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Thread: How to tell 100% cotton

  1. #1
    Member spindreams's Avatar
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    You all know so much about fabric, I hope someone can answer this. How can you tell 100% cotton from a blend?

    I buy a lot of thrift store fabric. If the selvedge does not say the fabric contents, I am reluctant to buy it. I think I can tell 100% cotton by feel, but I would hate to be wrong and find out later my quilt is "pilling" because of polyester in the fabric. Is there some sure way to tell?

    Jane

  2. #2
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Here is a burn test that you can do.
    http://quilting.about.com/od/fabrice.../burn_test.htm

  3. #3
    Rainybug's Avatar
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    Yuppers! The burn test is the best way to find out on "mystery" fabrics.

  4. #4
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    You can also wad it up in your hand for a little bit. If it wrinkles it's probably 100% cotton. If it doesn't wrinkle at all it has some poly in it.

  5. #5
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    You can also wad it up in your hand for a little bit. If it wrinkles it's probably 100% cotton. If it doesn't wrinkle at all it has some poly in it.
    This would work best when testing in a store. :):)

  6. #6
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    LOL!

  7. #7
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    lol, I can see the picture now, setting fire to the store testing the fabric for cotton. :) HUGS

  8. #8
    Senior Member bigdogmom's Avatar
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    I had a home ec teacher in high school (remember when they used to teach home ec?), who demonstrated the burn test. I put my hand a little too close and a polyester melted and dripped on my finger, OUCH! Burn test should work, cotton turns to powder.

  9. #9
    Senior Member quilter1943's Avatar
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    Absolutely. I've never tried the burn test but hear quilters talk about it. I usually do the wrinkle test and it's right.
    Quote Originally Posted by dakotamaid
    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    You can also wad it up in your hand for a little bit. If it wrinkles it's probably 100% cotton. If it doesn't wrinkle at all it has some poly in it.
    This would work best when testing in a store. :):)

  10. #10
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    Heads up, you might want to do that 'burn' test over a sink. BTW, Ask me how I know. :roll: :-( The fab was cotton and everything turned out okay.

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