Mistaken identity - a fabric burn test

So I began sewing the Vogue 1247 top.

You know the one.

It's that oh-so-popular-with-the-sewing-bloggers Rachel Comey top.

The one I didn't give a second thought to until I began seeing the many positive reviews.  Then of course I just had to have one for myself.  You, of course, never allow yourself to be influenced like that, right? 

Anyway,  where was I?

Oh yea. I began sewing the top the other day.  Actually made pretty good progress on it in just a few hours - see?

The fabric is a beautiful fiber-unknown piece that arrived in one of those Fabric Mart Fabrics mystery bundles.

When it arrived I had guessed it was a polyester charmeuse, so I washed and dried it and placed it in the fabric closet.

However, as I was sewing I couldn't help but wonder if what I thought was a polyester was actually silk.

Only one way to find out for sure.  A fabric burn test!

I grabbed swatch of fabric, a lighter and asked hubby to join me in the garage for a little burn test.

In a well-vented area (with a fire extinguisher close by) the fabric is held over the flame.

 As the flame touched the fabric it slowly began to burn, sputtering as it moved up the center of the fabric.

It continued to slowly burn up the center of the fabric.

When the flame was removed, the fabric quit burning and I carefully placed it on the garage floor.  The ash looks strong but when it was touched it wanted to crumble.

I thought it was interesting how it burned just along the center of the fabric. Look at the ridge the residue left behind.

The way the fabric burned combined with the smell (like burned hair) I would say I'm working with silk and not polyester.  Yea!



  1. That does it!!! I give in! I am buying myself a mystery bundle and possibly that Vogue pattern when they go on sale next week!

  2. oohhh how exciting! A bit like Sherlock Holmes :-)

  3. What a nice surprise!

  4. how cool....what a great surprise for you. :)

  5. Some surprises turn out to be awesome! Love the jacket in your previous post. And Zumba? Wow. Shake it, Sharon!

  6. ok that is probably the smartest thing I have ever seen what a cool test didn't know that

  7. Anonymous7:17 PM

    you know, i would have thrown the whole thing on a bonfire and hoped for the best.
    please share your vision at my blog:
    Models From The Earth

  8. thanks for sharing the photos, I've never done a burn test on silk so it's good to know for the future. It's such a gorgeous colour too, you really scored with that mystery bundle!

  9. I've always wondered how those burn tests worked! Thanks for sharing, and what a pleasant surprise!

  10. This doesn't burn like silk, it looks more like how acetate burns. Either way, it has gorgeous drape and color. What a find!


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