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Global mills favor quality and contamination-free cotton

• By Seshadri Ramkumar •

cotton contamination

Cotton contamination is a major concern among mills and buyers — photo courtesy Texas Tech University

Consistency in quality and contamination-free cotton are much sought after by global cotton mills.

Free of plastic contamination, objective quality evaluation and consistency are the characteristics that provide a premium for cotton, according to global experts who are touring the United States as part of Cotton Council International-sponsored program.

About 40 people representing 16 countries, including Turkey, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Japan, Guatemala and Peru, to name a few, visited Lubbock recently and met with cotton industry representatives from the Texas High Plains.

Discussions focused on the efforts undertaken by the U.S. cotton sector to get a handle on plastic contamination, improving the strength and length of cotton, and timely delivery of cotton.

Sagrika Jain — manager of yarn business at India-based Vardhman Textiles, which has over 1 million spindles — emphasized the importance of clean cotton in producing high quality yarns. The trade war has adversely affected the Indian yarn industry, she said.

China still imports yarn from countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia that have high-quality yarns made from contamination-free cotton. These countries import quality cotton that enhances the quality and the value of their output.

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Thavasi Vijayakumar, technical director at PT Indah Jaya, which has 600,000 ring spindles, said his company uses cotton imported from the United States, which is 90% of its consumption. The company exports 70% of its yarn production to China.

“It is time that India starts using U.S. cotton.” He added that due to low moisture content and less trash, yarn realization could increase by 4-6%. The textile sector in India has to strengthen its processing, garment and technical textiles sector. That seemed to be a consensus among the participants who were knowledgeable about the Indian textile sector on this aspect.

It is clear that the global textile industry is paying closer attention towards cotton contamination issue.

Seshadri Ramkumar is a professor in the Nonwovens & Advanced Materials Laboratory, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas. He may be reached at s.ramkumar@ttu.edu.