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The measurement of wool fibre properties and their effect on worsted processing performance and product quality. Part 1: The objective measurement of wool fibre properties

The world has moved away from subjective appraisal of raw wool characteristics and has entered an era of objective measurement and specification, and the raw wool trade is rapidly moving towards sale by total description which necessitates the accurate, rapid and cost effective measurement of all the raw wool characteristics important in determining price, textile performance and end-use. The development and availability of new technologies and equipment have enabled the objective measurement of many more raw wool characteristics than was possible in the past. Over the past few decades, a considerable amount of research has been carried out worldwide on the effect of the raw wool characteristics on topmaking and spinning performance, as well as on yarn properties. This was done in order to gain a better understanding of, and to quantify, the effects of fibre and processing parameters on processing behaviour and performance and on the properties of the top and yarn and even the fabric. An important aim of the research was to improve the processing of wool and the productivity and cost effectiveness of the various processing stages. This research led to a better understanding of which raw wool characteristics influence textile processing behaviour and performance, as well as the product quality and end-use performance, and ultimately the raw wool price. On the basis of this, technologies and instruments were developed and commercialised for measuring the key raw wool characteristics rapidly, accurately and cost effectively. In parallel to this, the associated test methods were developed and standardised largely under the umbrella of the IWTO, many of these being adopted and used in raw wool marketing and trading worldwide. This review covers the research and development carried out over more than half a century on the development and standardisation of technologies, instruments and test methods for the measurement of those characteristics determining the price and textile quality of raw wool and which are therefore important in terms of the global marketing and trading of raw wool. Research and development in this field is still continuing, but at a much lower intensity and pace than during the second half of the previous century.


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