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Cashmere Fibre Crimp, Crimp Form And Fibre Curvature

Bruce McGregor


Raw cashmere samples collected from animals in China, Iran and Australia were measured for crimp frequency, crimp form, fibre curvature and other attributes. Eleven different forms of cashmere fibre crimp including straight cashmere fibres were observed. Different cashmere crimp forms appear related to different origins of cashmere. For some origins (China, Australia) the crimp form was primarily of uniplanar sinusoidal form, while for other origins (Iran) the crimp form was primarily three dimensional. Fibre curvature was highly correlated to visually measured cashmere fibre crimp frequency. Multiple regression analysis showed that cashmere fibre crimp frequency was best predicted by objective fibre curvature measurement. There were different relationships between mean fibre diameter (MFD) and fibre curvature for cashmere of different origins. As total fibre curvature (fibre curvature x fibre length) increased, cashmere fibre length (mm/(MFD x MFD)) increased. Objective fibre curvature measurement enabled the rapid measurement of a fundamental property of cashmere fibre, the fibre crimp frequency. The predominant form of fibre crimping for cashmere derived from a particular origin together with the low rate of fibre crimping would explain the low resistance to compression of cashmere and the differences in resistance to compression of cashmere between different countries. The crimp frequency versus fibre curvature relationship for cashmere was quite strong even though it covered a different range of values that have been observed in wool. The results are placed into context with a brief review of the accepted science of wool fibre crimping, processing and fabric handle.

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