Saturday, March 13, 2010

Piggy-back on Previous Post

Is there a sure-fire way to know if a yarn is wool or mostly wool?
I sometimes get yarn given to me without a label and I'd love to use it for an a4A garment. I don't want to send something that won't meet our goal of keeping a child warm.


Elizabeth D said...

Here is a comprehensive chart on determining fiber content of a fabric or yarn using the burn test. USE THIS TEST CAREFULLY! Make sure you're somewhere you won't get hurt or set anything unintended on fire:

Maureen said...

I just take a 3 inch length, grip it in my spaghetti tongs, and set it on fire using the gas burner on my kitchen stove. If it's wool it will have that unmistakable burned-protein smell (if you try using a piece of yarn you know to be wool, you'll easily identify it) and if it's wool it will not burn once you remove it from the flame; it will smoulder and go out, leaving a residue of ash that will crumble to dust in your fingers. If it blazes merrily after you take it from the flame, it's synthetic and you will have to throw it in the sink. It will smell different from wool. Instead of crumbly ash, you'll have a hard plastic like bead. Some yarns will have both types of fiber and then you have to make a judgment call, I guess. Rayon, linen etc are more obviously different from wool so you don't usually have to test them.

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