Retail entrepreneurship students from Florida State University’s Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship traveled to Cotton Incorporated’s Cary, North Carolina, headquarters earlier this summer and learned firsthand there is more to cotton than touch and feel.
The trip was part of a cotton-focused textile course “A Survey of Cotton Performance Technologies” taught by Meredith McQuerry, associate professor in the Moran College. McQuerry said a grant from Cotton Incorporated helped fund the course and the all-expenses paid trip.
Students had an opportunity to learn different facets of the textile industry up close, including how fibers are spun into yarns and how denim is distressed via laser technology.
“Our students got to tour fiber and yarn spinning facilities, see weaving looms and knitting machines, visit the color, finishing and dying application labs, as well as the textile testing lab,” McQuerry said. “They got to see full-scale production equipment for the entire textile product development supply chain.”
While in Cary, students also toured the nearby American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists and the North Carolina State University Wilson College of Textiles.
Faculty member Tara Hackett said the trip complemented the curriculum taught at the Moran College perfectly.
“It was truly a delight to see the students’ excitement as they were connecting what they’ve learned to the actual process,” she said.
In the Cotton Performance Technologies course, which was open to graduate and undergraduates, students analyzed cotton performance technologies, selected one to study, and conducted experiments to further their understanding of the technology.
McQuerry said students’ work included conducting wear trials, laundering durability studies, and working with ANDI, the only dynamic sweating thermal manikin at a public institution in the Western Hemisphere. Among other evaluations, students using ANDI analyzed thermal comfort properties of performance cotton apparel.
Students capped the course by participating in a research presentation competition. Over $1,700 in student awards were provided by Cotton Incorporated.
For more information, visit jimmorancollege.fsu.edu.