Thesis Details

Thesis Title: The impact of processing variables on rotor spun yarn quality using 100% hemp fibers
Thesis Author: Lucinda "Cindy" Jones
Abstract: Industrial hemp offers a totally renewable, alternative source for cellulosic fiber. Hemp is not just an alternative; it is an environmentally-friendly alternative. Hemp has tremendous potential to be grown organically and could provide an excellent rotation for traditional crops to avert outbreaks of insect and disease and to suppress weeds. The fiber currently occupies a small niche market, but interest is growing. Two types of hemp were studied in this research: a chemically refined hemp from China and a mechanically refined hemp from Europe. The fibers were processed on traditional cotton equipment with minor process modifications. The primary focus of this work was to determine the impact of rotor spinning process variables on yarn quality for 100 % chemically refined hemp fiber. The spinning variables investigated included rotor diameter, nozzle type, and opening roller type and speed. Rotor yarn properties for seven hemp/cotton blends and a flax/cotton blend were also examined. Results from this experimental research indicated that use of larger rotors and higher opening roller speeds improved hemp yarn quality. Data from the blend study suggested that the chemically refined hemp fiber produced better quality yarns than the mechanically refined fiber, and that increasing cotton content significantly improved yarn quality. Special consideration should be given to dust control and worker protection when processing hemp fiber. High dust levels were noted during this research, and like cotton, the fiber has been associated with byssinosis. Hemp is not a miracle fiber but is nonetheless valuable and warrants further study.