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rebecca's pocket

.: domestic --> cooking | textiles | sewing | knit/crochet | diversions

the chart that follows is reproduced from the Singer Sewing Book by Mary Brooks Picken, published in 1949. no warranty stated or implied, etc, etc.

Touch lighted match to scrap Smells like burning paper. Flame sputters and smothers. Burns slowly. Like cotton but burns more slowly. Smells like burning hair. Burns fast and steadily. Leaves very tiny globules like hair. Weighted silk slower burning. Leaves gritty ash. Smells like burning paper. Quick flame but slower than silk. Leaves carbon ash. Acetate melts and leaves hard globule. Smells like burnt hair.
Drop caustic soda on scrap to tell pure wool from that which is mixed with cotton

Pure wool dissolves. Any cotton fiber mixed with it is left.
Wash or drop water on scrap Drop of water remains whole a moment before sinking in Drop spreads and absorbs quickly Drop will spot silk. Washing will remove sizing and cloud water. Dries quickly. Feels gummy when wet. Fibers weak when wet. Dries slowly. Acetate absorbs very little water. Feels dry almost at once.
Drop oil or glycerine on scrap to tell cotton from linen Spot is opaque. Spot is translucent when held up to light

Drop ink on scrap to tell pure linen from cotton and linen mixture
Spreads evenly and rapidly on pure linen. If cotton is mixed with fabric, spreads further on some threads than on others.

Rub scrap with fingernail or coin to tell rayon from other fibers

Threads may slip or separate more than in any other fabric.
Ravel a thread to compare it with one you are sure of Fiber short and fuzzy. Not lustrous or hairy. Fibers longer, mor elustrous than cotton. May seem woody. Lustrous as compared with wool or cotton. Lustrous. Feels cool and slippery as compared with other fibers. Feels springy and hairy.
Old white fabrics can be compared for whiteness to tell rayon from other fibers

Remains white; all natural fibers end to yellow with time.

by Mary Brooks Picken
©1949 Singer Manufacturing Co.
used without permission

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