Monday, June 6, 2011

Another Sewing Tip

There is lots of stuff happening in my work room this week with a focus on more bridal accessories for the website as well as some simple summer top designs.  Eventually full blown summer WILL arrive her in SE Wisconsin and I want to be prepared with some cool comfortable tank tops.  Watch for all this new stuff to arrive soon to my site.  
While I work on all that other stuff I thought I would add another sewing tip.  I got to thinking about what a nuisance it is when we have clothing without laundering labels.  In most cases it is pretty easy to figure out how to clean an article of clothing but once in a while we can get tripped up as some fabrics are really hard to figure out.  Is it cotton or a blend?  Is this item silk or a polyester version?  Is this wool or a good fake?  It's pretty easy to destroy a favorite garment if we guess the wrong answer to these questions.  

Here is a way to figure this out.  It's called the Burn Test.
***This involves matches and fire so have a bowl of water available just in case you have to quickly dowse a flame!!!! 
Clip a small piece of the fabric from an inconspicuous area such as the hem or seam allowance if it is large enough.
Using tweezers or tongs or any fireproof item that keeps the flame away from your hand and anything else, hold a lighted match or lighter to the edge of the clipped fabric and watch how it burns.

Different fabrics burn a bit differently.  

Natural plant fabrics: 
Cotton and Linen burn easily and are easy to extinguish.  The ash crumbles easily like paper.

Natural animal fabrics:
Silk burns easily.  Wool is reluctant to burn and will usually go out on its own.  Both smell like burning hair and the ash is crumbly.

Manmade fabrics:

Polyester, Nylon and Acrylics (made from petro chemicals) burn easily and leave a black melted glob when extinguished and cooled.  Think melted plastic and they smell like it too.

Rayon and Acetate (made from the soft parts of plants) burns easily but are hard to blow out.  Rayon smells a bit like burning wood.  Neither create much ash.  

Now that you know how to distinguish between different unknown fabric types you will know better how to clean them.  Just make sure not to clip too big an area out of your garment or your next lesson will have to be about repairing them.  Use common sense here and have that bowl of water handy and all will be well. 

Next time I will list the proper care for your different kinds of fabrics.  Proper laundering/cleaning will extend the life of your garment.  Till then~

Cheers!!  :)

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