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How do you know a cotton shirt really is cotton? - Page 2

post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpooPoker View Post
CSI : SF, obviously.
Someone on here has to have access to a scanning electron microscope.
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbucky View Post
Someone on here has to have access to a scanning electron microscope.

I sure do miss Vox.
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpooPoker View Post
I sure do miss Vox.

+1
post #19 of 35
ouch
post #20 of 35
i try not to be a cospiracy theorist, if the tag says 100% cotton thats what i go with especially from a respectable maker, also are people seriously burning their shirts, and if its poly what do you do walk back to the store and say

"excuse me sir this shirt claims to be cotton but i intentionally burn it just to be sure and my conclusion is it must have some polyester in it due to the aroma it gives off while on fire i would like a full refund"

really!
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by in stitches View Post
i try not to be a cospiracy theorist, if the tag says 100% cotton thats what i go with especially from a respectable maker, also are people seriously burning their shirts, and if its poly what do you do walk back to the store and say

"excuse me sir this shirt claims to be cotton but i intentionally burn it just to be sure and my conclusion is it must have some polyester in it due to the aroma it gives off while on fire i would like a full refund"

really!

I kid you not but I did that with an "ex-tailor" once and got a new shirt made up for replacement. Thankfully, the new shirt survived the burn test.
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by sartorial_marxist View Post
I kid you not but I did that with an "ex-tailor" once and got a new shirt made up for replacement. Thankfully, the new shirt survived the burn test.

so now you have a burnt shirt sounds awesome
post #23 of 35
You should be able to feel the difference. Also, there should be different care instructions because you cannot iron polyester on high heat like cotton.
post #24 of 35
You really can tell the difference between cotton and polyester by burning it. Just do it on pieces you're absolutely sure about to establish a baseline before testing the sample you're not sure about.
post #25 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbucky View Post
Someone on here has to have access to a scanning electron microscope.

On a serious note, could you tell if a fabric was pure cotton or a mix by looking under a 'normal' microscope, like the ones you buy in hobby shops for kids?

Obviously most people (including tailors) don't have any kind of microscope at hand, so the burn test is a practical method. But surely if, say, the police are examining fibres, they must initially look at them under a microscope or something rather than burn them to work out what they are?

I did try the burn test on two suits I was given, and it did work. The one I suspected might have been the cheaper of the two was clearly real, course wool, whilst the one I thought was special was clearly man made! I'm not good enough to know if it was polyester or some other synthetic fibre, but I'm only interested in knowing if something is 1, cotton; 2, wool; 3, silk or; 4, anything else!

I don't want to burn a new shirt and I'm certainly not good enough to identify mixed fibres reliably.

I wonder if there's a potential scandal for high street retailers here? If a quiet news week led to a journalist buying a few 'pure' cotton and wool items from reputable shops, proving they contained polyester, and showing that identical items were available from smaller shops under different labels for less than half the price, I bet there'd be a bigger public response than when they expose hospitals for being deceptive over hygiene practices.

But then, show me any industry where people do everything correctly and honestly! I like my new shirt. It's just that while I'm happy to pay more for pure cotton, I'm just as happy buying the same shirt for half-price just because it has a different logo on its label.
post #26 of 35
the best way is to tap the phones of the shirt maker and steal his mail to see what fabrics hes buying and how he is using it. then when you are in jail make sure your jumpsuit is cotton by setting it on fire while you are wearing it
post #27 of 35
post #28 of 35
If you really want to be sure (and don't mind destroying part of the shirt), use this stuff on it. It dissolves plant fibres only. Any polyester would be left behind, even if only part of the whole yarn, provided you used enough solvent. On a more practical note, if you can't actually feel any polyester effect (funny feel to it, feeling hotter than usual, etc) while wearing it, I wouldn't worry too much. I would be suprised if a big retailer like M&S got hoodwinked, but with long supply chains these days, anything's possible. If it does turn out to be contrary to the label, you would definitely be able to get your money back, and actually, M&S would probably be quite grateful to be informed about this breach of their quality control.
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbucky View Post
Arid smell? Really? Ok, whatever. But if you burn plastic it gives off an acrid smell

I'm with you, brah, "arid" doesn't make any sense. I'd guess he was being sarcastic were it not for the emoticon.

On another note, if we're talking about the indistinguishability of different fibres under microscope, if the hand and heft is all the same, does it really matter?
post #30 of 35
I once leaned over a votive candle and my linen shirt caught fire. that did not smell nice. Arid/Acrid!!!
Luckily, nothing else burned. but I really liked that shirt!! italian indigo linen. it was nicely faded.

I burn test fabric from time to time.
Poly cotton is rare these days, since non-iron finishes are all the rage.

I did make myself a western shirt from a beautiful blue/grey plaid. very well made Italian fabric . I realized it was blended with polyester, when my body became very warm and itchy.

I won't wear poly/cotton t-shirts for the same reason.
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