Textile Development and Marketing Faculty and Students Collaborate on Research

Two Textile Development and Marketing faculty members presented work at conferences this fall—including one industry project conducted with students.

At the annual conference of the International Textile and Apparel Association in late October, Imran Islam and Ajoy Sarkar introduced novel research exploring the properties of cotton, with an eye toward using the material for winter wear, a market today dominated by wool and synthetics.

The project, “Investigating the Potential of Cotton Yarn in Knitted Winterwear,” was funded with a grant from the industry nonprofit Cotton Inc. and conducted with students in Dr. Islam’s Knit Product Design and Development class. The student researchers—Rebecca Dillenberger, Alina Fitzpatrick, In Sun Chung, and Kushbu Jivan—helped prepare yarn samples and gather and analyze data. They knitted swatches with hand-operated flatbed knitting machines, then determined the fabric’s properties: factors like weight, thickness, stitch density, and the fabric’s response to moisture.

This preliminary research gives momentum to the possibility of using more natural fiber in winter wear—which could have potential social and environmental benefits.

Ajoy Sarkar and Imran Islam in front of a presentation board

Dr. Islam also presented at the 50th Congress of the International Federation of Knitting Technologists—one of the oldest and most highly regarded professional organizations for knitting. Islam’s project, “Mathematical Modeling on Dynamic Yarn Tension of a Circular Knitting Machine with Positive Storage Feeding System,” was delivered virtually to conference attendees at Ulster University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in late August. The model developed in his research revealed about 20 different factors that affect the tension of a yarn at various points in the machine-knitting process.

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