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21307Re: [Authentic_SCA] simple fabric question

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  • E House
    Jun 3, 2002
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      Here's something I noticed before, but then promptly forgot, only to rediscover it just recently when hanging a linen warp/cotton weft basket weave out to dry: when linen gets wet, the fibers bulge up and get temporarily thicker, then thin back down when they dry.  I'd been thinking this fabric was linen weft and cotton warp, from having done the tease-the-fibers-apart test... but the wet test told me beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was the other way around!  The weft was white, and the warp was navy, and when I looked at the wet fabric about an hour after hanging it I saw great big bulging navy threads swelling up all over the place, with the white threads exactly the same thickness they were when dry.
      It doesn't work if you just wet the fabric and then check it immediately; you have to wet it, then set it somewhere to be damp for a while so that it can soak up the water.  Also, if the cotton and linen fibers themselves are blended together, it'll wind up swelling nonetheless... I tried it with a 60/40 linen/cotton blend I had on hand and it still swells, just not as much.  But it'll tell you if there's some linen in there somewhere.  Wet tests can also be used to tell if there's wool in there somewhere: you can SMELL wool when it's wet.
      Still something I'm playing around with, and definitely not a science yet... but it can come in handy.
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Friday, May 31, 2002 1:21 AM
      Subject: Re: [Authentic_SCA] simple fabric question

      Thanks to everyone who answers, It burns like cotton but has a polished look
      and creases like linen.  Must be a blend.  Anyway, once I sew the sleeves
      and the side seems, it will be a shirt.  It, and Rashid's persian trousers
      pattern will give me something to do at Junefair this weekend.
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