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Thread: Determining Fabric Type

  1. #1
    Super Member Airwick156's Avatar
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    Thought everyone would like to read this information.

    Determining Fabric Type

    If someone gives you an unknown fabric or batting, there are two methods to find out what it is. The most reliable method is to put a thread under a microscope and look at the actual fiber itself. An inexpensive microscope will work. Cotton has a twisty, round which looks like a straw, wool has scales, silk is smooth and round like spaghetti and linen has little horizontal joins.

    There is also the burn test. Hold a match to a small piece of the fabric and observe the results.

    Cotton burns steadily and smells like burning leaves. The ash is soft and crumbles easily.
    Linen is very similar but it takes longer to light and smells like burning paper.
    Silk burns slowly and smells like hair or feathers burning. It burns slowly with a grayish ash which crumbles easily.
    Wool smolders and sputters when near flame. It doesn't burn easily and smells like burning hair. It produces a crisp, dark ash which crushes easily and turns to powder. Wool will also dissolve in chlorine bleach.
    Manmade Fibers (acrylic, nylon, polyester, rayon, etc.) will melt when exposed to a flame and has an ash like a hard bead (except rayon which disappears.) It smells slightly acidic.This test is not as reliable with blends.

  2. #2
    Member QuiltNGanny's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I appreciate the reminder.

  3. #3
    Super Member KatFish's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information.

  4. #4
    Super Member dixiebelle162002's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info

  5. #5
    Super Member sewmuchmore's Avatar
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    Love the infor. I have bookmark it. :thumbup:

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