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Fabric composition
How to tell?
kkkkaty
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kkkkaty  Friend of PR
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UT USA
Member since 12/7/05
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Date: 2/22/12 4:34 PM

At lunch I wandered over to my fav local store, which sells (among many other things) bolts of discontinued fabric. Most of the time it's upholstery fabric, but today they had a bolt of a knit, a jersey I think, beautiful peachy pink, nice stretch and recovery, thin and very soft. I hope to make a new tee from this to replace another tee I like to wear in the summer. My question is, how can I tell what it's made of? The woman who manages their fabric area guessed cotton, which is quite possible. Rayon is possible too.

Second question: does it matter what it is? I think it probably doesn't (but I am curious). I'll probably wash it, as I usually do, on a gentle cycle, warm, with cold rinse.

If you can think of a simple test I can do, please share. On burn tests, I believe it will burn and then leave a melted glob if it's synthetic, while cotton would burn and leave an ash. Rayon?

TIA!

------
Viking Lily 545
Viking Ruby
Bernina Activa 210
Brother 1034d

nicegirl
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nicegirl
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DC USA
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Date: 2/22/12 5:36 PM

Cotton burns and leaves a filmy ash (I find). Rayon burns faster than cotton--it is essentially paper, after all, as it's made of wood pulp--and leaves behind a more ephemeral ash.

If there's any lycra, you'll get the hard plastic bead. You can generally discern the difference between lycra blended with a natural fiber and polyester by how heavy the smoke is. If it is thick and curling, it is all poly. If you still get a decent flame but are left with a bead, probably a blend with cotton or rayon.

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http://theslapdashsewist.blogspot.com
=================
2007: purchased 115+, sewed 105+
So close to parity, yet so far

Trying again in 2008
Yards purchased: 133
Yards sewn: Somewhere around 95

2009? I give up

nicegirl
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nicegirl
Intermediate
DC USA
Member since 5/10/06
Posts: 1721
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Date: 2/22/12 5:37 PM

An easier test for cotton v rayon: get it wet. Rayon feels stiff and papery when wet (though this is less pronounced in knit/jersey than in woven).

------
http://theslapdashsewist.blogspot.com
=================
2007: purchased 115+, sewed 105+
So close to parity, yet so far

Trying again in 2008
Yards purchased: 133
Yards sewn: Somewhere around 95

2009? I give up

kkkkaty
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kkkkaty  Friend of PR
Intermediate
UT USA
Member since 12/7/05
Posts: 2619
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Date: 2/22/12 5:41 PM

thanks, those are helpful ideas! I didn't know a thing about the wet test, so I'll be sure to try that as well.

------
Viking Lily 545
Viking Ruby
Bernina Activa 210
Brother 1034d

Ruth C

Ruth C  Friend of PR
Intermediate
OR USA
Member since 12/27/02
Posts: 278
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Date: 2/22/12 10:18 PM

I find polyester knits are very hot unless they are a wicking knit. So I try to stay with cotton and rayon knits.

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