Are you lost at which type of fabric is in front of you? Simply do a small burn test and see below for different results on different materials.

Prepare long, thin strips of fabric samples for the burn test and also a safe burning place.  Have a bowl of water or fire extinguisher nearby.

This guide will allow you to identify the different materials for your production of textiles, bags etc…

Categories listed below…..

Plant Originates

  • Cotton – burns with steady flame and also smelling like burning leaves. cotton leaves behind gray ash which disintegrates easily after burning.
  • Linen – longer ignition time than cotton. Fabric near burnt edge is very brittle and its ash crumbles easily.

Protein Originates common property – give off smell of burnt hair when burnt

  • Pure silk – fabric does not burn steadily, hard to ignite and its ash cumbles easily
  • Wool – looser weave compared to silk, has a steady flame but difficult to maintain burning

Synthetic Originates

  • Polyester – melts and burn. burnt edge produces small plastic chunks. Smoke produced is black and with sweet smell. hard ash left behind after burning.
  • Rayon – produces results similar to cotton. hard to differentiate with cotton in burn test.
  • Nylon -burn and melt rapidly, producing smell similar to burning plastic
  • Acrylic – produces a pungent and sharp smell, resulting with hard ash and burns readily.

Wood Fiber Originates

  • Acetate – smell like burning wood chips. Drips and leave hard ash. Flame is not easy to extinguish and burns with flickering flame.

Video Links & further detailed guides

Click on the links below to take a look at a rough guide for better understanding about fabrics.

See also related blogs from ODM