Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 34

Thread: determining fabric content

  1. #1
    Super Member G'ma Kay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    west central Illinois
    Posts
    1,054
    Last spring I believe I saw a thread on here about how to tell if fabric is 100 percent cotton. It involved fraying the cut edge just a bit but I don't remember the detail. Would like to go back to Walmart and look over the $5 table if I can figure this out. Anybody know this trick?

  2. #2
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    20,411
    Blog Entries
    10
    Don't know about the fraying edge, but the burn test I have heard and tried.

    Light it on fire if it burns it is cotton if it melts it is a blend with polyester

    Maybe someone else knows another way

  3. #3
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Murray, Ky. Looking for a nice cushy pillow to rest my head on!
    Posts
    15,937
    Blog Entries
    2
    I only know the burn test too. I am gonna watch this and see if there is another way of telling.

  4. #4
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    chicago, IL
    Posts
    9,692
    Quote Originally Posted by sharon b
    Don't know about the fraying edge, but the burn test I have heard and tried.

    Light it on fire if it burns it is cotton if it melts it is a blend with polyester

    Maybe someone else knows another way
    The burn test is the only way I know either....although I don't think that Walmart will be too thrill with you lighting fabric in the store

    :lol:

  5. #5
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    chicago, IL
    Posts
    9,692
    That

  6. #6
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    1,321
    Quote Originally Posted by Tink's Mom
    Quote Originally Posted by sharon b
    Don't know about the fraying edge, but the burn test I have heard and tried.

    Light it on fire if it burns it is cotton if it melts it is a blend with polyester

    Maybe someone else knows another way
    The burn test is the only way I know either....although I don't think that Walmart will be too thrill with you lighting fabric in the store

    :lol:
    Nope, they probably wouldn't like that! But what else are you going to do if there is no fabric content label??? lol

  7. #7
    Super Member G'ma Kay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    west central Illinois
    Posts
    1,054
    I'll bet the employees are lighting it up so they can see what they might want to buy.

  8. #8
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    20,411
    Blog Entries
    10
    LOL Maybe that is why they are closing so many of the abric departments...LOL too many ladies lighting up in that area :wink:

  9. #9
    Gal
    Gal is offline
    Super Member Gal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    New Zealand in the South Pacific
    Posts
    1,117
    The 'scrunch test', this is not 100% to be certain but a good guide non the less, pure cotton does crease a lot when scrunched up and held tightly in the hand, Rayon does this too but Rayon is usually a little thinner to the feel, than cotton. Poly/cotton does not scrunch up so much, it bounces back a little better, also Poly/cottons usually look the same on the back as the front, where as cottons are usually printed on the surface and on the back you can see the white of the fabric in places. These tests are a good guide when you can't 'burn down the shop' and after a while you can tell the difference quite well. The 'burn test' is what they use in the textile industry to be 100% sure, my Dad was a textile chemist and this is the method they were taught to use.

    Gal

  10. #10
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Southwest Kansas
    Posts
    4,829
    The burn test is the definitive test but you can also scrunch it up in your hand. A 100% cotton will wrinkle, a poly cotton won't.

  11. #11
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    19,665
    cotton also burns with only a little smoke if any and the ash - if any - is very soft and powdery. The ash, if no fire is seen with cotton, cools down quickly.

    polyesters and nylons burn with black smoke - they also leave a hard "crispy" ash. Sometimes it "drips" while burning. The residue also stays hot longer than cotton residue. One can still get burned with this residue, even if the fire is out.

  12. #12
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    SW Iowa
    Posts
    32,958
    I'm giggling here picturing all these nice quilters in Walmart with lighters in their hands. That would cause quite a stir

  13. #13
    Super Member M.I.Late's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Spring, Texas
    Posts
    2,357
    You could probably ask them to cut you a few samples and take them outside...

  14. #14
    Super Member Quilt Mom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Headed home
    Posts
    2,417
    Thanks for all the info! Gal, you had an inside track on this. I'm glad you shared with us.

  15. #15
    Super Member wvdek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    A million dollar view!
    Posts
    8,889
    bearisgrey to the rescue!

    Thanks for the giggle gals. I can see it now... :-o

  16. #16
    Gal
    Gal is offline
    Super Member Gal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    New Zealand in the South Pacific
    Posts
    1,117
    Oh, and I forgot to say that only a few strands of thread are required from both 'warp and weft' of the fabric, you really do not need much at all, but be sure to collect from both 'warp and weft!'

    Gal

  17. #17
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    High Entropy Zone
    Posts
    1,250
    My husband swears it looks like I'm performing rituals on the back porch when I'm doing burn tests.

  18. #18
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    1,321
    Seriously here, when I have burnt small scraps of material, the poly/cotton has a more chemical smell comared to the cotton burning. And yes poly/cotton does make black smoke.

  19. #19
    dungeonquilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    468
    Quote Originally Posted by littlehud
    I'm giggling here picturing all these nice quilters in Walmart with lighters in their hands. That would cause quite a stir

    Having my coffee & giggling.....I can see this now! Front line paper "She said this is what the ladies said to do from the Quilting Board"

  20. #20
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    1,321
    It is kind of funny, when I think of it.

  21. #21
    Senior Member RevPam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Western New York
    Posts
    860
    There's gonna be a hot time in the old WalMart tonite!!

  22. #22
    Super Member G'ma Kay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    west central Illinois
    Posts
    1,054
    Thanks folks. I'm off to Walmart with my lighter.

  23. #23
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    chicago, IL
    Posts
    9,692
    Quote Originally Posted by G'ma Kay
    Thanks folks. I'm off to Walmart with my lighter.
    But Officer, I was just testing fabric content!!! Really, I wasn't going to burn the store down....... :wink:LOL

  24. #24
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    19,665
    Quote Originally Posted by Gal
    Oh, and I forgot to say that only a few strands of thread are required from both 'warp and weft' of the fabric, you really do not need much at all, but be sure to collect from both 'warp and weft!'

    Gal
    True - I only cut a piece about 1/4 inch wide and an inch long.

    I have my little "set-up" - a burning candle, a metal ash tray, a glass of water - in case some sparks get out of hand, my tweezers to hold the fabric into the flame, and a small scissors to cut the scrap off the fabric in question.

    I do this in our cement laundry tubs - but a metal cake pan will also work to hold the things.

  25. #25
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    High Entropy Zone
    Posts
    1,250
    I do the same thing on the back porch (cement) with tweezers/forceps, candle, and small pan of water. I set the candle on a piece of foil in case I drop anything. I never do this on a windy day.

    I also keep a log book with a swatch of the tested fabric, color of the flame, what the smell was as it burned, observations of how it burned (did it melt, burn cleanly, make little bead, etc.), texture of the residue/ash, and I use a wide piece of tape to collect a sample of the ash/residue to add to the chart.

    This way if I ever forget that particular fabric and have more, I can go back to my log book. You can take the "fairy" out of the lab, but you can't remove the nerd from the fairy.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.