furniture and cloth-lined carriages, which are stored or left unused for considerable periods in summer, it will probably be necessary to spray them twice or three times, viz., in April, June, and August, with benzine or naphtha, to protect them from moths. These substances can be applied very readily with any small spraying device, and will not harm the material, but caution must be exercised on account of their inflammability. Another means of protecting such articles is to sponge them very carefully with a dilute solution of corrosive sublimate in alcohol, made just strong enough not to leave a white stain.

“The method of protection adopted by one of the leading furriers of Washington, who also has a large business and experience in storing costly furs, etc., is practically the course already outlined. Furs when received are first most thoroughly and vigorously beaten with small sticks, to dislodge all loosened hair and the larvae or moths. They are then gone over carefully with a steel comb and packed away in large boxes lined with heavy tar roofing paper, or in closets similarly lined with this paper. An examination is made every two to four weeks, and, if necessary, at any time, any garment requiring it is rebeaten and combed. During many years of experience in this climate, which is especially favorable to moth damage, this merchant has prevented any serious injury from moths.

“Cold storage.-The best method of protection, and the one now commonly adopted by dealers in carpets, furs, etc., is cold storage. The most economical degree of cold to be used as a protection from clothes moths and allied insects destructive to woolens and furs has been definitely determined by the careful experiments carried out at the instance of Dr. Howard by Dr. Albert M. Read, manager of a large storage warehouse company in Washington, D. C. These experiments demonstrated that a temperature maintained at 4o degrees Fahrenheit renders the larval or other stages of these insects dormant and is thoroughly effective: The larvae, however, are able to stand a steady temperature as low as 18 degrees Fahrenheit without apparently experiencing any ill results. Dr. Read’s experiments have extended over two years, and his later results as reported by Dr. Howard are very interesting. They have demonstrated that while a temperature kept uniformly at 18 degrees Fahrenheit will not destroy the larvae of Tineola bisellinella or of the black carpet beetle (Attagenus piceus), an alternation of a low temperature with a comparatively high one invariably results in the death of the larvae of these two insects. For example, if larvae of either which have been kept at a temperature of 18 degrees Fahrenheit are removed to a temperature of 4o degrees to 5o degrees Fahrenheit, they will become slightly active and, when returned to the lower temperature and kept there for a little time, will not revive upon a retransfer to the warmer temperature.

“It is recommended, therefore, that storage companies submit goods to two or three changes of temperature as noted before placing them permanently in an apartment kept at a temperature of from 4o degrees to 42 degrees Fahrenheit. The maintenance of a temperature lower than the last indicated is needless and a wasteful expense. Where the cost of cold storage is not an item to be seriously considered, the adoption of this method for protection of goods during the hot months is strongly recommended.”

Care in laundering.-Care of textiles in laundering is highly important. Many a valuable fabric has been ruined by improper washing. Beautiful colors are sometimes spoiled, while soft, smooth, finely finished goods come out of the laundry rough, hard, and ugly in appearance. How goods shall be cleaned is a matter of great importance and one upon which the salesman needs to inform his customers so that they may get the greatest service out of their purchases.

There are four things to be considered before laundering or cleaning any textile fabric:

1. The kind of weave and the probable effect of washing and rubbing upon it.

2. The kinds of textile fibers used in the fabric.

3. The weight and strength of the fabric.

4. The degree of fastness of the colors.

Kind of weave.-The kind of weave is important to this extent, that if the weave is loose and sleazy, the fabric will not stand rubbing. Certain brocades and satins or sateens, for example, are not to be rubbed because the Jacquard figures would be damaged by so doing. The plain weaves show dirt the most easily, but likewise wash the most easily. Closely woven goods in twills do not soil easily, but hold dirt very tenaciously; such fabrics need most careful washing. Any weave that helps the cloth to absorb is in its nature more difficult to clean than an open weave fabric.

Kind of fiber.-The kind of textile fibers used in the fabric should be determined in advance, for each textile fiber demands methods of laundering different from the others. For example, cotton can stand more rubbing and more soaping than any of the other fabrics in proportion to its weight and strength. But cotton is quite susceptible to damage when brought in contact with acids. The chief difficulties in laundering cotton goods are in retaining brightness of dye or printing and in ironing with irons of proper temperature. Cotton can stand a great deal of what would be abuse to other textiles.

Linen is similar to cotton in most respects. Bleached linens show tendencies to yellow with time; they then require special treatment such as exposing to sunlight and laying out on the snow or grass.

Wool, on the other hand, presents a number of entirely different problems. Wool is in danger of shrinking, hardening, and scorching, as well as of losing its colors. Washing in too hot or too cold water, the use of alkalies or strong soaps, or rubbing and running through tight wringer rolls shrinks and hardens wool fabrics. Alkali may even destroy wool fiber. For these reasons wool needs special care in laundering.

Silk, like wool, an animal fiber, requires no less careful handling in laundering.

Weight and strength of fabric.-The weight and strength of the fabrics to be cleaned should be considered in order to determine what laundering processes the fabric will stand.

Colors of fabrics.-Finally, the fastness of the colors should be considered. Dyes that are fast under one method of washing may fade under another. Hence in preparing to launder an article, a colored woolen fabric, for example, precautions should be taken to prevent injury either to the wool or to the coloring matters.

Mixed goods.-Mixed or union goods present a special problem that is sometimes difficult to solve. The usual method is to launder the material as if it were entirely composed of the weakest kind of fiber in its composition. Wool and cotton should be laundered as if it were all wool. Cotton and silk should be laundered like silk.

Cleaning wool.-Wool fabrics or garments should be washed in soft water. Before placing the fabrics in the water, the water should be heated to a temperature of 85 degrees to 100 Fahrenheit, little more than lukewarm. Into the water should be placed enough soap of good quality, as free as possible from any uncombined alkali, to make suds. The addition of a little ammonia will help take the dirt out of the fabrics. Next, the garments, blankets, or fabrics, should be brushed and shaken to remove any loose lint, dust, or other particles. They are then to be placed in the water and allowed to soak for an hour, after which they should be kneaded and drawn backwards and forwards, up and down in the suds. They should never be rubbed or wrung. Soap should not be rubbed directly upon the fabric. Soap and rubbing cause the wool to felt; the better the grade of wool, the greater and more rapid the felting. The wool fabrics may now be removed to another tub of water of the same temperature but with less soap and ammonia; here they are stirred about in the same careful manner, rinsed, and removed for a final rinsing to a third tub with pure wafer of the same lukewarm tempera ture. After the last rinsing, the water is pressed out gently and the fabrics are dried. Sunshine and the open air are the best driers, though out of the question in a laundry. The drying temperature should never be more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Napped goods should be freshened after drying by rubbing with a piece of flannel. Soft woolens, delaines, cashmeres, and serges should be soaked for only a short time. If the fabrics need stretching, this should be done just before drying. Most woolens do not need ironing. Those fabrics that must be ironed should be covered with damp muslin and pressed with a heavy iron just warm, not hot. A hot iron will shrink flannel. and turn it yellow. Cashmere should be dampened before ironing.

Laundering silks.-Silks need about the same treatment as that given to wool, although silks do not mat or felt as do wools under conditions of heat, alkali, and rubbing. The water to be used in washing silks should be soft, of an even warm, not hot temperature, and only a neutral soap free from alkali should be used. Silks should not be rubbed but simply drawn backwards and forwards and poked up and down in the water. Nor should silks be crushed, squeezed, or wrung out with a wringer unless placed between folds of linen cloth. Silk goods should be ironed slightly damp, except pongee, which should be ironed dry. The face of a silk fabric should not be touched with a hot iron. The proper method is to protect the silk fabric by covering it with linen when ironing.

Cleaning colored goods.-Colored goods of any kind need special precautions that depend upon the nature of the dyes in the cloth. A complete set of directions for laundering colored goods would take up more space than can be given here. It will be sufficient for present purposes to enumerate the conditions that are especially likely to cause fading.

1. Long soaking in water.

2. Boiling or overheating.

3. Cold water or freezing.

4. Alkalies-washing sodas, washing fluids, washing powders, and poor soaps.

5. Washing two different colors in the same tub at the same time. There may be an affinity between these that may cause either or both to run.

6. Exposing to direct sunlight.

7. Ironing with too hot irons.

Setting the colors.-Colors may sometimes be set so that they will not come out in washing under ordinary circumstances. This desirable object is accomplished by using salt, alum, borax, vinegar, or ox gall in the wash water. The occasions for such agents vary greatly, and no general direction can or should be given. What will set some colors is likely to cause others to fade.

Methods of cleansing fabrics.-The purpose of laundering is both to remove dirt and impurities and to whiten or brighten the cloth. In the ordinary washing this is done both by mechanical and chemical means. The rubbing, boiling, rinsing, and so on, are mechanical means; ammonia, borax, washing powder, and several other substances commonly applied to loosen dirt or dissolve it, are chemical means. Coarse, heavy fabrics that can stand it may have both mechanical and chemical methods applied, but the finer the goods, the more careful the decision must be as to which method is advisable. In general, it may be said that, whenever possible, chemical help should be used, provided it is of such nature as not to injure the fabric; for chemical cleansing saves labor, while mechanical means all require labor or power.

Bluing.-Bluing, commonly a preparation made of Prussian blue, is used in laundering to whiten clothes. Most textiles are somewhat yellowish in tone, and if the bleaching and washing have been imperfectly done, the yellow is very decided. Bluing mixes with the yellow, and the result is a whiter appearing fabric. The use of too much bluing is damaging to both cotton and linen fabrics; it causes stains which are removed with difficulty.

Starching.-Laundered goods are frequently starched. The purpose of starch is the same here as in the manufacture and finishing of textiles. It increases the weight, stiffness, and body of the fabric. But starch serves another important purpose. Starched fabrics are not soiled so easily as soft fabrics, and they wash out very easily. Starch in fabrics makes it easier to remove stains, the starch being an absorbent and therefore drawing much of the stain to itself. Simply washing the starch out removes much of the stain. Starch neutralizes some staining substances such as tannin from tea and coffee. Where the starch is heavy, however, it makes the fabric brittle and breaks it to pieces prematurely.

Yellow discoloration.-Yellow discoloration in fabrics fresh from the laundry is practically inexcusable. It is caused by definitely known practices that can readily be obviated by study, care, and by purchasing necessary equipment. The causes which most commonly produce this yellow discoloration are:

1. The use of hard water. All laundering should be done in soft water. Where soft water is not available, hard water can usualy be made soft by chemical means that will not injure fabrics.

2. The use of too much carbonate of soda or washing soda. Washing soda has little or no cleansing effect in itself. It is an active chemical that seeks to combine with some other substance. In laundering, its chief use is to soften hard water. It can easily be used in too large quantities, making the clothes yellow rather than white.

3. Insufficient rinsing.

4. The use of too little water in the wash tubs. Better results are always obtained by using more water than is necessary rather than less.

5. Washing too hurriedly, and using strong soaps and ammonia to hasten the process.

6. Too quick drying in overheated air.

Theory of removing stains.-The removal of stains is a subject that may properly be considered here. Here, as in laundering, the character of the textile must be most carefully considered. But not only that; the character of the stain should also be known if it is to be removed without damaging the goods. The aim in stain removal is, of course, to find some substance that will attack, draw out, or loosen the staining material, yet leave the goods unharmed. Various substances may thus be used. Some stains can best be removed by covering them with an absorbent material that will draw out the staining substances. Others can be eradicated best by covering them or moistening them with some liquid that will dissolve them but will not attack the dyes or injure the cloth fiber. Sometimes the stain should be treated with a chemical that will combine with the staining material and form a new substance that can be washed out with water. Finally, where all other methods fail, the stain may be removed by bleaching. The removal of stain may, therefore, be accomplished usually by some one of the following methods:

1. Absorbents.

2. Solvents.

3. Acids or alkalies, or other chemicals.

4. Bleaching agents.

ABSORBENTS.-The common absorbents that may be used for stain removal purposes include blotting paper, common brown paper, powdered chalk, whiting, pipe clay, fuller’s earth, magnesia, gypsum, starch, melted tallow, corn meal, bran, and so on. Absorbents can be used to best advantage on fresh stains still moist. Hot grease, fresh ink stains, coffee or tea stains can be treated in this way, not to remove them entirely but rather to remove a large part of the staining substance and prevent it from spreading further. Absorbents are especially valuable for use preliminary to treatment by some other method.

SOLVENTS.-Solvents actually attack and dissolve the staining substance so that it may be flooded out by the dissolving liquid. Some of the common solvents are water, hot or cold, alcohol, gasoline, benzine, kerosene, turpentine, and chloroform. The removal of ordinary soil by means of washing in water is the most frequent example of this method. Cold water will remove milk and cream stains, stains from sugar, candies, and cocoa. Hot water may be used to remove fresh coffee stains. The mineral oils, benzine, gasoline, and kerosene, are useful solvents of grease, oil, wax, and paint. Gasoline is probably the best for use with woolen and silk fabrics but not with cotton. Gasoline, however, is very volatile, and passes off rapidly in the form of inflammable gas. It should, therefore, be used out of doors in the daylight; and never in a room where there is a fire or a gas flame or kerosene light, otherwise disaster is likely to occur. Vaseline, itself a mineral grease from the same source as kerosene or gasoline, may be softened and loosened by soaking the stained fabric in one of these mineral oils. When sufficiently liquid, the whole may in turn be dissolved in ammonia and water or washing soda and water, whereupon the mineral oil combines with the alkali in the form of an emulsion which can be washed out. Alcohol is a solvent for grass stains, for varnish and paint, and for several other substances. Its great value is enhanced by the fact that it will not harm delicate fabrics. Frequently, too, it is an excellent solvent for medicine stains. Turpentine is the universal solvent for paint, varnish, resins, oils, rubber, and the like. It is also a chemical solvent for iodine, sulphur, and phosphorus. Chloroform is the best of the solvents, and likewise the most expensive. It acts powerfully on grease, wax, camphor, rubber, iodine, and many other sorts of stains. No other solvent is so satisfactory for use on delicately colored textiles. When colors seem faded, chloroform is the best known substance for reviving them. Grease, itself the most frequent staining agent, must be used in some instances as a solvent for other substances. Tar and pitch may be removed by the use of lard, as may grass stains too if they are fresh. After obliterating the original stain, the grease is removed by some regular grease solvent, such as benzine, hot water and soap, or gasoline.

CHEMICAL ACTION.-Stains made by acids, such as fruit juices, wine, or lemon juice, or even by stronger acids, are best eradicated by means of some solvent; unhappily it is not always possible to find at hand a solvent other than water, and this is not effective after the acids have dried. In the failure of solvents, the best plan is to apply an alkali which combines chemically with the acid, forming thus a new substance which ordinarily will be easily dissolved by water. Ammonia is one of the best alkalies for this purpose, not being likely to injure even delicate fabrics.

“For the removal of stains and spots from colored goods and carpets, ammonia takes first place. It is one of the first chemicals to be used. It can be applied to cottons, wools, and silks, and leaves no trace of its use. Grease flies before its application, and when diluted with water, spots caused by orange or lemon juice or vinegar are removed by it from the most delicate materials. From carpets, curtains, and suits of clothing, it will remove almost every stain.”-The Modern Laundry, Vol. IL, page 82.

Washing soda (carbonate of soda) and cooking soda (bicarbonate of soda) are also valuable alkalies for use on uncolored cottons and linens. Furthermore, acid stains may be dissolved and removed by the use of certain weak acids, such as oxalic, citric, and tartaric acids, sour milk, and very weak muriatic acid. The theory seems to be the same as for the using of kerosene on vaseline. The acid liquids combine with the staining material and dissolve it, making it easy to wash out with water.

Acivs.-Acids must be used carefully because of their destructive effects on cotton and linen and on many dye substances. The acids named above, except sour milk and muriatic acid, are all vegetable acids and quite weak: Oxalic acid is made from the sorrel plant. Citric acid is made from lemons or other citrus fruits; tartaric acid, from grape juice. Each of these is valuable in removing fruit stains, iron rust, and old-fashioned, iron-gall, ink stains. When salt is added to any of them, a bleaching process sets in. Tartaric acid is a highly useful and safe acid for stain removal; no textile is injured by it. Since it is, however, a weak acid, its action is neither rapid nor strong enough to remove certain very deep stains.

BLEACHING.-If no other means succeeds a stain must be removed by bleaching. There are several bleaching methods and substances, differing greatly in effectiveness. Practically none of them can be used on colored goods without endangering the colors in the fabric. Some are destructive to the fabrics themselves and must be used with care and judgment. A few of the most common may be named here.

Oxygen.-Sunlight and air together form a gentle but effective bleaching agent provided that haste is not imperative. All discolored white goods may be improved by exposure to sunlight. Sulphur fumes are used most frequently for wool and silk goods. The method of application is very simple. The spot to be bleached is dampened in water and then held over burning sulphur so that the fumes penetrate the spot directly. After the stain has whitened, the fabric needs washing in soapsuds, and rinsing in clean water.

Bleaching powder.-Bleaching powder or chloride of lime is the most frequently used bleach for cotton and linen goods. It is valuable in removing refractory stains such as ink spots, mildew, old blood stains, and iron rust. The spot is covered with chloride of lime and moistened with some acid such as vinegar, oxalic acid, tartaric acid, or sour milk. The bleaching is rapid and should be stopped by rinsing thoroughly in water just as soon as the stain disappears. A bleach weaker than chloride of lime but working on the same principle is known as Javelle water. Javelle water is made as follows for household use:

1 pound sal soda or pearl ash,

1/4 pound chloride of lime,

2 quarts cold water.

After this mixture is allowed to stand for several hours, the clear liquor is poured off for use. It must be kept in a dark, cool place if it is to retain its strength. Javelle water may be used for the same purposes as bleaching powder, and, being less active, it does not require such cautious handling. Many housekeepers use Javelle water for practically all sorts of colored stains. This doubtless saves time, but is hardly economical, for Javelle water does destroy textile fiber.

Peroxide of hydrogen.-Peroxide of hydrogen is an excellent bleach, and should be used much more frequently than at present, for it seems to have no destructive effect on textile fiber. Its only disadvantage as compared with Javelle water is its higher cost.

Borax may at times be used as a mild bleaching agent in laundering clothes that show yellowish tints or streaks. Lemon juice and salt make a bleach that works much like chloride of lime, though it is not quite so strong. Any acid added to salt starts chemical bleaching.

PRINCIPLES OF REMOVING STAINS.-In concluding our study of the principle of removing stains, we may enumerate certain points of practice:

1. The sooner the stain is attended to, the better. Fresh stains are always easier to remove than old ones.

2. Use stain removers in the following order until something is found that is strong enough to remove the stain: absorbents, solvents, chemical combinations, bleaching agents. Never use a stronger means of removing a stain than is necessary.

3. Determine first, if possible, what caused the stain and work directly upon that information.

4. Do not rub a chemical into a stain. Dab it in, using a cloth, sponge, or the fingers.

5. Use pure chemicals in removing stains. Impure ones are likely to leave other stains fully as difficult to remove as the original stain.

6. Strong chemicals, such as acids, should be applied drop by drop to the stained fabric moistened with water or steam. The use of a medicine dropper for this purpose is most convenient. Using this, one can readily watch the progress of the remedy and control it.

7. To keep stains from spreading under the influence of solvents, it is best first to apply the solvent in a ring around the stain and then gradually to work in towards the center of the stain.

STAINS AND HOW THEY MAY BE ERADICATED.-The following list of stains arranged in alphabetical order gives the more ordinary ones together with the best means for treating each. Some stains are quite indelible, such as certain ink stains and brown stains from scorching. In such cases, the only remedy is to cover the spot by dyeing; even then the stain may show through the dye.

Acid.-To stop the corrosive action of acids spilled on fabric, the fabric should be dipped at once, if possible, into ammonia. If the stain becomes dry, ammonia will not be strong enough. Tie up a little washing soda or cooking soda in the stained part, make a lather of soap and cold soft water, immerse the fabric, and boil until the spot disappears. This treatment frequently causes colored goods to fade, but moistening with chloroform will often restore the original color. If chloroform fails a solution of nitrate of silver will often be of service. If this does not succeed there is no hope of recovering the fabric without redyeing. When yellow stains on brown or black woolen or worsted goods are caused by very strong acids, such as nitric acid, they should be padded repeatedly with a woolen pad soaked in a concentrated solution of permanganate of potash.

Aniline and aniline inks.-Wet the stained spot in acetic acid, and then apply diluted chloride of lime, and wash out carefully.

Apple and pear.-Soak in paraffin for a few hours and then wash. The paraffin, when melted, is a strong absorbent for such fruit colors.

Blood.-If fresh, soak for twelve hours in cold water; then wash in tepid water. If the mark still remains, cover it with a paste of cold water and starch, and expose to the sun for a day or two. Old stains require bleaching with Javelle water, or an application of iodide of potassium diluted with four times its weight of cold water.

Brass.-Brass stains on fabrics may be removed by dabbing with rancid lard or rancid butter.

Burns.-These are caused perhaps by overheated irons. If bad, they are hopeless, and must be hidden by dyeing. Slight burns yield to treatment with soap and water.

Changed colors.-Stains are often caused by local fading of dye. They can, in most cases, be removed by reviving the dye. The manner of doing this depends upon the kind of dye. If the nature of the dye is unknown, dilute ammonia should be tried, or dilute acid, or chloroform. It does not matter which is tried first, but the effect must be carefully watched, and the first chemical washed out at once when it is clear that it wil’ not be successful. The solutions of acid or ammonia should be very dilute, at least at first.

Coffee.-Pour boiling soft water through the stain, and while it is still wet hold in the fumes of burning sulphur. Washing with soap and water is, however, usually sufficient without using the sulphur. Glycerin also removes coffee stains; it should be diluted by the addition of four times as much water and a little ammonia.

Chocolate and cocoa.-Cocoa stains can be removed by using cold water. Otherwise the treatment should be the same as for coffee stains.

Fruit.-Fruit stains can be treated like coffee stains if fresh; if old, rub on both sides with yellow soap, cover thickly with cold water, starch, and bleach by exposing to the sun and air for three or four days. Fruit stains are acid stains and may also be removed by treating with alkalies. One method is to apply ammonia and alcohol mixed in equal proportions.

Grass.-Dab with spirits of wine or alcohol. Application of tartaric acid or cream of tartar is sometimes effective if used in boiling water, the stained fabric being dipped in several times. A grass stain may sometimes be removed by rubbing lard over the spot and then washing. Grass stains differ greatly in ease of removal. Sometimes ammonia will take out such stains, especially if it is found that an acid treatment has no effect. Intractable spots need bleaching.

Grease.-Grease stains if still fresh should be treated at first with absorbents such as fuller’s earth, chalk, talcum powder, or flour. Ironing small grease spots over brown paper is sometimes helpful. The use of absorbents should be supplemented by some solvent such as benzine, gasoline, turpentine, or chloroform. To keep the grease from spreading, the solvent should first be applied in a ring around the outside of the spot, after which the spot may be covered. In using the grease solvents any proximity to fire must be carefully avoided.

Ink.-The great difficulty in removing ink stains is due to the fact that ink is made from so many different chemical substances. The best way to treat an ink stain is to apply some solvent that will not harm the fabric no matter what sort of chemical caused the stain. Fresh ink stains may frequently be washed or rubbed out in milk. If the stains do not begin to fade at once, the fabric should be allowed to stand in the milk for at least twelve hours. In the meantime, the milk beginning to sour, the weak acid will make itself felt on the stain. If this does not remove the stain, it should next be treated as for aniline ink. Most of the directions given in household guides for treating ink stains are valueless because they apply to inks that are now no longer made and used. If the methods suggested above do not succeed, then the stain should be covered with melted tallow for a few hours. This should be removed by washing in hot soapsuds. If this fails, then the spot should be bleached out with Javelle water.

Iodine.-Soak the stain in ammonia. Rub with dry bicarbonate of soda (cooking soda) until stain comes out. Iron rust.-Apply citric acid, oxalic acid, or tartaric acid. If this acid treatment does not remove the spot, bleach it by covering it with lemon juice and salt and exposing it to sunlight.

Medicine.-Medicine stains may usually be dissolved and removed by means of alcohol.

Mildew.-Treat as for iron stains. Boiling in strong borax water is recommended. Mildew is usually very refractory. The bad color can be removed by bleaching if the remedies proposed above do not seem sufficient, but it is more than likely that the fabric will be very tender after the bleaching process.

Milk and Cream.-Milk stains can be removed with cold water or with cold water and soap. Hot water sets the milk stain and makes it difficult to remove.

Mud.-Dip in gasoline or benzine. Small spots may be concealed by using chalk or white watercolor when it is not convenient to have the cloth cleaned with a solvent at once.

Paint.-Dab with turpentine. A mixture of turpentine and chloroform is often very effective in removing old paint stains from even delicate fabrics. Naphtha soap should be used in washing out paint oil stains.

Perspiration.-Use strong soap solutions and expose to sunshine. Perspiration under the arm is of a different chemical composition from that of other parts of the body, and is neutralized by dilute hydrochloric acid. The acid should be very dilute, about one part acid to seventy-five or a hundred parts water.

Tar.-Cover with lard, let stand a while, and then wash in hot soapsuds.

Tea.-Treat as for coffee stains. Tea contains tannic acid, and may therefore be treated by using ammonia or some other alkali.

Varnish.-Treat like paint stains.

Vaseline.-Vaseline is not soluble in acids or alkalies, but can be dissolved in kerosene or benzine, and then washed out with hot soapsuds.

Wine.-Treat like fruit stains. Fresh wine can be very largely neutralized by spreading salt over the spot while wet.

Health effects of Man-made fibers

Clara S. Ross, James E. Lockey

The industrial use of various types of man-made fibres has been increasing, particularly since restrictions were placed on the use of asbestos in view of its known health hazards. The potential for adverse health effects related to the production and use of man-made fibres is still being studied. This article will provide an overview of the general principles regarding the potential for toxicity related to such fibres, an overview of the various types of fibres in production (as listed in table 1) and an update regarding existing and ongoing studies of their potential health effects.


Table 1    Synthetic fibres



Toxicity Determinants

The primary factors related to potential for toxicity due to exposure to fibres are:

1. fibre dimension

2. fibre durability and

3. dose to the target organ.

Generally, fibres that are long and thin (but of a respirable size) and are durable have the greatest potential for causing adverse effects if delivered to the lungs in sufficient concentration. Fibre toxicity has been correlated in short-term animal inhalation studies with inflammation, cytotoxicity, altered macrocyte function and biopersistence. Carcinogenic potential is most likely related to cellular DNA damage via formation of oxygen-free radicals, formation of clastogenic factors, or missegregation of chromosomes in cells in mitosis-alone or in combination. Fibres of a respirable size are those less than 3.0 to 3.5 in diameter and less than 200 in length. According to the “Stanton hypothesis,” the carcinogenic potential of fibres (as determined by animal pleural implantation studies) is related to their dimension (the greatest risk is associated with fibres less than 0.25 in diameter and greater than 8 in length) and durability (Stanton et al. 1981). Naturally occurring mineral fibres, such as asbestos, exist in a polycrystalline structure that has the propensity to cleave along longitudinal planes, creating thinner fibres with higher length-to-width ratios, which have a greater potential for toxicity. The vast majority of man-made fibres are non-crystalline or amorphous and will fracture perpendicularly to their longitudinal plane into shorter fibres. This is an important difference between asbestos and non-asbestos fibrous silicates and man-made fibres. The durability of fibres deposited in the lung is dependent upon the lung’s ability to clear the fibres, as well as the fibres’ physical and chemical properties. The durability of man-made fibres can be altered in the production process, according to end-use requirements, through the addition of certain stabilizers such as . Because of this variability in the chemical constituents and size of man-made fibres, their potential toxicity has to be evaluated on a fibre-type by fibre-type basis.

Man-made Fibres

Aluminium oxide fibres

Crystalline aluminium oxide fibre toxicity has been suggested by a case report of pulmonary fibrosis in a worker employed in aluminium smelting for 19 years (Jederlinic et al. 1990). His chest radiograph revealed interstitial fibrosis. Analysis of the lung tissue by electron microscopy techniques demonstrated crystalline fibres per gram of dry lung tissue, or ten times more fibres than the number of asbestos fibres found in lung tissue from chrysotile asbestos miners with asbestosis. Further study is needed to determine the role of crystalline aluminium oxide fibres (figure 1) and pulmonary fibrosis.


Figure 1    Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of aluminium oxide fibres

Courtesy of T. Hesterberg.


This case report, however, suggests a potential for fibrization to take place when proper environmental conditions coexist, such as increased air flow across molten materials. Both phase-contrast light microscopy and electron microscopy with energy dispersion x-ray analysis should be used to identify potential airborne fibres in the work environment and in lung tissue samples in cases where there are clinical findings consistent with fibre-induced pneumoconiosis.

Carbon/Graphite Fibres

Carbonaceous pitch, rayon or polyacrylonitrile fibres heated to 1,200 form amorphous carbon fibres, and when heated above 2,200 form crystalline graphite fibres (figure 2). Resin binders can be added to increase the strength and to allow moulding and machining of the material. Generally, these fibres have a diameter of 7 to 10 , but variations in size occur due to the manufacturing process and mechanical manipulation. Carbon/graphite composites are used in the aircraft, automobile and sporting goods industries. Exposure to respirable-sized carbon/graphite particles can occur during the manufacturing process and with mechanical manipulation. Furthermore, small quantities of respirable-sized fibres can be produced when composites are heated to 900 to 1,100 . The existing knowledge regarding these fibres is inadequate to provide definite answers as to their potential for causing adverse health effects. Studies involving intratracheal injection of different graphite fibre composite dusts in rats produced heterogeneous results. Three of the dust samples tested produced minimal toxicity, and two of the samples produced consistent toxicity as manifested by cytotoxicity for alveolar macrophages and differences in the total number of cells recovered from the lung (Martin, Meyer and Luchtel 1989). Clastogenic effects have been observed in mutagenicity studies of pitch-based fibres, but not of polyacrylonitrile-based carbon fibres. A ten-year study of carbon fibre production workers, manufacturing fibres 8 to 10 mm in diameter, did not reveal any abnormalities (Jones, Jones and Lyle 1982). Until further studies are available, it is recommended that exposure to respirable-sized carbon/graphite fibres be 1 fibre/ml (f/ml) or lower, and that exposure to respirable-sized composite particulates be maintained below the current respirable dust standard for nuisance dust.


Figure 2   SEM of carbon fibres


Kevlar para-aramid fibres

Kevlar para-aramid fibres are approximately 12 in diameter and the curved ribbon-like fibrils on the surface of the fibres are less than 1 in width (figure 3). The fibrils partially peel off the fibres and interlock with other fibrils to form clumps which are non-respirable in size. The physical properties of Kevlar fibres include substantial heat resistance and tensile strength. They have many different uses, serving as a reinforcing agent in plastics, fabrics and rubber, and as an automobile brake friction material. The eight-hour time-weighted average (TWA) of fibril levels during manufacturing and end-use applications ranges from 0.01 to 0.4 f/ml (Merriman 1989). Very low levels of Kevlar aramid fibres are generated in dust when used in friction materials. The only available health effects data is from animal studies. Rat inhalation studies involving one- to two-year time periods and exposures to fibrils at 25, 100 and 400 f/ml revealed alveolar bronchiolarization which was dose-related. Slight fibrosis and alveolar duct fibrotic changes also were noted at the higher exposure levels. The fibrosis may have been related to overloading of pulmonary clearance mechanisms. A tumour type unique to rats, cystic keratinizing squamous cell tumour, developed in a few of the study animals (Lee et al. 1988). Short-term rat inhalation studies indicate that the fibrils have low durability in lung tissue and are rapidly cleared (Warheit et al. 1992). There are no studies available regarding the human health effects of exposure to Kevlar para-aramid fibre. However, in view of the evidence of decreased biopersistence and given the physical structure of Kevlar, the health risks should be minimal if exposures to fibrils are maintained at 0.5 f/ml or less, as is now the case in commercial applications.


Figure 3    SEM of Kevlar para-aramid fibres


Silicon carbide fibres and whiskers

Silicon carbide (carborundum) is a widely used abrasive and refractory material that is manufactured by combining silica and carbon at 2,400 . Silicon carbide fibres and whiskers-figure 4 (Harper et al. 1995)-can be generated as by-products of the manufacture of silicon carbide crystals or can be purposely produced as polycrystalline fibres or monocrystalline whiskers. The fibres generally are less than 1 to 2  in diameter and range from 3 to 30 in length. The whiskers average 0.5 in diameter and 10 in length. Incorporation of silicon carbide fibres and whiskers adds strength to products such as metal matrix composites, ceramics and ceramic components. Exposure to fibres and whiskers can occur during the production and manufacturing processes and potentially during the machining and finishing processes. For example, short-term exposure during handling of recycled materials has been shown to reach levels up to 5 f/ml. Machining of metal and ceramic matrix composites have resulted in eight-hour TWA exposure concentrations of 0.031 f/ml and up to 0.76 f/ml, respectively (Scansetti, Piolatto and Botta 1992; Bye 1985).


Figure 4    SEMs of silicon carbide fibres (A) and whiskers (B)




Existing data from animal and human studies indicate a definite fibrogenic and possible carcinogenic potential. In vitro mouse cell culture studies involving silicon carbide whiskers revealed cytotoxicity equal to or greater than that resulting from crocidolite asbestos (Johnson et al. 1992; Vaughan et al. 1991). Persistent adenomatous hyperplasia of rat lungs was demonstrated in a subacute inhalation study (Lapin et al. 1991). Sheep inhalation studies involving silicon carbide dust revealed that the particles were inert. However, exposure to silicon carbide fibres resulted in fibrosing alveolitis and increased fibroblast growth activity (Bйgin et al. 1989). Studies of lung tissue samples from silicon carbide manufacturing workers revealed silicotic nodules and ferruginous bodies and indicated that silicon carbide fibres are durable and can exist in high concentrations in lung parenchyma. Chest radiographs also have been consistent with nodular and irregular interstitial changes and pleural plaques.

Silicon carbide fibres and whiskers are respirable in size, durable, and have definite fibrogenic potential in lung tissue. A manufacturer of silicon carbide whiskers has set an internal standard at 0.2 f/ml as an eight-hour TWA (Beaumont 1991). This is a prudent recommendation based on currently available health information.

Man-made Vitreous Fibres

Man-made vitreous fibres (MMVFs) generally are classified as:

1. glass fibre (glass wool or fibreglass, continuous glass filament and special-purpose glass fibre)

2. mineral wool (rock wool and slag wool) and

3. ceramic fibre (ceramic textile fibre and refractory ceramic fibre).

The manufacturing process begins with melting raw materials with subsequent rapid cooling, resulting in the production of non-crystalline (or vitreous) fibres. Some manufacturing processes allow for large variations in terms of fibre size, the lower limit being 1 or less in diameter (figure 5). Stabilizers (such as , and ZnO) and modifiers (such as MgO,  , BaO, CaO, and ) can be added to alter the physical and chemical properties such as tensile strength, elasticity, durability and thermal non-transference.


Figure 5    SEM of slag wool

Rock wool, glass fibres and refractory ceramic fibres are identical in appearance


Glass fibre is manufactured from silicon dioxide and various concentrations of stabilizers and modifiers. Most glass wool is produced through use of a rotary process resulting in 3 to 15 average diameter discontinuous fibres with variations to 1 or less in diameter. The glass wool fibres are bound together, most commonly with phenolic formaldehyde resins, and then put through a heat-curing polymerization process. Other agents, including lubricants and wetting agents, may also be added, depending on the production process. The continuous glass filament production process results in less variation from the average fibre diameter in comparison to glass wool and special-purpose glass fibre. Continuous glass filament fibres range from 3 to 25 in diameter. Special-purpose glass fibre production involves a flame attenuation fibrization process that produces fibres with an average diameter of less than 3 .

Slag wool and rock wool production involves melting and fibrizing slag from metallic ore and igneous rock, respectively. The production process includes a dish shaped wheel and wheel centrifuge process. It produces 3.5 to 7 average diameter discontinuous fibres whose size may range well into the respirable range. Mineral wool can be manufactured with or without binder, depending on end-use applications.

Refractory ceramic fibre is manufactured through a wheel centrifuge or steam jet fibrization process using melted kaolin clay, alumina/silica, or alumina/silica/zirconia. Average fibre diameters range from 1 to 5 . When heated to temperatures above 1,000 , refractory ceramic fibres can undergo conversion to cristobalite (a crystalline silica).

MMVFs with different fibre diameters and chemical composition are used in over 35,000 applications. Glass wool is used in residential and commercial acoustical and thermal insulation applications, as well as in air handling systems. Continuous glass filament is used in fabrics and as reinforcing agents in plastics such as are employed in automobile parts. Special-purpose glass fibre is used in specialty applications, for instance in aircraft, that require high heat and acoustical insulation properties. Rock and slag wool without binder is used as blown insulation and in ceiling tiles. Rock and slag wool with a phenolic resin binder is used in insulation materials, such as insulation blankets and batts. Refractory ceramic fibre constitutes 1 to 2% of the worldwide production of MMVF. Refractory ceramic fibre is used in specialized high-temperature industrial applications, such as furnaces and kilns. Glass wool, continuous glass filament and mineral wool are manufactured in the greatest amounts.

MMVFs are thought to have less potential than naturally occurring fibrous silicates (such as asbestos) for producing adverse health effects because of their non-crystalline state and their propensity to fracture into shorter fibres. Existing data suggests that the most commonly utilized MMVF, glass wool, has the lowest risk of producing adverse health effects, followed by rock and slag wool, and then both special-purpose glass fibre with increased durability and refractory ceramic fibre. Special-purpose glass fibre and refractory ceramic fibre have the greatest potential for existing as respirable-sized fibres as they are generally less than 3 in diameter. Special-purpose glass fibre (with increased concentration of stabilizers such as ) and refractory ceramic fibre are also durable in physiologic fluids. Continuous glass filaments are non-respirable in size and therefore do not represent a potential pulmonary health risk.

Available health data is gathered from inhalation studies in animals and morbidity and mortality studies of workers involved with MMVF manufacturing. Inhalation studies involving exposure of rats to two commercial glass wool insulation materials averaging 1 in diameter and 20 in length revealed a mild pulmonary cellular response which partly reversed following discontinuation of exposure. Similar findings resulted from an animal inhalation study of a type of slag wool. Minimal fibrosis has been demonstrated with animal inhalation exposure to rock wool. Refractory ceramic fibre inhalation studies resulted in lung cancer, mesothelioma and pleural and pulmonary fibrosis in rats and in mesothelioma and pleural and pulmonary fibrosis in hamsters at a maximum tolerated dose of 250 f/ml. At 75 f/ml and 120 f/ml, one mesothelioma and minimal fibrosis was demonstrated in rats, and at 25 f/ml, there was a pulmonary cellular response (Bunn et al. 1993).

Skin, eye, and upper and lower respiratory tract irritation can occur and depends on exposure levels and job duties. Skin irritation has been the most common health effect noted and can cause up to 5% of new MMVF manufacturing plant workers to leave their employment within a few weeks. It is caused by mechanical trauma to the skin from fibres greater than 4 to 5 in diameter. It can be prevented with appropriate environmental control measures including avoiding direct skin contact with the fibres, wearing loose fitting, long-sleeved clothing, and washing work clothing separately. Upper and lower respiratory symptoms can occur in unusually dusty situations, particularly in MMVF product fabrication and end-use applications and in residential settings when MMVFs are not handled, installed or repaired correctly.

Studies of respiratory morbidity, as measured by symptoms, chest radiographs and pulmonary function tests among manufacturing plant workers generally have not found any adverse effects. However, an ongoing study of refractory ceramic fibre manufacturing plant workers has revealed an increased prevalence of pleural plaques (Lemasters et al. 1994). Studies in secondary production workers and end-users of MMVF are limited and have been hampered by the likelihood of the confounding factor of previous asbestos exposures.

Mortality studies of workers in glass fibre and mineral wool manufacturing plants are continuing in Europe and the United States. The data from the study in Europe revealed an overall increase in lung cancer mortality based upon national, but not local, mortality rates. There was an increasing trend of lung cancer in the glass and mineral wool cohorts with time since first employment but not with duration of employment. Using local mortality rates, there was an increase in lung cancer mortality for the earliest phase of mineral wool production (Simonato, Fletcher and Cherrie 1987; Boffetta et al. 1992). The data from the study in the United States demonstrated a statistically significant increased risk of respiratory cancer but failed to find an association between the development of cancer and various fibre exposure indices (Marsh et al. 1990). This is in accord with other case-control studies of slag wool and glass fibre manufacturing plant workers which have revealed an increased risk of lung cancer associated with cigarette smoking but not to the extent of MMVF exposure (Wong, Foliart and Trent 1991; Chiazze, Watkins and Fryar 1992). A mortality study of continuous glass filament manufacturing workers did not reveal an increased risk of mortality (Shannon et al. 1990). A mortality study involving refractory ceramic fibre workers is under way in the United States. Mortality studies of workers involved with product fabrication and end-users of MMVF are very limited.

In 1987, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glass wool, rock wool, slag wool, and ceramic fibres as possible human carcinogens (group 2B). Ongoing animal studies and morbidity and mortality studies of workers involved with MMVF will help to further define any potential human health risk. Based on available data, the health risk from exposure to MMVF is substantially lower than what has been associated with asbestos exposure both from a morbidity and mortality perspective. The vast majority of the human studies, however, are from MMVF manufacturing facilities where exposure levels have generally been maintained below a 0.5 to 1 f/ml level over an eight-hour work day. The lack of morbidity and mortality data on secondary and end-users of MMVF makes it prudent to control respirable fibre exposure at or below these levels through environmental control measures, work practices, worker training and respiratory protection programmes. This is especially applicable with exposure to durable refractory ceramic and special purpose glass MMVF and any other type of respirable man-made fibre that is durable in biological media and that can therefore be deposited and retained in the pulmonary parenchyma.


Corn Fibers

English: Corn
Image via Wikipedia

CORN fiber has similar characteristics to polyester staple fiber and has the luster of silk, meanwhile its moisture regain surpass polyester, so the fabric made of it is much comfortable. Although the PLA fiber is not inflammable, it has the character of low flammability and smoke eneration ; its flexibility and curl recovery is very good so the
fabric has good shape retention and anti-crease, it has excellent and touch and drape, good dyeability and it can be dyed with dispersion dyes under normal pressure, and it has the character of excellent anti-to fade in color and unaffected by UV light.

Environmental protection: The Corn fiber is produced by the Poly lactic Acid (PLA) which is fermented from the corn amylum. The fiber comes from natural renewable resources, it is the blended fiber and not made of petro chemicals. It can be recycled into fertilizer and decomposable. It has low CO2 and CO emission from burning. Hence it is an environmental material od the 21st Century.

The advantage of Corn fiber:

  • high melt point,
  • high crystallization degree and good clarity.
  • The fiber also has the high strength which is same as normal poly fiber, so its use is very abroad.
  • The Corn fiber has the characteristics of lustrious silk , has excellent hand touch and brightness and so on.

The disadvantage of Corn fiber:

  • the Corn fiber textiles is too rigid and frail.

Corn fiber is a kind of yogurt polymer. It is tested that Corn knitted fabric will not stimulate skin, and it is beneficialt and comfortable to wear. Corn fiber has excellent drape, slippery, moisture regain and air permeability, and good heat resistance and unaffected by UV light, and it has full lustre and elasticity.

Who said fashion is not serious business?

‘The secret of successful fashion management is a complete blend of Creative Genius and Business Management acumen, skill and resourcefulness.’

Daniele de Winter, CEO, Daniele de Winter Cosmetics, Monaco

Anyone who thinks fashion is inconsequential and doesn’t deserve serious attention must think again. Fashion is a strong force that has always played a significant role in the evolution of mankind’s society. As far back as the Egyptian, Greek and Roman Empires, fashion was a key social element that reflected the society through apparel, accessories and cosmetics. Fashion also had an influence on decisions regarding politics, economy, education and art. In the ancient Roman Empire, the visual representation of fashion was so ingrained within the society that the ruling government decreed the models and colours of shoes worn by the members of each social class. Also during the early years of industrialization, wealthy Americans and Asians travelled to Europe to acquire luxury goods, boosting international trade and the expansion of the global economy. In addition, the Grand Nobles of the Renaissance period and the aristocrats of the past centuries all stamped their significance and contribution to society’s evolution through fashion. The fashion tradition remains prevalent today, albeit in a modern way.

Luxury fashion played a prominent role in the social and economic order of previous centuries and continues to influence our modern societies, economies and governments. The global luxury fashion sector is estimated to be worth US$130 billion. The sector is one of the few industrial segments that have remained a constant world economy contributor with an annual growth rate of approximately 20 per cent. In addition, the industry has made noteworthy contributions to national economies. The luxury fashion sector is the fourth largest revenue generator in France; and one of the most prominent sectors in Italy, Spain, the USA and the emerging markets of China and India. The sector is currently one of the highest employers in France and Italy. In the USA, the fashion apparel industry is the fastest growing sector, while several Asian economies have witnessed a boom as a result of the entrance and expansion of luxury brands in the region. The clothing and accessories retail business is also among the fastest growing industries in several parts of the
world. Fashion has become so influential in the current global economy and world affairs that the United Nations recently launched a program of fashion shows, called ‘Catwalk the World’, as a platform for raising humanitarian aid. Fashion is now also directly linked with film, music, literature, arts, sports and lifestyle as never before. The contribution of fashion and its growing influence has also permeated into other aspects of the business sector as has never before been witnessed.

Despite the high influence of fashion in our society, its analysis from a business strategy viewpoint lacks consensus and structure. This is perhaps a result of the assumption that the intellectual analysis of fashion is an impossible challenge. Or because fashion creativity and business intellect have been viewed as two parallel lines with no meeting point. In luxury fashion, where there’s a heavy emphasis on design and creativity, this perspective is more underlined. Well, the days of these assumptions are gone because, today, the business of fashion requires sophisticated management techniques in addition to a high level of creativity and innovation. The rapid development of the business strategy aspect of fashion management and its balancing act with the creative world are some of the factors that prompted the writing of this book on luxury branding.

The marketplace would be colourless without luxury brands. Luxury fashion brands are unique, intriguing and special. This is not a biased statement from someone who has an innate affinity for fashion branding. It is rather a statement of the fact that luxury fashion provides a means to a lifestyle that is triggered by deep psychological and emotional needs, which is expressed through ingenious products.

A respected writer and branding expert recently told me that he believes that luxury brands deceive customers by selling over-priced branded goods that are produced at a fraction of their price tags. I disagree with this view (excuse me, Mark). I subscribe to the apparent fact that luxury brands provide a complete package of significant benefits to consumers, the social environment and the global economy. When people purchase a luxury fashion item, they don’t just buy the product but a complete parcel that comprises the product and a set of intangible benefits that appeal to the emotional, social and psychological levels of their being. It is quite challenging to find another sector apart from luxury goods, that can claim an emotional connection with their consumers to such an extent that the desire for a product increases as the price tag increases.

Our society thrives on fashion as a form of identity and expression and a source of progression. Fashion, especially luxury fashion, has seeped its way into the lives of consumers, whether they’re wealthy or not. Luxury brands have affected the way consumers think, act and live, both directly and indirectly. Take a moment to reflect on this. When you make a choice of clothes, shoes or other products related to your appearance and grooming, you are making a statement choice based on how you want to appear to yourself and to others. These choices may comprise of what makes you comfortable or what provides you with a means to other forms of satisfaction like belonging to a specific social group. Your choices might be based on brands or not, but the underlying fact is that your choices are influenced by fashion. One thing is certain, and that is the undisputable reality that fashion has become a permanent part of our lives, including the lives of those that consciously decide to distance themselves from fashion in order to avoid falling into the
‘victim’ bracket.

So why write about luxury fashion branding?

The luxury fashion industry is a global multi-billion dollar sector comprising of a multitude of brands with high relevance. Among these are brands like Louis Vuitton, Hermès and Gucci. They are also among the most valuable and influential brands in the world. Despite the large size and income generation of the global luxury fashion industry, the sector has witnessed a slow growth in its strategic business direction. This is because for a long time luxury brands were managed through traditional business methods where decisions were made based on intuition and sometimes on a trial basis. These traditional methods also featured a strong focus on product development and publicity generation through conventional advertising methods. However, the rapid development and complexity of the global business environment currently requires modern and sophisticated business practices in luxury goods management.

In a bid to find a synergy between its origins in tradition and the requirements of modern business, the global luxury goods sector is currently undergoing an important evolution and several management shifts. These changes range from the use of business concepts such as brand equity and brand asset valuation, to e-business; and the development of consolidations and private equity financing. Also, several factors have contributed to the lowering of the sector’s entry barrier, giving way to increased competition. In addition to these, other aspects of the luxury market are also changing. These include the expansion of the luxury consumer market to include a broader mass market; competition from mass fashion brands; the reinterpretation of the luxury concept by the consumer society; the emergence of new luxury markets like China, Russia and India with new opportunities and
outlook; and the increase in the number of the world’s wealthy and changing attitudes in their spending patterns.

The different evolutionary stages of the luxury market in several parts of the world also create a challenge for luxury fashion brand management. For example, the European luxury scene is in its mature stage and consumers in this market approach luxury and fashion as concepts that can be adapted to their lifestyles. This contrasts with US consumers who view luxury as a means to a lifestyle because the US luxury market is still in its growth phase. In the Middle East, where luxury fashion is in its full-bloom growth phase, consumers acquire luxury goods to make a statement of their wealth and Western know-how. Japanese consumers also have a similar attitude to luxury fashion goods, albeit with a twist of affinity to specific French brands. In the rest of Asia, the luxury scene is in its introductory phase while in Africa the concept of luxury fashion is in its early introductory phase. Luxury brands face the challenge of finding a balance in the requirements of each of these markets through their products and service offerings and business strategies.

Changes in the luxury goods sector and the consumer market have also dispelled several old notions of luxury. The Internet has altered the way luxury products are accessed and contributes to the changing consumer psychology and perception of luxury. For example, the retail cliché that assumes that buyers buy and sellers sell, is no longer valid. Buyers now sell in addition to buying, through websites like Buyers can now also borrow luxury goods from several companies like and These possibilities are creating new attitudes to luxury and more challenges to managing luxury brands.

Further changes in the luxury fashion industry include rapid market expansion and competition as a result of easier entry into the industry. Brands can now be launched and achieve global awareness and credibility within a short timeline of only five years. Also the increase in wealth and mobility of luxury consumers and the emergence of new luxury markets is fuelling the sector’s expansion. This has led to a shift in the focus of the luxury market from ‘products’ to ‘consumers’ and the ‘competition’. The rife competitive business environment calls for a strong concentration on developing cuttingedge strategies through relentless innovation. The time has come for new brands to act like old brands; for consumers to be reached through new media like Internet Shopping and Mobile Shopping; and for luxury brands to represent something substantial and valuable to customers through their brands’ offerings.

The branding aspect of luxury goods management is integral to a luxury brand’s sustainability. The brand is the reason that consumers associate themselves with a luxury company. It is what creates and sustains the attraction and desire for products. The strong attachment that luxury consumers have to brands, which often defies logic, is the result of branding. Brands are not products and should not be managed like products. Brands are a complete package that provides a source of identity for products. This identity becomes a springboard for the associations and perceptions eventually developed in the minds of consumers. This is what draws consumers to luxury brands and remains their source of satisfaction.

Although Brand Management is the most influential business aspect, the concept remains in its introductory phase in the luxury goods sector, despite the fact that the ‘brand’ is the core competence of the industry. Luxury fashion brands are yet to absorb the full implication of branding and its management systems. In most cases, the brand is managed through the view of product development and the brand portfolio is seen as the same as the product portfolio. The sequence is often to first develop products and then make branding decisions afterwards. This is a wrong approach. There’s no easier way to say it. Branding decisions ought to be at the core of all the corporate decisions that a luxury brand makes, including product development. The journey of branding begins from crafting a clear brand concept and brand identity and projecting it to the public through an equally clear brand personality and brand image. What the public sees and interprets through the brand image leads to a positioning of the brand in their minds through perceptions and associations. This further leads to the allocation of a space for that brand in their minds according to their sentiments towards the brand. This is called the brand share and influences future purchase decisions and subsequently brand loyalty.

The total branding concept (and not just the brand image) is the source of a luxury fashion brand’s wealth. When the sum of all distinctive qualities of a brand results in the continuous demand and commitment to the brand by consumers, the brand is said to have high brand equity. The brand equity is what translates to brand value, which is the financial gain that a luxury company eventually accrues as a result of its brand strength. The brand equity ought to be painstakingly managed and nurtured to retain its value-creation ability. Brands are invaluable creators of wealth for companies and luxury brands that aim to attain competitive edge ought to be fanatic about their brand-strategy management. This is the most important tool the luxury fashion sector has.

Developing and effectively managing a luxury brand is a painstakingly long process. It requires a consistent integrated strategy, innovative techniques, rigorous management control and constant auditing. This is the reason that there are few existing brands that can claim true ‘luxury’ status. Although several brands aim towards attaining a ‘luxury and prestige’ rank and every talented designer aspires to creating their own luxury brand, only a few brands eventually succeed. The successful brands are those that understand the challenge of finding a balance between being timeless through a firm brand concept and heritage; being current and relevant for the moment through strong brand positioning; and being innovative in crafting a future, all at the same time.

The aim of this book is not to tell you what you already know about fashion branding and management, business strategy or the luxury goods market. It rather provides you with highly relevant analytical information about the luxury goods sector and, most importantly, a framework of business management techniques that can be applied to the sector and beyond. It also reviews strategies that can be used to interpret current and future market changes and ways that luxury brands can be alert to face competitive challenges. The information and business strategies presented in this book are the results of both sound research and confirmed practice. They are sources of new approaches towards the business of smartly bringing objects of desire into the marketplace.

Fiber Migration in yarn structure

Yarn structure plays a key role in determining the yarn physical properties and the performance characteristics of yarns and fabrics. The best way to study the internal structure of the yarns is to examine the arrangement of single fibers in the yarn body, and analyze their migration in crosswise and lengthwise fashions. This requires visual observation of the path of a single fiber in the yarn. Since a fiber is relatively a small element some specific techniques have to be utilized for its observation. In order to perform this task, two different experimental techniques have been developed by previous researchers.

a. Tracer fiber technique: This technique involves immersing a yarn, which contains a very small percentage of dyed fibers, in a liquid whose refractive index is the same as that of the original undyed fibers. This causes the undyed fibers to almost disappear from view and enables the observation of the path of a black dyed tracer fiber under a microscope. Dyed fibers are added to the raw stock before spinning to act as tracers. This technique was introduced by Morton and Yen .

b. Cross sectional method: In this method first the fibers in the yarn are locked in their original position by means of a suitable embedding medium, then the yarn is cut into thin sections, and these sections are studied under microscope. As in the tracer fiber technique, the yarn consists of mostly undyed fibers and a small proportion of dyed fibers such that there is no more than one dyed fiber in any yarn cross-section.

Fiber Migration

Fiber migration can be defined as the variation in fiber position within the yarn. Migration and twist are two necessary components to generate strength and cohesion in spun yarns. Twist increases the frictional forces between fibers and prevents fibers from slipping over one another by creating radial forces directed toward the yarn interior while fiber migration ensures that some parts of the all fibers were locked in the structure.

It was first recognized by Pierce that there is a need for the interchange of the fiber position inside a yarn since if a yarn consisted of a core fiber surrounded by coaxial cylindrical layers of other fibers, each forming a perfect helix of constant radius, discrete layers of the yarn could easily separate. Morton and Yen discovered that the fibers migrate among imaginary cylindrical zones in the yarn and named this phenomenon “fiber migration.”

Mechanisms Causing Fiber Migration

Morton [42] proposed that one of the mechanisms which cause fiber migration is the tension differences between fibers at different radial positions in a twisted yarn. During the twist insertion, fibers are subjected to different tensions depending on their radial positions. Fibers at the core will be under minimum tension due to shorter fiber path while fibers on the surface will be exposed to the maximum tension. According to the principle of the minimum energy of deformation, fibers lying near the yarn surface will try to migrate into inner zones where the energy is lower. This will lead to a cyclic interchange of fiber position. Later Hearle and Bose  gave another mechanism which causes migration. They suggested that when the ribbon-like fiber bundle is turned into the


Apart from the theoretical work cited above, several experimental investigations have been carried out during 1960’s to find out the possible factors affecting fiber migration. Results showed that the fiber migration can be influenced mainly by three groups of factors:

q fiber related factors such as fiber type, fiber length, fiber fineness, fiber initial modulus, fiber bending modulus and torsional rigidity;

q yarn related factors, such as yarn count and yarn twist ; and

q processing factors such as twisting tension, drafting system and number of doubling.

Methods for Assessing Fiber Migration

To study fiber migration Morton and Yen introduced the tracer fiber method. As explained in the previous section, this method enables the observation of the path of a single tracer fiber under a microscope. In order to draw the paths of the tracer fibers in the horizontal plane, Morton and Yen made measurements at successive peaks and troughs of the tracer images. Each peak and trough was in turn brought to register with the hairline of a micrometer eyepiece and scale readings were taken at a, b, and c as seen in Figure 22. The yarn diameter in scale units was given by c-a, while the offset of the


peak or trough, the fiber helix radii, was given by

The distance between

adjacent peaks and troughs was denoted by d. The overall extent of the tracer fiber was obtained from the images, as well. Morton and Yen concluded that in one complete cycle of migration, the fiber rarely crosses through all zones of the structure, from the surface of the yarn to the core and back again, which was considered as ideal migration.


Later Morton [42] used the tracer fiber method to characterize the migration quantitatively by means of a coefficient so called “the coefficient of migration.” He proposed that the intensity of migration i.e., completeness of the migration, or otherwise, of any migratory traverse could be evaluated by the change in helix radius between successive inflections of the helix envelope expressed as the fraction of yarn radius. For example intensity of migration in Figure 23 from A to B was stated as


where rA and rB are helix radius at A and B, respectively and R is yarn radius.

In order to express the intensity of migration for a whole fiber, Morton used the coefficient of migration, which is the ratio of actual migration amplitude to the ideal case. The coefficient of migration was given by




Merchant [ 1 ] modified the helix envelope by expressing the radial position in terms of (r / R) in order avoid any effects due to the irregularities in yarn diameter. The plot of (r / R) along the yarn axis gives a cylindrical envelope of varying radi
us around which the fiber follows a helical path. This plot is called a helix envelope profile. Expression of the radial position in terms of (r / R) involves the division of yarn cross sections into zones of equal radial spacing, which means fibers present longer lengths in the outer zones. Hearle et al. [18] suggested that it is more convenient to divide the yarn cross sections into zones of equal area so that the fibers are equally distributed between all zones. This was achieved by expressing the radial position in terms of (r / R)2, and the plot of (r / R)2against the length along the yarn is called a corrected helix envelope profile which presents a linear envelope for the ideal migration if the fiber packing density is uniform (Figure 24). The corrected helix envelope profile is much easier to manage analytically.


In 1964 Riding [52] worked on filament yarns, and expanded the tracer fiber technique by observing the fiber from two directions at right angles by placing a plane mirror near the yarn in the liquid with the plane of the mirror at 45° to the direction of observation. The radial position of the tracer fiber along the yarn was calculated by the following equation:


where x and y are the distances of the fiber from the yarn axis by the x and y co­ordinates; and dx and dy are the corresponding diameter measurements.

Riding also argued that it is unlikely that any single parameter, such as the coefficient of migration will completely characterize the migration behavior due to its statistical nature. He analyzed the migration patterns using the correlogram, or Auto-correlation Function and suggested that this analysis gives an overall statistical picture of the migration. Riding calculated the auto-correlation coefficient, rs from a series of

values of r / R for a separation of s intervals and obtained the correlogram for each experiment by plotting rs against s. Later a detailed theoretical study by Hearle and Goswami showed that the correlogram method should be used with caution because it tends to pick up only the regular migration.

Hearle and his co-researchers worked on a comprehensive theoretical and experimental analysis of fiber migration in the mid 1960’s. In Part I of the series Hearle, Gupta and Merchant came up with four parameters using an analogy with the method of describing an electric current to characterize the migration behaviors of fibers.

These parameters are:

i. the mean fiber position, which is the overall tendency of a fiber to be near the yarn surface or the yarn center.


ii. r.m.s deviation, which is the degree of the deviation from the mean fiber position


iii. mean migration intensity, which is the rate of change in radial position of a fiber.


iv. equivalent migration frequency, which is the value of migration frequency when an ideal migration cycle is formed from the calculated values of I and D.


r is the current radial position of the fiber with respect to the yarn axis;

R is the yarn radius;

n is the number of the observations; and

Zn is the length of the yarn under consideration

By expressing the migration behavior in terms of these parameters, Hearle et al. replaced an actual migration behavior with a partial ideal migration which is linear with z (length along the fiber axis) but has the same mean fiber position, same r.m.s deviation, and the same mean migration intensity.

Later Hearle and Gupta [20] studied the fiber migration experimentally by using the tracer fiber technique. By taking into consideration the problem of asymmetry in the yarn cross section they came up with the following equation:



r1 and r2 are the helix radii

R1 and R2 are the yarn radii at position z1 and z2 along the yarn.

In 1972 Hearle et al. carried some experimental work on the migration in open-end spun yarns, and they observed that migration pattern in open-end yarns was considerably different from that of ring spun yarns. They suggested that this difference was the reason for the dissimilarity between mechanical and structural parameters of these two yarns.

Among numerous investigations of migration, there have been some attempts to develop a numerical algorithm to simulate yarn behavior. Possibly the most promising

and powerful approach was to apply a finite element analysis method to the mechanics of yarns.

One of the most recently published researches on the mathematical modeling of fiber migration in staple yarns was carried out by Grishanov, et al. They developed a new method to model the fiber migration using a Markov process, and claimed that all the main features of yarn structure could be modeled with this new method. In this approach the process of fiber migration was considered as a Poisson’s flow of events, and the fiber migration characteristics were expressed in terms of a transition matrix.

Another recent study was done by Primentas and Iype. They utilized the level of the focusing depth of a projection microscope as a measure of the fiber position along the z-axis with respect to the body of the yarn. Using a suitable reference depth they plotted the possible 3-dimensional configuration of the tracer fiber. In this study they assumed that yarn had a circular cross section and the difference between minimum and maximum values in depth represented the value of the vertical diameter, which was also equal to horizontal diameter. However, the yarn is irregular along its axis, and its cross section deviates from a circle. Besides, it is questionable that the difference between minimum and maximum values in depth would give the value of the vertical diameter. As these researchers stated this technique is in the “embryonic stage of development.”


Once Valledupar's main economic produce; Cotton

Image via Wikipedia

Gin equipment is designed to remove foreign matter, moisture, and cottonseed from raw seed cotton. Two types of gins are in common use—the saw gin and the roller gin. Saw gins are normally used for Upland cottons, whereas roller gins are used for the ELS (Pima) cottons. In a saw gin, the cotton enters the saw gin stand through a huller front and the saws grasp the seed cotton and draw it through widely spaced ribs. The ginning action is caused by a set of saws rotating  between a second set of narrowly spaced ginning ribs. The saw teeth pass between the ribs pulling the fiber through at the ginning point. The space is too narrow for the seed to pass and so the fiber is pulled from the seed. A roller gin consists of a ginning roll (covered with a compound cotton and rubber material), a stationary knife held against the roll, and a rotary knife. The rotating roll pulls the fiber under the stationary knife. The seeds cannot pass under the stationary knife and is separated from the fiber. The rotary knife then pushes the ginned seed away from the ginning point allowing room for more seed cotton to be ginned.


Fig. 1. A modern gin stand that separates fiber from cottonseed.

Typical types of gin equipment are cylinder cleaners, stick machines, and lint cleaners for cleaning; hot air driers for removing moisture; gin stands for separating the fiber from the cottonseed; and the bale press for packaging the lint . The gin stand (Fig. 1) is actually the only item of equipment required to gin cotton, the other equipment is for trash removal and drying. About 636 kg of seed cotton is required to produce a bale (∼227 kg; 500 lb) of lint cotton from spindle-harvested cotton. The remainder consists of about 354-kg seed and 55-kg trash and moisture. Typical gins contain one to four individual gin stands, each rated at 6–15 bales/h. However, a few gins contain as many as eight gin stands and produce up to 100 bales/h. The greatest number [30,498] of gins existed in the United States in 1902. The majority were on plantations, and they processed 10.6 million bales (2.3 × 109 kg) of cotton (43). Since then the number of gins has declined, and the average number of bales processed per gin has increased. In 2000, a total of ∼1018 active gins handled a crop of 16,742,000 bales (∼3.65 × 109 kg) for an average of 16,446 bales (3.58 × 106 kg) per gin plant. The number of bales produced in the United States varies substantially from year to year, which places a severe financial burden on the ginning industry.

Mechanical harvesting systems were made possible by the invention of saw type lint-cleaning systems in the early 1950s. Lint cleaners enabled gins to remove from the cotton the additional trash that resulted from mechanical harvesting. The mechanical systems reduced the harvesting period from 4–5 months to ∼6–8 weeks of intensive operation. Severe congestion problems at the gin were eased with the storage of seed cotton in 8- to 15-bale, freestanding modules. Modules avoided the massive need for wheeled trailers during the compressed harvest season. Storage of seed cotton in modules increased rapidly from the 1970s onward, accounting for >90% of the crop in 2000. At present, the average U.S. cotton ginning capacity is ∼30 bales/h. A few gins process in excess of 100 bales/h.

Most of the U.S. gins are now operated as cooperatives or as corporations serving many cotton producers. Automatic devices do the work faster, more efficiently,and more economically than hand labor. High volume bulk seed cotton handling systems and hydraulic suction systems to remove cotton from modules, high volume trailers to get cotton into the gin, larger trailers and modules, increased processing rates for gin equipment, automatic controls, automated bale packaging and handling devices, and improved management have all increased efficiency.

After ginning, baled cotton is sampled so that grade and quality parameters can be determined (classification). The fiber quality/physical attributes affect the textile manufacturing efficiency and the quality of the finished product. Cotton bales are normally stored in warehouses in the form of highly compressed bales.The International Organization for  Standardization (ISO) specifies that bale dimensions should be of length 140 cm (55 in.), width 53.3 cm (21 in.), height 70–90 cm (27.6–35.4 in.), and density of 360–450 kg/m 3 (22.4–28 lb/ft 3) . Bales of cotton produced in the United States meet these dimensional standards. Bales of cotton packaged in accordance with these dimensions (ISO 8115) are not considered a flammable solid by the International Maritime Organization and the U.S. Department of Transportation for transportation purposes for vessel and other types of shipment  and are considered to present no measurable pest risk to the importing country. Baled cotton fiber is merchandized and shipped by the merchant to the textile
mill for manufacturing into products for the consumer. The seed is shipped directly for feeding to dairy cattle or to a cottonseed oil mill for crushing.

Digg This

Cotton Fibers 2

Once Valledupar's main economic produce; Cotton
Image via Wikipedia


COTTON is defined as white fibrous substance covering seeds harvested from Cotton Plant.

SEED COTTON (called Kapas in India – Paruthi in Tamil)harvested from Cotton Plant.

LINT COTTON (RUIA in Hindi, PANJU in Tamil) is obtained by removing the seeds in a ginning machine.

LINT COTTON is spun into Yarn, which is woven or knitted into a Fabric. Researchers have found that cotton was grown more than 9000 years ago. However large scale cultivation commenced during middle of 17th Century AD.

Many varieties of Cotton are cultivated mainly from 3 important genetic species of Gossipium.

G. HIRSUTUM – 87% Grown in America, Africa, Asia, Australia Plant grows to a height of 2 Meters.

G. BARBADENSE– 8% Grown in America, Africa & Asia. Plant grows to a height of 2.5 Meters with yellow flowers, long fibers with good quality, fibers with long staple and fineness

G. Arboreum – 5% Perennial plant grows up to 2 meters with red flowers, poor quality fibers in East Africa and South East Asia.

There are four other species grown in very negligible quantities. Cotton harvested from the Plant by hand – picking or machine picking is ginned to remove seeds and the lint is pressed into Bales for delivery to Spinning Mills. Cotton is Roller Ginned (RG) or Saw Ginned (SG) depending varieties and ginning practices.

Cotton is cultivated in 75 Countries with an area of 32 Million Hectares. Cultivation period varies from 175 days to 225 days depending on variety. Cotton is harvested in two seasons, summer and winter seasons.

Saw ginned cotton is more uniform and cleaner than Roller Ginned Cotton. But fibers quality is retained better quality in Roller Ginning than Saw Ginning which has high productivity.

Cotton Fiber is having a tubular structure in twisted form. Now. researchers have developed coloured cotton also. As on date, percentage of Cotton fiber use is more than synthetic fibers. But, its share is gradually reducing. Cotton is preferred for under garments due its comfort to body skin. Synthetics have more versatile uses and advantage for Industrial purposes.


No other material is quite like cotton. It is the most important of all natural fibres, accounting for half of all the fibres used by the world’s textile industry.
Cotton has many qualities that make it the best choice for countless uses:
Cotton fibres have a natural twist that makes them so suitable for spinning into a very strong yarn.
The ability of water to penetrate right to the core of the fibre makes it easy to remove dirt from the cotton garments, and creases are easily removed by ironing.
Cotton fabric is soft and comfortable to wear close to skin because of its good moisture absorption qualities.
Charges of static electricity do not build up readily on the clothes.


Nobody seems to know exactly when people first began to use cotton, but there is evidence that it was cultivated in India and Pakistan and in Mexico and Peru 5000 years ago. In these two widely separated parts of the world, cotton must have grown wild. Then people learned to cultivate cotton plants in their fields.
In Europe, wool was the only fiber used to make clothing. Then from the Far East came tales of plants that grew “wool”. Traders claimed that cotton was the wool of tiny animals called Scythian lambs, that grew on the stalks of a plant. The stalks, each with a lamb as its flower, were said to bend over so the small sheep could graze on the grass around the plant. These fantastic stories were shown to be untrue when Arabs brought the cotton plant to Spain in Middle Ages.

In the fourteenth century cotton was grown in Mediterranean countries and shipped from there to mills in the Netherlands in western Europe for spinning and weaving. Until the mid eighteenth century, cotton was not manufactured in England, because the wool manufacturers there did not want it to compete with their own product. They had managed to pass a law in 1720 making the manufacture or sale of cotton cloth illegal. When the law was finally repealed in 1736, cotton mills grew in number. In the United States though, cotton mills could not be established, as the English would not allow any of the machinery to leave the country because they feared the colonies would compete with them. But a man named Samuel Slater, who had worked in a mill in England, was able to build an American cotton mill from memory in 1790.


Cotton plant’s leaves resemble maple leaves and flowers look very much like pink mallow flowers that grow in swampy areas. They are relatives and belong in the same plant family.

Cotton is grown in about 80 countries, in a band that stretches around the world between latitudes 45 North to 30 South. For a good crop of cotton a long, sunny growing season with at least 160 frost-free days and ample water are required. Well drained, crumbly soils that can keep moisture well are the best. In most regions extra water must be supplied by irrigation. Because of it’s long growing season it is best to plant early but not before the sun has warmed the soil enough.

Seedlings appear about 5 days after planting the seeds. Weeds have to be removed because they compete with seedlings for water, light and minerals and also encourage pests and diseases. The first flower buds appear after 5-6 weeks, and in another 3-5 weeks these buds become flowers.
Each flower falls after only 3 days leaving behind a small seed pot, known as the boll. Children in cotton-growing areas in the South sometimes sing this song about the flowers:
First day white, next day red,
third day from my birth – I’m dead.
Each boll contains about 30 seeds, and up to 500 000 fibres of cotton. Each fibre grows its full length in 3 weeks and for the following 4-7 weeks each fiber gets thicker as layers of cellulose build up the cell walls. While this is happening the boll matures and in about 10 weeks after flowering it splits open. The raw cotton fibres burst out to dry in the sun. As they lose water and die, each fibre collapses into what looks like a twisted ribbon. Now is time for harvesting. Most cotton is hand-picked. This is the best method of obtaining fully grown cotton because unwanted material, called “trash”, like leaves and the remains of the boll are left behind. Also the cotton that is too young to harvest is left for a second and third picking. A crop can be picked over a period of two months as the bolls ripen. Countries that are wealthy and where the land is flat enough usually pick cotton with machines – cotton harvesters.


SNo Country Planting Period Harvesting Staple-mm Mike Variety
8 CHAD JUNE NOV-DEC 25-28 3.8-4.4 ALLEN
11 EGYPT MARCH SEP-OCT 31-40 3.24.6 GIZA
12 GREECE APRIL SEPT-OCT 26-28 3.8-4.2 4S
14 IRAN MAR-APR SEP-NOV 26-28 3.9-4.5 COKER
17 MALI JUN-JUL OCT-NOV 26-27 3.7-4.5 BJA
19 MOZAMBIQUE NOV-DEC APR-MAY 25-29 3.6-4.2 A637
21 PAKISTAN APR-JUN SEP-DEC 12-33 3.5-6.0
28 TOGO JUN-JUL NOV-DEC 28-29 4.3-5.5 ALLEN
28-30 3.0-4.0 ACALA 151T
28-29 3.8-4.6 DELTAPINENC
25-28 3.2-4.6 PAYMASTER 280
27-28 3.7-4.7 STONOVILLE ST
35-40 3.5-4.5 PIMA S7
34 YEMEN AUG-SEP JUN-APR 36-40 3.5-4.9 K4


Instead of buying any cotton available at lowest price, spinning it to produce yarn of highest count possible and selling Yam at any market in random, it is advisable to locate a good market where Yarn can be sold at highest price and select a Cotton which has characteristics to spin Yarn of desired specifications for that market.

ESSENTIAL CHARACTERISTICS of cotton quality and characteristics of Yarn quality of Yarn are given from detailed experimental investigations. Some of the important conclusions which help to find co-relation between Yarn quality and Cotton quality are given below

  • STAPLE LENGTH: If the length of fiber is longer, it can be spun into finer counts of Yarn which can fetch higher prices. It also gives stronger Yarn.
  • STRENGTH : Stronger fibers give stronger Yarns. Further, processing speeds can be higher so that higher productivity can be achieved with less end-breakages.
  • FIBER FINENESS: Finer Fibers produce finer count of Yarn and it also helps to produce stronger Yarns.
  • FIBER MATURITY : Mature fibers give better evenness of Yarn. There will be less end – breakages . Better dyes’ absorbency is additional benefit.
  • UNIFORMITY RATIO: If the ratio is higher. Yam is more even and there is reduced end-breakages.
  • ELONGATION :A better value of elongation will help to reduce end-breakages in spinning and hence higher productivity with low wastage of raw material.
  • NON-LINT CONTENT: Low percentage of Trash will reduce the process waste in Blow Room and cards. There will be less chances of Yarn defects.
  • SUGAR CONTENT: Higher Sugar Content will .create stickiness of fiber and create processing problem of licking in the machines.
  • MOISTURE CONTENT : If Moisture Content is more than standard value of 8.5%, there will be more invisable loss. If moisture is less than 8.5%, then there will be tendency for brittleness of fiber resulting in frequent Yarn breakages.
  • FEEL : If the feel of the Cotton is smooth, it will be produce more smooth yarn which has potential for weaving better fabric.
  • CLASS : Cotton having better grade in classing will produce less process waste and Yarn will have better appearance.
  • GREY VALUE: Rd. of calorimeter is higher it means it can reflect light better and Yam will give better appearance.
  • YELLOWNESS : When value of yellowness is more, the grade becomes lower and lower grades produce weaker & inferior yarns.
  • NEPPINESS : Neppiness may be due to entanglement of fibers in ginning process or immature fibers. Entangled fibers can be sorted out by careful processing But, Neps due to immature fiber will stay on in the end product and cause the level of Yarndefects to go higher.

An analysis can be made of Yarn properties which can be directly attributed to cotton quality.

1. YARN COUNT: Higher Count of Yarn .can be produced by longer, finer and stronger fibers.

2. C.V. of COUNT: Higher Fiber Uniformity and lower level of short fiber percentage will be beneficial to keep C.V.(Co-efficient of Variation) at lowest.

3. TENSILE STRENGTH : This is directly related to fiber strength. Longer Length of fiber will also help to produce stronger yarns.

4. C.V. OF STRENGTH : is directly related CV of fiber strength.

5. ELONGATION : Yam elongation will be beneficial for weaving efficiently. Fiber with better elongation have positive co-relation with Yarn elongation.

6. C.V. OF ELONGATION: C.V. of Yarn Elongation can be low when C.V. of fiber elongation is also low.

7. MARS VARIATION : This property directly related to fiber maturity and fiber uniformity.

8. HAIRINESS : is due to faster processing speeds and high level of very short fibers,

9. DYEING QUALITY : will defend on Evenness of Yarn and marketing of cotton fibers.

10. BRIGHTNESS : Yarn will give brighter appearance if cotton grade is higher.


The most important fiber quality is Fiber Length


Length mm Length inches Spinning Count
Short Less than 24 15/16 -1 Coarse Below 20
Medium 24- 28 1.1/132-1.3/32 Medium Count 20s-34s
Long 28 -34 1.3/32 -1.3/8 Fine Count 34s – 60s
Extra Long 34- 40 1.3/8 -1.9/16 Superfine Count 80s – 140s


  • Spinning Count does not depend on staple length only. It also depends on fineness and processing machinery.
  • Length is measured by hand stapling or Fibrograph for 2.5% Span Length
  • 2.5%SL (Spun Length) means at least 2.5% of total fibers have length exceeding this value.
  • 50% SL means at least 50% of total fibers have length exceeding this value.


Length Uniformity is Calculated by 50SL x 100 / 2.5 SL

Significance of UR (Uniformity Radio) is given below:

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

Interpretation of Uniformity Index

Below 77 Very low Below 0.99 Short
77-99 Low 0.99-1.10 Medium
80-82 Average 1.11-1.26 Long
83-85 High Above 1.26 Extra Long
Above 85 Very High

Now Uniformity is measured by HVI

Fiber Strength

Fiber Strength, next important quality is tested using Pressley instrument and the value is given in Thousands of Pounds per Square inch. (1000 psi) For better accuracy, Stelometer is used and results are given in grams / Tex.

Lately, strength is measured in HVI (High Value Instrument) and result is given in terms of grams/tex.

Interpretation of Strength value is given below

G/tex Classification
Below 23 Weak
24-25 Medium
26-28 Average
29-30 Strong
Above 31 Very Strong

Strength is essential for stronger yarns and higher processing speeds.

  • Fiber Fineness Fiber Fineness and 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.
  • Micronaire values vary from 2.6 to 7.5 in various varieties.


Usually Micronaire value is referred to evaluate fineness of Cotton and its suitability for spinning particular count of Yarn. As the value is a combined result of fineness and maturity of Cotton fiber, it cannot be interpreted, property for ascertaining its spinning Value. This value should be taken in conjunction with standard value of Calibrated Cotton value.

The following table will explain that micronaire value goes up along with maturity but declines with thickness of fiber. An Egyptian variety of Cotton, three samples of High maturity. Low maturity and Medium maturity were taken and tested. Test results are given below,

Maturity Micronaire Perimeter Maturity Maturity Ratio
High 4.3 52.9 85.1 1.02
Medium 4.0 54.4 80.1 0.96
Low 3.9 54.7 79.3 0.95

Here, Micronaire Value of 4.3 is higher than 3.9 of low maturity cotton Another Greek Cotton was tested and results are give below

High 3.8 57.0 75.1 0.88
Medium 3.5 54.9 70.7 0.84
Low 3.2 55.2 65.8 0.80

Micronaire Value of 3.8 is higher than 3.2 of low maturity cotton. Another American Cotton was tested and results are as follows

High 4.1 64.4 75.9 0.87
Medium 3.4 62.1 68.0 0.80
Low 2.7 59.8 56.1 0.67

Hence, it is essential to know what Micronaire value is good for each variety of Cotton.

Maturity Ratio Classification
1.00 and above Very Mature
0.95 – 1.0 Above Average
0.85 – 0.95 Mature
0.80 – 0.85 Below Average
Less than 0.80 immature


Cotton grade is determined by evaluating colour, leaf and ginning preparation. Higher grade cottons provide better yarn appearance and reduced process waste.

Colour is determined by using Nickerson-Hunter Calorimeter. This gives values Rd (Light or Dark) and +b (Yellowness).




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


COTTON BUYING is the most important function that will contribute to optimum profit of a Spinning Mill.

EVALUATION of cotton quality is generally based more on experience rather than scientific testing of characteristics only.

TIMING of purchase depends on comprehensive knowledge about various factors which affect the prices.

CHOOSING the supplier for reliability of delivery schedules and ability to supply cotton within the prescribed range of various parameters which define the quality of Cotton.

BARGINING for lowest price depends on the buyer’s reputation for prompt payment and accept delivery without dispute irrespective of price fluctuations.

ORGANISING the logistics for transportation of goods and payment for value of goods will improve the benefits arising out of the transaction.

PROFIT depends on producting high quality Yarn to fetch high prices. Influence of quality of raw material is very important in producing quality Yarn. But, quality of yam is a compound effect of quality of raw material, skills of work-force, performance of machines,- process know-how of Technicians and management expertise.

A good spinner is one who produces reasonably priced yarn of acceptable quality from reasonably priced fiber. Buying a high quality, high priced cotton does not necessarily result in high quality Yarn or high profits.


Buyer and seller should clearly reach correct understanding on the following factors.

1. Country of Origin, Area of Growth, Variety, Crop year

2. Quality – Based on sample or

Description of grade as per ASTM standard or sample
For grade only and specifying range of staple length,
Range of Micronaire, range of Pressley value, uniformity,
Percentage of short fiber, percentage of non-lint content,
Tolerable level of stickiness

3. Percentage of Sampling at destination

4. Procedure for settling disputes on quality or fulfillment of contract obligations.

5. Responsibility regarding contamination or stickiness.

6. Price in terms of currency, Weight and place of delivery.

7. Shipment periods

8. Certified shipment weights or landing Weights

9. Tolerances for Weights and Specifications

10. Port of Shipment and port of destination, partial shipments allowed or not, transshipment allowed or not, shipments in containers or Break-bulk carriers

11. Specifications regarding age of vessels used for shipment, freight payment in advance or on delivery

12. Responsibility regarding Import & Export duties

13. Terms of Insurance cover

14. Accurate details of Seller, Buyer and Broker

15. Terms of Letter of. Credit regarding bank .negotiation, reimbursement and special conditions, if any

Choose Correct Supplier or Agent:

Apart from ensuring correct terms of Contract, Buyer should ensure that purchase is made from Reliable Supplier or through a Reliable Agent. Some suppliers evade supplies under some pretext if the market goes up. Otherwise, they supply inferior quality Either way buyer suffers.

By establishing long term relationship will reliable Suppliers, Buyers can have satisfaction of getting correct quality, timely deliveries and fair prices.


It is good to establish long term relationship with a few Agents who represent reputed Trading Companies in various Cotton Exporting Countries. They usually give reliable market information on quality, prices and market trends so that buyer can take intelligent decision. As cotton is not a manufactured Commodity, it is good to buy from dependable suppliers, who will ensure supply of correct quality with a variation within acceptable limits at correct price and also deliver on due date.


In a market with varying market demand situation. Buyers should decide which counts of Yarn to spin. Buyer can call for samples suitable for spinning Yarn counts programmed for production. Many spinners plan to do under-spinning. For Example, cotton suitable for 44s is used for spinning 40s. Some spinners do over-spinning. They buy cotton suitable for 40s and spin 44s count. But, is advisable to spin optimum count to ensure quality and also keep cost of raw material at minimum level as for as possible. Some spinners also buy 2 or more varieties and blend them for optimum spinning. For’ this purpose, a good knowledge to evaluate cotton quality and co-relate with yarn properties of required specifications. Cotton buyer should develop expertise in assessing cotton quality. Machine tests must be done only to confirm manual evaluation.


It is not advisable just to look at price quoted by supplier. Correct costing should be done to work out actual cost when the cotton arrives at Mills. Further lowest price does not always mean highest profit for buying. Profitability may be affected by anyone or more of the following factors.

  • If the trash is higher, more waste will be produced reducing the Yarn out- turn and hence profit.
  • If the uniformity is less, end – breakages will be more reducing productivity and profitability.
  • If grade is poor or more immature fibers are found in cotton, the yarn appearance will be affected and Yarn will fetch lesser price in the market.
  • If the transit period for transport of cotton is longer, then also profitability will be reduced due blocking of funds for a longer period and increased cost of Interest.
  • Rate of Sales Tax varies from State to State. This must be taken in to account.
  • Hence, thorough costing should be worked out before deciding on the quoted pnce onlv

The margin of profit in spinning cotton should be calculated before deciding on The various options available depending on market conditions should be studied.

The factors to be considered for taking options are as follows.

  • Count for which demand is good in market
  • Prices for various counts for which demand exists.
  • Cost of manufacturing various counts.
  • Adequacy of machinery for the selected count.
  • Various varieties of cotton available for spinning the selected count.
  • Profit margin for each count using different varieties.
  • Price quoted by different Agents for same variety of selected cotton.
  • Reliability of supplier for quality and timely delivery.

Cost Consideration:

Apart from the price quoted by the seller, other incidental costs must be taken into consideration before buying.

a) Duration for goods to reach Buyer’s godown from the seller’s Warehouse. If the duration is longer, buyer will incur higher interest charges.

b) Cost of Transportation and taxes.

Resolution of differences

If any discrepancy arises in the quality, weight and delivery periods, sellers should be willing to resolve the differences amicably and quickly. In case the matter is referred to Arbitrator, the award of the Arbitrator must be immediately enforced.

Bench Marks for Easy Reference

It is better if quality bench marks are established for different varieties so that buying decisions are easy for buyers Following standards have been found to be appropriate for Strict Middling Grade Cotton of staple 1.3/32″.

  1. Staple Length ( 2.5% Spun Length) – Minimum 1.08″ or 27.4 mm
  2. Micronaire : Minimum 3.8, Maximum-4.6 Variation within bulk sample should not be more than _ 0.1
  3. Colour : Rd not less than 75 not more than 10
  4. Nep Content: Less than 150 per gram
  5. Strength : More than 30 grams/tex
  6. Length Uniformity Ratio: Not less than 85%
  7. Elongation : More than 8%
  8. Short Fiber Content: Less than 5%
  9. Seed Count Fragments : Less than 15 per grams
    1. Commercial Bench marks can be given as follows:
      1. Price Competitiveness
      2. Price Stability
      3. Easy Availability throughout year
      4. Uniform Classing and Grading system
      5. Even- running Cotton in all Characteristics
      6. Reliable deliveries òr Respect for sanctity of contract.


The need for quality evaluation is for following purposes

a) To get optimum quality at lowest price.
b) To decide whether cotton bought will can be processed to spin Yarn of desired specifications.
c) To check the quality of sample cotton with quality of delivered cotton.
d) To decide about correct machine settings and speeds for processing the cotton
e) To estimate profitability of purchase decisions.

Knowing the cotton properties is only half the battle for profits. It needs expertise to know how to get best of its value.

Currently popular instrument called HVI gives ready information on various parameters to make correct purchase decisions.

If may not be possible to get all the desired qualities in one variety or one lot of Cotton. In such case, an intelligent decision to select best combination of different varieties or lots to get desired Yam quality is necessary to get optimum yarn quality at optimum cost.

If correct evaluation is made, profits are large. Hence, evaluation of quality is essential for optimum profit making and also make the customers happy with supply of correct quality of Yarn.

Expert classers can manage to achieve reasonable level of correct evaluation. Now, with availability of better instruments, it is better to check qualities to make sure that desired quality of cotton is procured.  These details should give cotton buyer reasonable guidance to make correct evaluation of cotton quality and ensure its suitability for producing required quality of yarn.

1. Staple Length Spinning Potential
2. Fiber Strength Yarn strength, less Breakages
3. Fineness   Finer Spinning Potential
4. Maturity Yarn Strength and even ness, better dyeing
5. Non-Lint.content (Trash) Reduced Waste
6, Uniformity Ratio Better productivity and Evenness
7. Elongation Less end Breakages
8, Friction Cohesiveness
9. Class Yarn Appearance
10.Stickiness Spinning problem by lapping & Dyeing quality
11. Grey Value Yarn lustre
12. Yellowness Yarn Appearance
13.Neppiness Yarn neppiness
14. Moisture Content 8.5% moisture content optimum for spinning at 65%


Instrument Measurements
Fibrogaph   Length
Pressley Apparatres Fiber Bundle Strength
HV I Instrument Length, Strength, Uniformity, Elongation, Micronaire, Color and Trash
Stelometer Instrument Strength, Elongation
Micronaire Combined test of fineness & maturity
Shirley Trash Analyser Trash Content
Manual Test Class & staple length
Moisture Meter Moisture
Colorimeter Grey value & yellow ness. Brightness
Polarised light Microscope or
Casricaire test
Photographic film   Neppiness


Digg This