For proper fabric use, care, maintenance and decontamination, fabric identification is crucial. However, it is not always possible to know one fabric from another through appearance, texture, or thickness. Even if the fabric is made from the same fibers, the fabric varies greatly. Now, read the following information to know more details.
- Method 1. Find the fiber content on the label, which offers information on the materials used, including the weight percent of the fibers involved. Check for any special marks or seals for these may also identify certain fibers, such as wool or cotton. The care label provides instructions for use and care. If the information is missing, you can speculate the fiber content of the fabric.
- Method 2. Since carpet beetles or clothes moths feed on wool or silk, you can check for signs of damaged by these pests. Acetate fabrics, made of cellulose or wood fibers, can be used to feed termites
- Method 3. Comparison of fabric absorbency and drying time. For instance, silk is highly absorbent and dries relatively quickly while cotton is absorbent but slow to dry.
- Method 4. Perform chemical tests. Acetate dissolves in acetone, while fiber etching dissolves plant fibers such as cotton.
- Method 5. Perform a burning test. Cotton plant fibers are stably burned or charred, and create soft, crisp black or gray greens and the aroma of burning paper. However, wool burn and coke briefly, exhibiting the aroma of burning hair and producing irregular blackish gray, for the protein fibers of wool are flame-resistant. Synthetic acetate burns and melts; acetate drips flames that may be difficult to extinguish. Acetic acid produces vinegar or burning wood odor and hard, black, irregular gray. Silk fibers produce a burning smell of hair and melt, while soft black beads appear. The weight wire burns to produce lace ash. Artificial polyester burns briefly and melts with chemical aroma to form a hard rounded melt, such as black beads instead of ash. The polymer produced by oil, coal, air and water melts and burns at the same time, producing black smoke.