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Author Topic: Swatch Inspection  (Read 1175 times)
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Doug Frank
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« on: April 07, 2016, 06:26:19 PM »

Hello everyone,

Would any one of you out there with a great deal of experience with original garments be willing to look at a swatch of wool for me that I would send you?  It appears to be a nice, not real heavy black wool with a good tight weave.  I am definitely thinking of making a pair of trousers and a vest from it, but I wanted to make sure it was not a case of "too good to be true."  What struck me the most was how light the fabric felt compared to a lot of the heavier wools on the market.  Thanks in advance for any takers out there.

Doug Frank
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Ms. Jean
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2016, 07:08:46 AM »

Disclaimer: I am a retired Soccer Mom, not an expert in historic clothing & fabric.

Did you try any fiber tests, a burn test or bleach test?

These tests are described on this forum in detail.

If you burn wool, it smells like burning hair and produces some ash.  Burning polyester smells awful and produces globs of melted stuff.

Wool in bleach disappears, polyester may change but there are strands and fibers remaining.

Hope this helps!

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Ms. Jean
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Doug Frank
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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2016, 02:07:20 PM »

I did do the burn test, it gave a burning hair smell, did not burn readily and turned to ash where it did burn (no plastic beading or anything like that).

I have not tried the bleach test yet, good call!

I'm not so much worried about the fiber content based off my burn test (although I will confirm with the bleach test), but since we always talk about how good, tight weave but light weight wool broadcloth seems to be hard to come by without spending a higher price for it, that for some reason I felt like there is a catch with this fabric.  It's $25 a yard, so not overly cheap, but compared to $100+ a yard for some of the other excellent but not overly heavy broadcloths out there, I think that's what's driving my thinking.

Maybe I'm being too paranoid?

Doug
« Last Edit: April 08, 2016, 02:10:57 PM by Doug Frank » Logged
Doug Frank
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2016, 11:08:44 AM »

Bleach test went fine, not a speck of it remaining.  I may just get enough to do a whole suit, trousers, vest, and frock.  I am just still that little bit uncertain that the fabric is not quite fine enough for a frock.

Doug
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EKorsmo
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2016, 02:32:13 PM »

I've only seen a handful of original men's garments, and so can't really help.  But it sounds like this fabric is everything I've heard to look for: 100% wool, tight weave, not excessively heavy.  Congratulations on a good find!
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