Fabric Burning Test

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Fabric Burning Test Burning a small sample of cloth gives about the same result as burning the fiber. The closeness of the weave may somewhat retard the rapidity of the burning. This is one of the best and most reliable tests for the housewife. Cotton: Since cotton is cellulose, it burns like paper or wood. Cotton material burns rapidly and with a steady yellow flame leaving a gray ash without residue. Wool: Wool burns much like hair, smouldering and becoming extinguished often. Woolen material
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  Fabric Burning Test Burning a small sample of clothgives about the same result as burning the fiber. Thecloseness of the weave may somewhat retard the rapidity of the burning. This is one of the best and most reliable tests for the housewife.Cotton: Since cotton is cellulose, it burns like  paper  or wood. Cotton materialburns rapidly and with a steady yellow flame leaving a gray ash without residue.Wool: Wool burns much like hair, smouldering and becoming extinguished often.Woolenmaterialleaves oily, gummy globules as a residue. Silk : Since silk is an animal fiber, it burns much like wool, although more rapidly, with a blue leaping flame. It leaves an oily, gummy globule. Unless silk material is weighted,when burned it is similar to the silk fiber. If the silk material is heavily weighted, the burnedfabricleaves a shell-like residue slightly smaller than the sample. This remainingshell is the weighting which does not burn easily; it crumbles at the slightest touch. Moresatisfactory thanlighting a silk sample is to place the sample on a tin dish and set it in a very hot oven. The silk will burn away leaving the weighting in the shape of the srcinalsample.Linen: Since linen is avegetable fiber, it burns in much the same way as cotton. It is slightly less inflammable than cotton, because it has more oil; it leaves about the sameash.Union goods: In testing union goods, or materials made of several different fibers, the problem is more difficult. In this case the material is frayed and both the warp and thefilling tested separately. To carry the test still further, both the warp and the fillingthreads may be untwisted and the various fibers in each yarn tested.  Fabric Color Test Color is affected by various factors, chiefly bywashing,boiling,soap,hotirons, wear, friction, andexposureto sun and air.Cottonandlinensmust generally be tested for laundering.A sample should be cut in two, and one-half kept fresh. The other half should be subjected to vigorous soap andwater  washing, dried, pressed, and then compared with the srcinal sample. The sample may beexposed to strong sunlight by placing it outdoors for a few hours or days. Half of thesample should be kept covered so that the degree of fading may be observed.  Materials worn next to the skin should have sufficiently fast color to withstand friction.They may be tested by vigorous rubbing with a piece of clean whitecloth.  Fabric Strength Test  No satisfactory comparison of the strength of different fabrics can be made, since this depends on thesizeand quality of the yarn and thekindand quality of the weave. The strength of a fabric has much to do with its wearing quality, but there can be no fixedstandard. Each fabric should be sufficiently strong for the purpose for which it isintended.* Journal of Home Economics, 8:3:144-147.Thismaterialis condensed fromTests for Fabrics as discussed in Dressmaking, by Jane Fales, published by Charles Scribner's Sons.The warp and filling threads should be equally balanced either in numbers or size of yarn.Dimity is an example of unbalanced warp and filling; it is well known that after a fewwashings, dimity breaks along the heavy threads. The weaving should be well done withthe threads closely enough woven to give firmness and body to thecloth without any adulteration and sizing.The strength of the warp and the filling, threads may be tested by breaking the threadsafter raveling. The size and twist of the yarns should also be observed.The threads should not slip out of place with a slight strain. To test durability in thisrespect, twoedges may be pinned together as for a common seam, and the material opened apart and pulled on both sides of the pin. If the pin makes conspicuous holes inthe material, one may be sure the cloth cannot be satisfactorily used for a garment thatwould have strain at the seams. Fabric Feel Test The feel of manyfabricsvery closely resembles that of the raw fiber.Cotton material: Unresponsive,soft,and inelastic. Cotton because of its inelasticity crushes easily. It may be made to look and feel somewhat likewool, but it always retainsits inelastic characteristic.Wool material: Springy, harsh, and elastic. The elasticity of wool is one of its mostdesirable qualities. If awoolengarment becomes wrinkled, many of the creases fall out if the garment is merely hung away. This responsiveness is caused by its elasticity. If   woolen material is combined with much cotton or shoddyin either spinning or weaving,it loses much of its elasticity.Silk material: Smooth, cool, and very elastic. If silk is of good quality, it is the mostelastic material. For this reason, silk garments hung away will look very smooth and freshin a shorttime. Silk loses this quality when adulterated with mercerized cotton or heavilyweighted.Linenmaterial: Firm, stiff, smooth, cold, very inelastic, and leathery if woven with a firmweave. The very inelastic quality of linen causes it to crush readily and thus to requirecontinual pressing. If adulterated with cotton, it loses somewhat its firmness andsmoothness.Artificial silk  material: Very smooth, wiry, and cold. Artificial silk material is veryunyielding. If combined with another fiber, it is much more satisfactory.Ramie: Firm and stiff. It resembles both linen and cotton. It does not crush quite so easilyas linen. Tests For Fabrics A general comparison of fabricsmay be made, but this will mean little even to the expert,since each class includes so great a variety of fabrics which differ widely in appearance,feel, and strength. Jute Jute, another vegetable fiber, is familiar in sacking, twine, anddoor -mats, but it is not expected in finer materials. The naturalcolor  of this fiber is somewhat darker thanlinen color , it is harsh and coarse, yet it has considerable luster. In burlap the fiber is usedalone, while in monk'scloth it is combined with cottonin a heavy material. In its natural color it adds a pleasing tone to a more denim-like cotton and jutefabric, particularlywhen the cotton is insofttones.* Ramie Ramie, avegetablefiber of antiquity, has until very recently been used almostexclusively in China and Japan. A highly lustrous fiber, in this respect surpassing linen, and very white, its use has been limited by the difficulty with which the fiber is removedfrom the surrounding woody tissue. Ramie has been used incombination with silk and cotton, its luster making it hard to distinguish when woven with silk, and adding richnesswhen combined with cotton. Japanese and Chineseembroiderieson thismaterialhave  been common in the markets for some years, but only recently has ramie linen, by the   piece, been sold in this country. As methods for producing the fiber are improved, more of it may be expected to appear on the market, and the shortage of European linen due tothe war may give an impetus to the importation of ramie from the Orient.At present, ramie is combined with cotton or linen or used alone in making dressmaterials. Artificial Silk  For years chemists of America and Europe have endeavored to make a fiber which wouldcompare favorably withsilk . A number of so-called artificial silks have been madesynthetically, but each has lacked some desired characteristic. One has not withstoodmoisture, another lacked strength, a third was not sufficiently pliable, and so on. It is onlyrecently that a satisfactory fiber, which can be manufactured at a reasonable price, has been developed. The artificial silk now commonly found on the market is a collodian-likesubstance, made fromcottonor woolfiber, put through capillary tubes, hardened in the air and so treated that it will withstand moisture. This fiber may be manufactured at a cost below that of pure silk, and has the promise of a great future.*The artificial, or fiber, silk is used in many knitted sweaters, scarfs, dress  braids, fancy ribbonsand is combined with both pure silk and cotton. It may always be detected by its brilliancy and stiffness. If the burning test is used, artificial silk is found to burn withalmost explosive rapidity. It also disintegrates if it comes in contact with water ;but this deficiency is being gradually overcome by science.  Silk Adulteration In oldentimesthe price of silk was much greater than now, but the materialwas much more durable. Silks which have been laid away for a hundred years are still in fairly goodcondition. At present silks are much cheaper, but the result is that when they are putaway, even for only a few months they may fall into bits, and their wearing qualitycannot be compared with old silks. The reason for this change is not hard to find. Thecost of raw silk is about thirty times that of rawcotton and the waste at least five times that of cotton. The manufacturer must make up in some way if he is to sell silk at the prices demanded by the public.Silk has a very great ability to absorb dyes and metallicsalts without apparently changing the quality of the material, and since dyes and metallic salts are much cheaper than puresilk, the manufacturer makes great use of these materials. Loading is the common namefor this process of treating silk, and it is common practice to add 30 per cent of foreignmaterial, just the percentage lost by the silk when thegumis removed, while it is possibleto add 250 or even 300 per cent.
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