South African Journal of Science
On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
The interrelationship of natural fibre, yarn and fabric properties is both important and complex, and has attracted considerable research. An area which has received little attention is that concerning the effect of fibre diameter distribution, notably of relatively coarse fibres, on processing behaviour and yarn and fabric properties, except for their well-known effect on handle and prickle (scratchiness). Prickle is an unpleasant sensation sometimes experienced with garments worn next to the skin. The effect of fibre diameter distribution, of coarse fibres (or coarse edge, CE) in particular, on spinning performance and yarn properties, was investigated for 400 different wools. Multiple regression analyses were carried out to quantify the relationships between all the main fibre properties, including CE, on the one hand, and the spinning performance and yarn properties on the other hand. We found that CE had no significant effect on spinning performance and yarn properties, except for yarn neps and yarn hairiness. These findings are important for sheep breeding practices as well as for selecting the most appropriate wools when yarn of a specified quality is to be processed, because attention needs be paid only to fibre diameter, not to coarse edge.