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Coloured cotton production in Pakistan

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Natural coloured lint fetches higher price as compared to the normal white one.

By SHABBIR H. KAZMI
Dec 13 - 19, 1999

Evidences of natural coloured cotton have been found in Peruvian ruins. The use of natural coloured cotton is increasing, at present, in the West due to its novelty. Natural coloured lint, being scarce, fetches higher price as compared to the normal white one. Brown and green coloured cotton is grown in the United States and receives substantially higher price. In Pakistan, research work has been initiated at Cotton Research Institute (SRI), Sakrand in Sindh and another research station in Bahawalpur, Punjab and results are encouraging. There is a need to go commercial production to exploit the real potential.

The natural coloured cotton is getting popular due to stability of colour, disease resistance, better fibre characteristics, high yield and early maturity. Realizing the importance of natural coloured cotton, CRI Sakrand has started transferring lint colour genes from exotic ones into local high yielding and early maturing varieties. The existing coloured cotton varieties are low yielding with low lint percentage and shorter staple length.

From F2 generation hybrids, 12 single plant progenies with eight different colour shade were selected for cultivation. These were sown as F3 hybrids on May 5, 1999 at CRI-Sakrand. The colour shades selected were, dark brown, medium brown, light brown, dark green, medium green, light green, medium greenish brown and light greenish brown.

If the commercial cultivation of coloured cotton becomes successful, it can open doors for new vistas. Already there has been an effort to produce dyed yarn cones in Pakistan to produce fabrics with different stripes and patterns. Production of coloured cotton means no bleaching, processing and dying. In many developed countries the use of certain types of dyes has been prohibited due to their toxic nature and adverse impact on skin.

Pakistan can gain materially from production of coloured cotton for a number of reasons. These include exports of textiles and clothing to developed countries, limited processing facilities and poor capacity utilization in the spinning sector. In future, some of the local manufacturers can concentrate on this specific market offering higher profit margin. This can also help in improving unit cost realization.

Performance of Colour Cotton F2 Hybrids in 1998

F2 Hybrids
Plant (g)

Yield/
%

Lint
Length (mm)

Staple
Ratio (%)

Unifor-
mity

Khaki lint x CRIS-404

75.5

34.4

24.5

58.8

Khaki lint x CRIS-404

81.3

35.0

25.0

60.4

Khaki lint x CRIS-379

63.3

34.8

24.5

51.9

Khaki lint x CRIS-379

55.5

34.2

24.0

52.0

Khaki lint x CRIS-379

110.3

34.8

24.5

49.5

Khaki lint x CRIS-379

82.5

34.3

24.2

50.1

Khaki lint x Green lint

110.0

30.7

24.0

58.8

Khaki lint x Green lint

71.8

32.0

24.5

52.7

Green lint x CRIS-399

51.5

32.9

27.7

51.9

Green lint x CRIS-399

45.9

33.5

26.8

52.6

Green lint x CRIS-399

64.8

35.4

27.5

55.0

Green lint x CRIS-133

88.4

34.5

24.3

51.1

Green lint x CRIS-133

87.5

34.8

26.4

50.5

S-4010 Khaki x CRIS-134

90.2

33.3

26.8

49.7

S-4010 Khaki x CRIS-134

77.4

34.7

26.7

49.2

NIAB-78 (Check)

57.3

34.6

27.4

52.0

CRIS-9 (Check)

67.5

35.7

27.1

52.5