Saturday, February 26, 2011

Help! What am I?

Well fellow fabric fiends, I got another haul from FabricMart, and got another amazing mystery bundle.  In it were a couple of fab knits, some khaki twill, an amazing piece of Italian linen, and a yard and a half of suiting weight twill.  I'm not sure what it is though, so I thought I'd see if any of y'all can help.
This is an unedited photo taken in natural light.  It's a bit overcast today, so the colors IRL are more vibrant.  What appear to be the warp threads are olive green.  The weft threads vary from light cream to dark beige. It does feel a tiny bit itchy, but has a sheen. The yardage is only 46 inches wide.  I burn tested it (my first time!) and it smelled like hair, was difficult to light and extinguished when the flame was removed.  It burned orange and left a crumbly ash.  My initial thought was that it was wool, but it isn't all that itchy, and it has a silk-like sheen. Perhaps it is a wool-silk blend?  Or do I just need to buy more high quality wools so that I recognize one when it crosses my cutting table?  What do you think?

12 comments:

  1. Not all 100% wool is itchy. It can be soft. Also, the sheen could be silk, or it may just be the way the wool fibers were finished. My 2 cents says treat it like wool, and call it a wool-silk blend if that's what you want it to be!

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  2. I burn-tested some silk and found it very difficult to light. Maybe yours is indeed a wool-silk blend? This chart was pretty helpful for analysing the ash.

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  3. I agree with Becky, a wool silk blend or maybe a wool silk cotton blend. Sometimes the warp is cotton and the weft is wool silk, you might try burn testing those separately. I'll bet it will sew and press beautifully!

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  4. I'm guessing wool or maybe a blend as well.

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  5. If there's some acrylic in it, that could account for the itch. Acrylic makes my skin burn and itch.

    Sometimes when I'm really confused by a fabric, I set my camera to make a little movie so I can observe the flame later and focus on the smell while I'm burning the fabric.

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  6. I've heard the longer staple of the wool (I can't remember the right term), the less itchy. Oof, don't tempt me with those bundles; my fabric diet ends in two days. I got a bundle once from Fashion Fabrics Club (a few years ago) and it was NOT impressive.

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  7. Whatever it is, it looks beautiful. I'm guessing it is a wool of some sort. It probably has a blend of something that helps make it soft.

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  8. I bet it's wool-silk. They have some fantastic fabrics at that store. When I got the chance to go in person last summer, I didn't see hardly any low end mystery fabrics, more high end mysteries. I think it's safe to assume you got something very nice.

    On a side note, I came away from there with two HUGE bags filled for just over $100 and that included a wool-lycra blend that I bought for $1.99 a yard.

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  9. Oh, what a hoot reading about the burn test! I'm so beginner-ish I've never known what you do there - I thought you tried to burn it with your iron to see what happened! There's WAY more involved - that sounds like a science experiment. I have truly learned something today!

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  10. Was the ash grey or black? (wool black, silk grey) Did the fabric sizzle slightly as it was burning? (wool) It sounds like a wool or blend to me, and it is quite common to find the blend consists of different warp and weft fibres.

    I have got quite good at burn testing because I buy a lot of mystery fabric. I've also got quite good at telling a lot by feel, because once I've purchased it a burn test is a little too late ...

    Whatever it is, it looks beautiful and I'm sure you'll make something beautiful with it.

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  11. I have no idea, but I just love Fabric Mart. I've been sewing up a storm with crushed velours (all washable, of course) that I got from them on clearance last summer, and I love their mystery bundles and clearance specials. It lets me try out so many fabrics I might otherwise be afraid to use, and learn which ones I love! I'm itching to get more fabric, seeing this latest find from your bundle...sigh

    Marjie

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  12. I'm learning to spin yarn and have been surprised at how dramatic the differences are between different breeds of sheep. Merino, for instance can be very soft and almost silky. Icelandic sheep can produce very rough, itchy wool...so yes, the quality or type of wool you've been buying may have something to do with your impression that it's itchy!

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