Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

“Various Fibers”???

Josefly | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

Note: I just tried to post this message using the title “Mystery Fabric”, and my post got lost – apparently that title was used for another thread a couple of years ago, and my post was not added to that thread, but when I click on my topic, now listed in the Discussions list, it takes me to the old thread. So, be careful if you’re posting a new topic, not to use a title that’s been used before. I think this is the same problem that has occurred with some topics called “HELP.” Ah, well, on to the subject at hand. How I wish I had Claire Shaeffer’s book on fabrics. I bought several yards of a drapey knit fabric – a thin sweater knit with practically no recovery – which was marked “Various Fibers” – very helpful, huh? It feels like rayon to me. I washed and dried a 5″ square of it, and it shrank 1/8″ in both length and width, with no other change in tactile character, color, etc – not too bad, so I’ll go ahead and pre-treat the entire yardage. Still, I’d like to know what it is. Isn’t there some kind of burn test I can do? Btw, I plan to use my fabric on Simplicity 3790: http://www.simplicity.com/Search.aspx?SearchTerm=3790 Any advice on this pattern? I expect this very unstable fabric to be a bear to cut out.


  1. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #1

    Hi Josefly :)

    Retail/Wholesale listings of UNKNOWN or VARIOUS Fibres is a catchall for fabric that they are unable to confirm the real content of, or don't have space to list the many fibres. Your first guess by feel is probably accurate enough to start guessing at some of the content. There may also be Lycra in it. There are some good sites that will help you with burn tests. There was a past discussion that listed some good ones if you want to search. Try searching using Fabric Burn Test as your key words. Just make sure to follow the directions exactly. Burn tests can be dangerous if you are not careful, or have breathing problems. With multiple fibres, there is a good chance that it will conform to several properties. Even so, it is well worth doing. Cathy

    1. Josefly | | #2

      Hi back to you, Threadkoe. I was hoping you would see my post - you're always so knowledgeable and helpful about fibers. I found some general information among the Threads online articles, so I'll do a burn test on my mystery knit and at least be able to tell if it's protein, vegetable, or synthetic, hopefully, by the smell - after I get over this cold and my sense of smell returns. After quite a while of frustrating searching this afternoon, I've not been able to find the Search function for the Gatherings forum. I wonder if it's been temporarily removed while some problems are being worked out? Either that, or I'm blind when I look at the pages. Thanks for your help.

      I knew I was taking a chance on getting this fabric - it was marked down, probably because of the unknown fiber content. I sometimes think Hancock's re-bolts (is that a word?) their fabric, and they lose track of what the fiber content is. On the same table, there were several bolts of fabrics which looked identical to each other except for color, and some were marked "Various Fibers" or "Mixed Fiber Content" while others showed the content as polyester, etc. None of those was identical to mine, however, so I'm totally in the dark.

      1. KharminJ | | #3

        Happy Sunday, Josefly!

        Lots of little things to add, here ~

        ~ I believe you're right about some stores "re-bolting" (it's a perfectly good word, *even if* you just made it up!).

        ~ Got no experience with that particular pattern, but it certainly is cute!

        ~ A possible help when it's time to cut your fabric - spray starch and press the yardage - it oughta stay put better while you pin and cut it.

        ~ Hope your cold goes it's merry way quickly! 'Tis a lousy time of year to have a broken sniffer - so many good things to smell these days - baking, cooking, trees, candles ...

        ~ I see a white box marked SEARCH on the right side of the very top (brown patterned) panel. Right above the "Books & DVDs" tab. Hope that helps.

        Bright Blessings!


        1. Josefly | | #4

          Kharmin, there is still no SEARCH button up there on my pages while I'm in Gatherings. I wonder if it has something to do with the browser (Safari) I'm using. Thanks so much for checking it - but I swear it's not there. I check it out with a different browser.

          I'll remember to try the starch. I also just read in Connie Long's book, "Sewing with Knits" about cutting these very stretchy knits into pattern-sized pieces, cutting along a rib, then laying those pieces out in two layers and cutting each pattern piece separately. I think I'll have to do that.

          Thanks also for commiserating with me about my cold. This is my second cold of the season and I'm feeling quite sorry for myself - I don't have time for it - I'm not prepared for Christmas! But I am beginning to feel human again. :>)

        2. Josefly | | #5

          Well, I'll be. It was my
          Well, I'll be. It was my browser. I'm using Firefox now, and, presto, there's the Search function, right where Vicky and you said it was. I don't like using this browser, but guess I'll have to. Thanks for helping with this - I was beginning to think I was blind.

          1. KharminJ | | #7

            Hurray! I'm glad it was a
            Hurray! I'm glad it was a "simple" fix! And I understand "don't like using this browser"! although I do use Firefox, and really don't appreciate it when I have to revert to IE (machine default)! To each their own, eh?

            Glad you're feeling better, too ~ Merry Christmas!


    2. Josefly | | #6

      Cathy, employing a different browser, I was finally able to locate the Search function, and perform the search you suggested. I got just the information I needed - a great, complete-looking burn test chart. Thanks again for your help.


  2. HelgaPataki | | #9

    burning your sample

    Hi, I tried burn tests for yarns --  if your ashes drops and hardens, it is synthetic (poly and acrylic, etc are plastics).  if you rashes discitegrade or melt when you smudge your finger over it, it is natural.  When my yarn being burned is a blend, i experience a mixture of these 2 results.  if you smell burning hair it is wool or animal hair.  My problem with burning is that I find I have to let a few hours go by before I burn something different.  I am quite sensitive to odor and if the odor of the burned item is in the air it could linger the next item you burn could be disguised by the odor lingered.   When I do with a burn test is that I clean my kitchen stainless steel sink (because it is a lab sink) and i make sure that the sink is not dried off (I like having a wet sink for fire prevention) I light a scent free candle and use the flames.  you have to take extreme caution because I have had flames shoot up past 12 inches extremely quickly.  that is why I prefer to have a wettish sink to work my burnings in. 

    1. Josefly | | #8

      burning your sample

      Thank you so much for your suggestions about how to carry out the burn tests on yarns.  They are good precautions to use.

      1. HelgaPataki | | #10

        burning precautions

        Josefly, your very welcome!!  I learned from experience (lol)

        1. Josefly | | #11


          Heh, heh.  And such an "illuminating" experience it was!  I imagine that 12" flames would put me off experimenting!

          1. HelgaPataki | | #12

            shocking experience

            Yeah it was shocking.  I dropped it really fast. The flames just blasted right up. 

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All