Burning Fabric

“It was hot, the night we burned Chrome.”

William Gibson, Burning Chrome

After reading about Rochelle and Tasha‘s proposal, I thought it could fit in my plans. I was planning on making two blouses, one from a vintage pattern and another from a pattern with a vintage inspiration.

If you remember, when I was in Vigo I bought some fabric by the kilo, and the yardages were just enough for blouses.They were in the bin where they have cottons and cotton blends, but off course I was not completely sure about what kind of fabric I was buying.

The first fabric looked a bit cottony (or rayon maybe?) but I was almost sure it was not 100% cotton:

I was planning to make Gertie’s portrait blouse:

And then I had this fabric:

which totally suits me to make this:

The question was, were these fabrics 100% cotton? ¨So I decided to go for a burning test in my kitchen sink. I apologize for the lack of light, but if you see where my sink is, you will fully understand. The layout of this apartment is quite weird. Each story was one apartment in the old days and was then subdivided in three ten years ago, when the building was renovated. As I was saying, the layout is different to any other apartment layout I’ve seen in my life. The incoming hall is… the kitchen. And the first thing the mailman sees when I open the door is… the sink. My tiny kitchen is like a small corridor which takes you to the living room. The following picture was taken from the leaving room. You can see the dishwasher, some drawers, the oven and the washing machine. Next comes the sink and just after it, the door to leave the apartment. All this to say that please excuse my lack of light or a better angle, but we have to do with what we have.

Burning test of blue puppies (the fabric, not actual puppies, please save the puppies of the world):


I’ve also burned some cotton fabric to be able to compare, and although both burned in a similar way, this one ashes don’t disintegrate like 100% cotton. It doesn’t form hard beads like poly either, so I guess it’s a blend or even rayon. I’m not sure 🙁

The burning of the other fabric was something quite special:


You cannot appreciate it very well in this video, but the flame is green GREEN and the smell is kind of chemical, but the burned fabric is totally similar to burned cotton. I’m thinking that the green flame and the smell could have come from the inks used on the fabric (those blue rhombuses are a bit glittery).

After seeing that colored flame I did a bit of research and found this. A green flame indicates presence of PVC. Could it be that PVC was used for the ink? No idea.

The only think I know is that none of this fabrics is valid for the sew-along, but anyway I want to make these two blouses with them because they’ve been already for too long in my head. If I like how they fit I could always try to make them again in 100% cotton.


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