crafts
quiltingsewingcrochetknittingneedleartsfabric craftsyarn crafts
crafts

craft shopping

shopping

shopping fiber images

craft pattern Fiber Images™
Craft Pattern Gallery

fiber care labels
fiber care labels
Fiber Care and Content Labels

gift tags
gift tags
Gift Tags

handcrafted gift Fiber Images™ Handcrafted and Gift Items

orion knitting machine needle
orion knitting machine needle
Orion (Sears) Knitting Machine Needles

sale Fiber Images™ Sale

Determining Fiber Content with the Burn Test

fiber content

As crafters, many of us take advantage of special sales on fabrics and yarns. Sometimes the fiber content of these specials may not be known.
To determine the fiber content without special chemicals or microscopes,
the "burn test" is a simple, non-technical method to determine the fiber
content of an unknown fiber.

WARNING - USE CAUTION. This method does involve an open flame and
an unknown factors of how fast and how the yarns/threads will burn. Be sure
to work in a well ventilated area and over a nonflammable surface. Have a
container of water adjacent to the work area. Some fabrics will ignite and melt.
The result is burning drips which can adhere to fabric or skin and cause a
serious burn.

You will need:
fiber contentthe fiber in question
fiber contenta pair of tweezers
fiber contentan igniter (match, lighter, etc.)
fiber contenta non-flammable work surface
fiber contentcontainer of water
fiber contentcatch container (something that will not burn
such as an old tin can, a glass or metal baking dish, etc.)

1. To identify the fiber content of an unknown piece of fabric, cut off a piece of
the fabric about 1" to 1-1/2" long by 1/8"-1/4" wide. To identify the fiber
content of an unknown yarn, cut off a piece of the yarn about 1" to 1-1/2".

2. With the tweezers, hold the fibers over the catch container

3. With the match or lighter, set the fiber on fire and watch how the fiber
reacts to the flame, the smell or odor of the smoke, and the appearance
of the ash. Compare your observations to the chart below.

Note: If the fabric/yarn is a blend or if the fabric/yarn is treated (sizing
or finishes), the burn test will product unreliable results.

How Burns**
How Burns
Odor
Ash/Bead
Fiber
Burns & Non Self-Extinguishing Burns & Chars Burning Paper or Leaves Soft, Lacey & Gray Ash Linen, Juts, Hemp
Burns & Non Self-Extinguishing Burns & Chars - Yellow to Orange Steady Flame - Slow Burning Ember Burning Paper or Leaves Soft, Lacey & Gray Ash - Easily Crushed Cotton, Ramie
Burns & Non Self-Extinguishing Burns & Chars - Fast Orange Flame - Ember Will Glow After Flame Removed Burning Paper or Leaves Soft, Lacey & Gray Ash - Almost No Ash Rayon
Burns & Non Self-Extinguishing Burns & Chars - Yellow to Orange Steady Flame Burning Paper or Leaves Soft, Lacey & Black Ash Linen
Burns & Non Self-Extinguishing Burns & Melts (Sizzles) - Flickery Flame - Will Burn After Flames Is Removed Vinegar or Burning Wood Chips Drips and Leaves Hard, Black, Bead Acetate, Triacetate
Burns & Non Self-Extinguishing Burns & Melts, White-Orange Tip, No Smoke Burning Meat Hard, Black, Irregular Bead Acrylic (Acrylonitrile)
Burns & Non Self-Extinguishing Burns & Melts Tumeric Soft, Black, Irregular Bead Acrylic
Burns & Self-Extinguishing Burns Briefly & Chars Burning Hair or Feathers Soft, Gray Bead, Easily Turns to Powder When Crushed Silk
Burns & Self-Extinguishing Burns Briefly & Chars - Orange Flame - No Smoke Burning Hair or Feathers Dark, Irregular Ash, Turns to Powder When Crushed Wool, Cashmere, Mohair, Alpaca, etc.
Burns & Self-Extinguishing Burns Briefly & Melts - Blue Base & Orange Tip, No Smoke Burning Celery, Burning Plastic Hard, Gray or Brown Bead Nylon
Burns & Self-Extinguishing Burns Briefly & Melts Burning Asphalt Hard, Tan Bead Olefin
Burns & Self-Extinguishing Burns Briefly & Melts Sharp, Acid Chemical Hard, Black, Irregular Bead Modacrylic
Burns & Self-Extinguishing Burns Briefly & Melts Sweet, Fruity Chemical Hard, Black, Irregular Bead Vinyon
Burns & Self-Extinguishing Burns Briefly & Melts - Orange, Sputtery Flame - Black Smoke Sweet, Fruity Chemical Drips and Leaves Hard, Black, Round Bead Polyester
Will Not Burn       Fiberglass, Asbestos, Metal

** Non Self-Extinguishing means the test fabric/yarn does not put itself out and
you must dip it into water to extinguish the flame. Self-Extinguishing means
the test fabric/yarn extinguishes itself.

fiber content

This material is copyrighted and printed with permission and may be used for your personal use only.
It may not be copied or reproduced in any form, sold, or copied or posted to another web site.

crafts

advertisement

crafts

Return to Top of Page

fiber images

welcome to FI about FI privacy policy feedback form sitemap links link to FI