Burn Test to Determine Fiber Content of Fabric
When you are unsure of the fiber content of a fabric the easiest way to find out what it is, is to do a burn test.
First, gather a few supplies:
- Leather gloves to protect your hands,
- Tweezers or a pair of pliers to hold the fabric,
- A lighter or matches
- Most importantly, a bowl of water in case the fabric goes up in flames.
Next, burn the fabric and note what happens.
Generally, natural cellulose fibers will burn quickly and smell a lot like burning paper. Natural protein fibers won’t catch fire quickly—rather it will char—and will smell like burning hair. Synthetic fibers tend to melt when they come in contact with a flame and will leave a bead of plastic behind.
Watch this video for a full demonstration