Since over 50 years the Gdynia Cotton Association has been organising full-time cotton classification courses as one of three cotton schools in the world. Course graduates work in trading and superintendence companies, government agencies related to cotton production and trade, in 28 countries all over the world.
Due to the practical training which dominates the course, its participants acquire and improve their skills of cotton classification. Moreover, they receive a considerable portion of knowledge about world cotton market and handling (warehousing, weighing, sampling, etc.).
The practice so far shows that for the cotton producers and merchants it is enough to know commercial quality parameters, such as: colour grade, leaf, Micronaire, and fibre length. Far beyond this are the expectations of cotton processing sector and they are related to textiles’ production technology development. So, more and more frequently the following parameters are to be known: breaking strength, maturity, linear density, length non-uniformity, short fibre content, neps and dusts. Such kinds of analyses can be made with instrumental methods by means of HVI, AFIS, MDTA and similar systems. It is estimated that over a half of world cotton crop is subject to instrumental testing. In spite of the continuous growth of the number of instrumental tests, a large part of the crop is still classed manually – by means of comparison of fibre to standards established by individual cotton producers. Worldwide implementation of instrumental cotton evaluation method will surely make the classification process more efficient, however it will not eliminate the man and his knowledge of this process. From the experience of those using the HVI line, it follows that one of the conditions of obtaining correct results are the skills of operators responsible for the tests. A part of results from the HVI line may be burdened with errors. It pertains to important „commercial” fibre parameters, mainly – to the leaf grade. That is why, the data resulting from the instrumental tests should be verified by persons who posses profound knowledge of the raw material and who can independently class cotton. Thanks to this practical training of cotton classification the graduates of the course are able to interpret the HVI results correctly, to trace the HVI errors (in leaf grade or colour, for instance) and appropriately react to them.
Besides the courses, the GCA organises seminars and training in the scope of marketing and classification for individual companies. Their programmes are compatible with the companies’ production or activity profiles.