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Re: Storing fabric...

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  • Kass McGann
    ... and ... reason ... used parts ... do you ... each ... Dear Trinity, I label anything, but I tend to be a little... um... a- r . I have had it happen far
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 5, 2000
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      --- In SCA-Garb@egroups.com, "Trinity, the One & Only" <phoenix@c...>
      > Hiya! instead of re-inventing the wheel, i come before you skilled
      > inventive ladies... to ask if you label your bought-for-no-good-
      > fabrics. i've recently bought large quantities of muslin, then
      used parts
      > for this and that... now, have no idea how much is on each hunk.
      do you
      > label how much these misc. chunks have in them? or have to dig for
      > project???

      Dear Trinity, I label anything, but I tend to be a little... um... "a-
      r". I have had it happen far too many times where I thought I had
      enough fabric for a project, and at the last moment found I had about
      6" too little and couldn't fudge it no how...

      But for muslin, I keep my "muslins" that I use as patterns in folders
      labeled by what they are ("my bodice", "man's sleeve"...). The
      muslin that is still on the bolt or fairly continuous, I leave as it
      is. The muslin I have used and think I can reuse (in other words, I
      used it as a pattern and it can be used again for a smaller one), I
      put in a big garbage bag and I dip in there for just the right size
      piece whenever I'm making a pattern.

      For fabric I actually make garb out of, however, I have a list that
      says stuff like: 6 yards 59" wide 5.3oz Ukrainian linen; 5 yards of
      60" wide and a few yard-long pieces of 45" wide wool twill, blue...

      It works for me.

      > i know there's a way with
      > burning a thread pulled from the fabric that will indicate if
      there's any
      > polyester or rayon, but cannot remember which burn pattern means
      > and i want to begin to label the fabrics that are meant for
      the "holding
      > pattern collection" so i will know when i grab it if it is for
      Winter or
      > breatheable...

      I know someone sent you the burn test page already, but I have to add
      my two cents. Polyester melts when you burn it (it's akin to
      plastic), but rayon, linen and cotton are very hard to tell apart by
      a burn test. You see, rayon is made from reconstituted (if that's
      the correct term) saw dust and wood shavings, linen is from the flax
      plant, a bast (woodsy) fibre, and cotton is of course from the cotton
      plant. What these three all have in common is that their fibres are
      cellulose, which smells the same no matter what source it comes
      from. So just like burning wool (the "hair" of a sheep) and burning
      human hair smell alike, burning cotton, linen and rayon all smell
      like burning paper (yet another cellulose fibre!).

      When trying to differentiate between rayon, cotton, and linen, I use
      visual and tactile cues rather than a burn test. Try this. Take a
      piece of the fabric in question and squash it in your hand. I mean,
      really smoosh it in your fist. Then let it go. Linen will stay
      wrinkled. Cotton will too, but not as badly. Rayon will smooth out
      more. Also, look at the weave. Linen always has "slubs" in the
      weave. But rayons that are meant to look like linen have artificial
      slubs. Are the slubs truly random or are they uniform -- the same
      size, shape, and occurring at intervals. If they are uniform, it's
      rayon. Also, if you drop the fabric haphazardly onto the floor,
      rayon will sit in a smooth pile, which linen will look
      very "jagged". Cotton fabric tends to look like bedsheets. I avoid
      using it because the rare cotton that was used in period was not
      as "perfect" as the stuff we have today. But I digress. If you
      really want to know if something is cotton, linen or rayon, pull off
      a thread and "unspin" it with your fingers. Cotton will look fuzzy
      like cotton balls. Rayon will shine the more you play with it.
      Rayon with be a little fuzzy, but not like cotton. It'll mostly be

      Of course, this all gets confused by cotton-linen blends. But don't
      worry -- linen warp with a cotton weft was woven in the Middle Ages
      and was called fustian. It's cheaper than linen in modern times and
      yet is comfy and looks much better than wearing 100% cotton.

      I hope this has helped you, Trinity. If I can be of further service,
      just let me know.

      Kass McGann
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