Wednesday, November 3, 2010

✂Designer's Tip of The Day- Identify Fabric Compositon

Try the Burn Test as a means of establishing the composition of fabric.

Cut a small square of fabric, hold it in a pair of tweezers and carefully set it alight.  The color of the smoke, the smell, and the way the fabric burns will indicate what type of fabric you are testing.  Each fabric will have distinctive characteristics when burned-
-Cotton smells of burning paper and is very easy to blow out.
-Linen smells of burning leaves and is very easy to blow out.
-Silk smells of burning hair.
-Wool smells of burning hair and is difficult to keep alight.
-Polyester produces very black smoke and forms hard rounded droplets when cool.  Take extra care, because it will drip.
-Acetate smells of burning wood chips.  Take extra care- it to will drip
-Nylon smells strongly of burning plastic.

**Make sure you carry out burn tests in a well ventilated area.  You should take extra care when testing anything you suspect may be synthectic, and it is important to make sure there is a bowl of water underneath to put the fabric into.  We don't want any fires burn out of control!

Source: 200 Projects to Get You Into Fashion Design, by Tracy Fitzgerald and Adrian Grandon

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