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20Studies of Fibre Structural Deformities. etc.

-El-Sahhar et al 209

20STUDIES OF FIBRE STRUCTURAL DEFORMITIES


IN EGYPTIAN COTTONS

By KASSEM F . E L - S A H H A R , A L I A . A L - A S H W A T , and AHMED S. SOLIMAN

This paper deals with fibre deformities in thirteen cultivais of Egyptian cotton, namely: Giza
45, Giza 70, Menoufi, Giza 68, Giza 76, and Giza 77 ofthe long-staple category; Giza 69, Giza 75,
and Dandara of the long-medium-staple category, and Giza 66, Giza 72, and Ashmouni of the
medium-staple category.
The cotton-fibre deformities were classified as major and minor according to their frequency.
The major fibre deformities included thin fibre, knee, knot, small spur, and large spur, and the
minor fibre deformities included forked and protuberant fibres. Differences in the number of fibre
deformities between the cultivars studied, in the types of fibre deformities, and in the interaction
between number and type of fibre deformities were statistically significant.
Fibre deformities occurred in between one-half and two-thirds ofthe neps that were formed,
which confirmed their troublesome role in the cotton textile industry. Neps were classified into
groups according to the number of fibre deformities associated with each in order to evaluate the
part played by fibre deformities in neppiness.

1. INTRODUCTION
Egyptian cotton has gained its world-wide reputation from its high quality. The
maintenance of such a reputation is hard work, especially in view of the ever-increasing
competition from man-made fibres as well as the improved cottons produced in other countries.
To the authors' knowledge, no previous studies haVe dealt with fibre deformities in
Egyptian cottons. Harrison and Craig^ considered that such abnormality was an important
element in fibre quality. Hence the study reported in the present paper was undertakerr to
survey the existence of the different types of deformities found in some Egyptian-cotton
cultivars.

2. REVIEW OF LITERATURE

A long time ago, several workers, such as Deschamps^, Morris and Wilkinson^, and
V^tillart"*, studied a number of cotton-fibre defomiities, but no satisfactory explanation or
description was put forward.
Denham^ suggested that some fibre deformities were due to the tendency of the cotton
fibres to fill up all available boll space, which is generally very crowded with fibres and seeds.
He concluded that a slight local enlargement of the cotton hair (bulges) was fairly common
in the coarser types of fibre.
Farr^, in a study of cotton-fibre deformities and the density of the fibre mass within the
boll, noticed that few deformities were found in cotton fibres during the period of development
in which the increase in size of the boll cavity was keeping pace with the increase in the fibre
mass. However, counts of deformities from mature bolls suggested that the density of the
fibre mass within the boll during the later stages of development was one of the important
factors in the determination of the number of fibre deformities of cotton.
Harrison and Craig^ classified the deformities in cotton fibres into major and minor. The
major deformities were those that appear to be troublesome in spinning operations and thereby
cause breakage, entanglement, or neps. Such deformities were found in many shapes and sizes
and usually made an acute angle with the fibre axis. Minor deformities generally consisted of
enlargements of portions of fibre and were not large enough to cause trouble in handling
operations. With some exceptions, the ratio between major and minor deformities was about
2:1. The same authors also studied the relation between fibre deformities and neppiness and
found that neps contained more immature fibres than any other deformities. Extreme tapering,
fibre roughness, and fibres of large diameter were factors that contributed to neppiness and
thus led to spinning difficulties.

/. Text. Inst.. 1982, No. S


210 20-Studies of Fibre Structural Deformities in Egyptian
3. MATERIAL AND METHODS

The cotton cultivars included in the investigation were obtained from the Cotton
Maintenance Section, Cotton Research Institute, Agricultural Research Centre, Giza. Samples
were obtained from experiments used to test the suitability of different locations for growing
different cotton cultivars. The design of these experiments was complete randomized blocks
with four replicates. Thirteen cotton cultivars, graded 'Fully Good', were selected to represent
the three categories of Egyptian cottons, namely: long-staple, over 1-3/8 in., represented by
Giza 45, Giza 70, Menoufi, Giza 68, Giza 76, and Giza 77; long-medium-staple, 1(4-1-3/8 in,
represented by Giza 67, Giza 69, Giza 75, and Dandara; and medium-staple. I-l/8-lVi in.,
represented by Ashmouni, Giza 66, and Giza 72.
Samples of fibres were taken from the four replicates of each cultivar and then blended
carefully to obtain the correct representative samples for spinning operations. Samples for fibre-
testing were taken from the second-card slivers, which resulted in a complete blending of the
replicates as a result of the carding operation. From the fibre sample, a random specimen was
taken for microscopical examination, and fibre deformities were counted by using at least
1000 fibres (replicated four times) mounted on slides, nearly 100 fibres per slide being taken
as parallel as possible. A few drops of 18% sodium hydroxide solution were placed on the
fibres before they were covered. A projection microscope (Visopan) with a magnification of
SOOx was used to count the number of deformities. The count was made throughout the
entire length of each fibre. This was accomplished by making as many trips across the slide as
were necessary to cover the whole length of all the mounted fibres.
Small cotton samples for nep-counting were taken from the commercial cultivars from
the Grading Research Section of the Cotton Technology Research Division of the Cotton
Research Institute, these being taken from the second-card sUver produced during the spinning
procedure from cotton samples passed twice through the carding machine. A fixed fibre mass ol
1 g was replicated four times. Specimens were placed on a black velvet pad. Neps were counted
by using a needle and magnifying lens. After treatment with 18% sodium hydroxide solution,
the neps were examined with the Visopan. with both high (SOOx) and low (50x)
magnifications.

4. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

4.1 Definition of Cotton-fibre Deformities


ln this study, deformities (abnormalities or oddities) ofthe Egyptian-co tton cultivars were
classified into major and minor categories according to their frequency. The major category
consisted of the deformities that occurred more frequently in different cultivars and neps, such
as thin fibres, knees, knots, and spurs. The minor deformities were those found less often, such
as forked and protuberant fibres.
In this respect, it is worth mentioning that Denham* and Farr^ considered the extremely
immature fibres (dead fibres) a type of deformity. However, this immaturity was recently
considered as a physical property of cotton fibres and had its own special tests and means of
technological evaluation. Hence immature fibres were not considered as fibre deformities in this
work.

4.2 Types of Cotton-fibre Deformity


Different types of fibre deformity in Egyptian-Cotton cultivars are illustrated in Figures
1-6. The'y are as follows.
/. Text. Inst.. 1982, No. 5
CottonsEl-Sahhar. Al-Ashwat. andSoliman 211

Fig. 1 Fig. 2
(A) A thin fibre; (B) a normal A fibre knee (x 250)
fibre (x 250)

T.

wn
4A -IB
Fig. 3 Fig. 4
Two fibres forming a fibre knot (x 250) (A) A small spur; (B) a large spur (x 250)

Fig. 5 Fig. 6
A forked fibre (x 250) A protuberant fibre (x 250)

J. Text. Inst., 1982, No. 5


212 20-Studies of Fibre Structural Deformities in Egyptian

(i) Thin Fihre Cotton fibres decrease in diameter to a large extent. The diameter of
the thin fibres averaged Sfxm, compared with 22 ^ l for the normal fibres.
(ii) Fibre Knee A fibre knee may develop in a cotton fibre. Its diameter ranged
from 34 to 40 /Lon and its length from 50 to 70 trni in the fibres examined.
(iii) Fibre Knot A knot may develop in cotton fibres and is composed of two fibres
knotted to each other. This type of deformity seems to be due to handling operations
rather than to intrinsic deformities of the fibre, since the two fibres grow normally.
The knot size observed was about 60 ^tm x 60 fjin.
(iv) Fibre Spur For ease of consideration, this type of deformity was divided into
small and large. The small spurs ranged from 20 to 35 fjm in diameter and from 40
to 60 ^im in length. The large spurs ranged from 20 to 65 /rni in diameter and from
140 to 160 /im in length.
(v) Forked Fibre Cotton fibres may branch. The branches examined ranged from
6 to 11 Atm in diameter and from 30 to 90 ^lm in length.
(vi) Protuberant Fibre A protuberance averaging 5 /mi in diameter and 26 /im in
length and associated with an increase in fibre diameter was observed in the cotton
fibres. The difference in shape and size of forked and protuberant fibres is interesting
(compare Figures 5 and 6).

4.3 Number of Different Types of Cotton-fibre Deformities


Results showing the average number of different types of fibre deformity in the Egyptian-
cotton cultivars investigated are presented in Table I. An analysis of variance shows that
differences in the average number of deformities between cultivars, the types of deformity,
and the interaction between them were highly significant. To facilitate the comparison of
significance between differences in number and type of fibre deformities, two-way tables were
established (Tables II and III). In general, the majority of the differences either between
numbers or between types of fibre deformities were statistically significant. The long-medium-
staple cultivars showed a higher tendency to develop fibre deformities. Giza 69 ranked first.
On the other hand, the long-staple cultivars had the lowest number of fibre deformities,
Menoufi recording the smallest value (27.8). The medium-staple cultivars were intermediate in
this respect. To confirm these fmdings, a group comparison for the average number of fibre
deformities in the three categories of Egyptian-cotton cultivars was made (Table IV). The
difference between the categories of long-staple and long-medium-staple cultivars was
significant. However, other comparisons showed no statistically significant differences.
To conclude, the three categories of Egyptian-cotton cultivars differed in their tendency
to develop fibre deformities. The categories were arranged in descending order as follows:
lo^g-medium-staple, medium-staple, and long-staple cultivars. It is noteworthy that, in
addition to the high quality of the fibre in long-staple cultivars, which is due to the fibre
length, another advantage is recorded here, i.e., the low tendency to develop deformities.
The numbers of deformities reported in the present paper are comparable with those found
by Harrison and Craig^, using Upland cottons. However, the types of deformity recorded were
not the same in both cases.
Most differences between the various types of fibre deformity were statistically significant
(Table III). In both long-staple and medium-staple cultivars, thin fibre was the deformity that
occurred most frequently. However, in long-medium-staple cultivars, the knee type was
observed most often and was followed by thin fibre. Other types of deformity were arranged in
the following descending order of occurrence: knot, small spur, large spur, protuberance, and
forked fibre.
The ratio of the development of different types of fibre deformity in the cotton cultivars
investigated was estimated in order to gain information about their proportional distribution
(Fig. 7). The different types of cotton-fibre deformity were distributed to various extents in
different cultivars. In general, thin fibres and knees formed about two-thirds of the deformities
J. Text. Inst. 1982, No. 5
Cottons-El-Sahhar. Al-Ashwat. andSoliman 213

O a\ o

36.4
00

53.3

44.2
43.0

49.1
ro r- lO ro o r-
rs V fO r-- t

o o o o (N ro ro o fO ro lo O ro
O o o o o o O O O o o o ^ iS <6 d d

O o o o o o o O o 00 ro ro ro O q
o o o o o o o O o o O O di i6 <6 d d

oo 00 o o ro oo 00 00 00 W^

1.4
o o o o O r-l
<*^ o o

o o 00 o o OO "^ o IO r^ lO 00 IO
p- <t
o 00 00 00 </i f> r^

ro ro oo oo o o ro
7.3

00 00 00
8.3
12.0

o o o o C7S 00

.5

o 00 OO o QC ro o ro oo IO
9.8

12.4

15.4
14.5
13.0

00 o 00 (N o o rs 00 o >o
'^ ro f(

CO o o ro ro q 00 <s
14.7
13.5
12.0

18.5

14.8

o OO
uit ivar

C. Medium-staple Cultivai s

u
> D.

3
J
U
ng-s tap

Long-me<

Grand Mean
Ashmouni

c r-
andara

00
iza 67
iza 69

Giza 66
iza 75

Giza 72

IO
0
ean

Mean

c
iza

iza
iza
iza
73

U < O O O 03 O O O 3s
s
/. Text. Inst., 1982, No. 5
214 20-Studies of Fibre Structural Deformities in Egyptian
?
3

E OO ^ r-
s iO ^5 sO

31.5*
34.5*
26.6*
2.5*
#

0.5
Giza
(N (d 00 o
r~

ra ,- o ty\ ON O
t~- ^

15
so
o
I ra
B m * * # *
o
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. in
ON O^
Cd
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O
31.
Giz

31.
22.
34.

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40.

1-1
r-

o (N O ON
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37

IO
34
43

O (-4

r-
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* * #
za

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^1
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iza

iza
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U O O O O O O O O Q O U i5i5
s

Text. Inst.. 1982. IVo. 5


Cottons-El-Sahhar. Al-Ashwat. andSoliman 21S
Table III
Significance of Differences between the Average Numbers of Various Types of
Fibre Defonnity in Egyptian-cotton Cultivars

Deformity Knee Knot Small Spur Large Spur Forked Fibre Protuberance
Thin fibre 2.5** 25.8** 35.5** 53.6** 58,6** 57.9**
Knee 28.3** 38.0** 56.1** 61.1** 60.4**
Knot 9.7** 27.8** 32.8** 32.1**
Small spur 18.1** 23.1** 22.4**
Large spur 5.0** 4.3**
Forked fibre 0.7
* Difference significant at 5% leveL
** Difference significant at 1% level.
Table IV
Group Comparison of the Average Number of Different Types of Fibre Defonnity between the
Three Categories of Egyptian-cotton Cultivate

Comparisonf Category Average f

A-B 36.3 -62.5 = -26.2 28,45*


A-C 36.3 -44,3 = - 8,0 24.94
B C 62.5 - 4 4 , 3 = 18.2 7.83
s- A = Long-staple cultivars,
B = Long-medium-staple cultivars.
C = Medium-staple cultivars.
developed in Egyptian-cotton cultivars. The remaining one-third of the deformities was mainly
made up of knots, small spurs, and large spurs. Forked and protuberant fibres were formed in
negligible quantities.
4.4 Cotton-fibre Deformities in Relation to Neppiness
Neps are small tight balls of tangled fibres, causing downgrading of yarn and troubles in
the cotton textile industry. The possible effect of fibre deformities on yarn neppiness was
investigated in Giza 70, Giza 72, and Giza 69, representatives of the three Egyptian-cot ton
categories (Fig. 8). About half the neps in both Giza 70 and Giza 72 had no deformities. Only
one-third of the neps in Giza 69 fibres were free from deformities. Neps with one deformity
occurred more frequently than those with more than one deformi-ty in the different cuitivars.
This confirms the suggestion of Harrison and Craig^ concerning the possible relation between
neps and fibre deformities. Microscopical examination also revealed that a large number of
immature fibres were associated with neps, but it was impossible to count them accurately.
The again suggests another possibility regarding the r&le of immature fibres in nep formation.

5. CONCLUSION
It is worthy of mention that differences recorded between cultivars tested in the
investigation reported in this paper may not necessarily be due to inherent characteristics of
the cultivars themselves. They may simply be related to the growth conditions of fibres or to
fibre properties (e.g., intrinsic fibre fineness, maturity, torsional rigidity, etc.) of samples tested
or to a combination of both. Consequently, these properties may also be affected by the
formation of fibre deformities. This may well be a field for further study.
J. Text. Inst.. 1982, No. 5
216 20-Studies of Fibre Structural Deformities in Egyptian

60- Lcinq- stOfile c o l p q o r y | iGiza i5


LIGIZO 70
50 - L]Men^Dfi
3Gira 58

AO- i 1 Giza 76
1 iGiza 77

30,
M 1

10 -

\i 1

L n n q - m e r f u r n - s t a p l e c a t e g n r j B GEZO
^^

67
60
a GIZQ 69
1 Gizu 75
50-
8 Oondara

i.0-

-\
30-
ni
20- 1
\
1
i ; r \
10 \

i
1 \ mt

1
60- Medium-staple calpgory 1 GJ ZO 6 6
J GizQ 72

50 - I3 Ashmouni

30

li
20-

10 -

Thiri
fibre
Knee

Type al
Knot
\1 L
SmoU
spur
deffirmilies
Large
spur

Fig. 7
Percentages of major types of fibre deformity in
Egyptian-cotton cultivais
J. Text. Inst., 1982. No. 5
Cottons-ElSahhar, Al-Ashwat, and Soliman 217

eo
GIZA 70
D G I Z A 69

50 n GIZA 72

30-

20-

10

0 n
mahout *ithone *rth Iwo wuh three with lour
rtetormities -Jeform.ty fieformities delarmHies deformi(ie5
NEPS

Fig. 8
Distribution of number of fibre deformities in
neps of some Egyptian-cotton cultivais

REFERENCES

G. J. Harrison and E. E. Craig. Text. Res. J., 1945,15, 247.


L. Deschamps. 'Etudes Elfementaires sur le Coton', Esperance Cagniaid, Rouen, France, 1885.
J. Morris and F. Wilkinson. 'Etements of Cotton Spinning', Longmans, London, 1897, p. 37.
E. V^tillart. 'Etudes sur les Fibres Vegetales Textiles Employees dans ['Industrie', Paris, 1876
H. J. Denham. J. Text. Inst.. 1923, 14,T86.
W. K. Farr. Contrib. Boyce Thompson Inst., 1934, 6, 471.
(K.F.El-S.) Department of Agricultural Botany and Plant Pathology. Receivedl .1 .
Faculty of Agriculture, Accepted for publication 22.4.1981
University of Cairo,
Giza,
Cairo,
Egypt.
(A.A.AI-A. and A.S.S.) Cotton Technology Research Division,
Cotton Research Institute,
Agricultural Research Centre,
Giza,
Cairo,
Egypt.

J. Text. Inst., 1982, No. 5