A study was done to determine 1) how the length distribution of a medium staple upland cultivar was affected by the possible range of ginning and lint cleaning treatments, 2) the length distribution of the fiber lost during increasing levels of lint cleaning changed, and 3) how these changes affected textile processing. An upland cultivar that was midrange for length and strength was used for the study. In comparing roller ginning with saw ginning there was a significant shift towards shorter fibers in the length distribution with the saw-ginned fiber as would be expected. What was unexpected was the percentage of fibers in the 2.21 to 2.54-cm (0.87 to 1.00 in) length range stayed relatively constant whereas the percentage above this range decreased as the percentage below increased with increased mechanical processing. Some long fiber was lost to lint cleaning at all stages but most of that fiber was not of significant textile value and more than 33% of the fiber lost at any stage was equal to or less than 1.27 cm (0.50 in) in length. Subsequent textile processing showed that the carding operation removed approximately the same amount of total waste from cleanly harvested spindle-picked upland cotton regardless of the amount of machining the fiber received during ginning and subsequent lint cleaning. While the level of waste in the raw fiber was not a significant factor the differing levels of fiber distribution did significantly affect yarn quality. But the change in fiber distribution did not affect dying properties as indicated by white specks in dyed cloth. Future research should concentrate on reducing fiber breakage during lint cleaning.