Mystery yarn? Burn Test for Fiber Identification

When trying to identify an unknown yarn fiber, burning the yarn could sometimes help to identify the fiber content of the yarn.  The following are some various characteristics of burning yarn:

Cotton Burns rapidly, yellow flames, continues burning; afterglow smells like paper residue is a brown tinged end, feathery ash
Linen Burns slower than cotton; afterglow smells like rope ash maintains shape of swatch
Ramie Burns slowly smells like rope

ash maintains shape of swatch

Rayon Burns slowly smells like paper or rags very little residue, fluffy ash
Silk and Wool Burns slowly, usually self-extinguishing smells like hair residue is crushable black bead (silk) or small, brittle, black bead (wool)
Most synthetic fibers Nylon, polyester, acrylic, tend to melt and fuse.   Nylon and polyester leave a hard, gray or tan bead; acrylic will leave a crisp, black mass.
Posted by Sue Jalowiec on 09/10/2014 at 3:00 AM | Categories: General Info - Yarn on Cones -


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