Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fabric Burn Test

This weekend I was able to get all scientific & experimental for crafty purposes. What fun! A customer purchased some fabric in my shop & asked me if it was 100% cotton. I wasn't 100% sure. I quite frequently purchase fabric at thrift stores, antique malls & garage sales. You see, my customer is a quilter. She let me know that "the deal with poly and cotton is that cotton shrinks whereas blends don't so you can't mix the two fabrics in quilts."
What was I to do? I grabbed a match, tweezers, a 2" x 2" piece of my fabric in question & an ashtray (or other fire-safe container).
I lit my fabric with the match & let my senses do the rest. It smelled like burning paper, I saw the fabric produce an afterglow & when I touched the ashes, they were soft & turned to dust.
I also held a clump of threads from the fabric in my tweezers & held a lit match near them. The fabric ignited as the flame drew near. Synthetic fibers curl away from the heat & tend to "melt".

My experiment led me to believe that it was, indeed, 100% cotton. But please visit THIS link--(where I got all my info from)--for more detailed steps about performing a burn test. You'll also learn what to look for if your fabric is something OTHER than cotton.


  1. Thank you for passing on this useful info and link !!!!! I never knew of a way to really determine content. You are a clever little cupcake.

  2. Good info - thanks for that!

  3. P.S. I've given you an award:
    Have a great week!

  4. I heard about this burn test a couple of years ago but I never did it for myself. So much fun to see it in action. Must be the small firebug that lives within me. LOL!


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. Every time you do, I do a little happy dance. For reals.