While white cashmere is preferred by processors, its whiteness and brightness is affected by country of origin, amino acid composition, nutrition and cashmere production of goats. This work aimed to quantify the factors which affect the whiteness and brightness of 36 batches of processed Australian white cashmere sourced from nine different farms. The cashmere was tested for tristimulus values brightness (Y) and whiteness, as measured by yellowness (Y-Z). Linear models, relating Y and Y-Z were fitted to farm of origin and other objective measurements. Mean attributes (range) were: mean fibre diameter, 16.9 µm (13.9–20.4 μm); fibre curvature, 45°/mm (31–59°/mm); clean washing yield, 91.3% (79.5–97.3%); Y, 78.7 (74.7–82.2); Y-Z, 11.9 (10.3–13.6). Farm alone accounted for 72% of the variation in Y and 65% of the variation in Y-Z (P < 0.001). Once farm had been taken into account only fibre curvature (P = 0.003) was significant in predicting Y and only clean washing yield (P = 0.047) affected Y-Z. Neither the proportion of the fleece present as guard hair (clean cashmere yield) nor cashmere staple length was a significant determinant of Y or Y-Z. For each 10°/mm increase in fibre curvature Y increased 1.3 units. For each 10% increase in clean washing yield Y-Z declined 0.9 units. Variations in Y and Y-Z among farms were probably related to differences in geographic and climatic conditions and were significantly correlated to cashmere production. The effect of clean washing yield was probably related to a reduction in suint content.
Field of Research
091012 Textile Technology
Socio Economic Objective
830599 Primary Animal Products not elsewhere classified