Burn test

Hong Kong fabric

It’s way redder than this really

I’ve got  this piece of fabric in my stash that’s been there for around 6 years. But I bought it over 20 years ago, in Hong Kong, when I was there for a Holiday-Of-A-Lifetime. I made sure that we visited the silk district, and I bought several pieces, some for myself, but I also got some as presents for family. I’ve no recollection at all of how much I would have spent on all the fabric, but it was not expensive.

This piece which is a bright tomato red, with black geometric shapes, was a gift for my mother. On reflection, I could have bought her a better present, because she never got round to using this. So when my sisters and I were clearing her flat 6 years ago, because she’d gone into a care home, I came across it again. I figured I might as well reclaim it, because it had come from me in the first place. And when I had to do a big downsize and got rid of a lot of my (largely costume) fabric stash, I kept this, because it had sentimental value to me, partly because of that holiday, and partly because of its association with Mum. It’s even more significant to me now that Mum’s passed on.

I knew that it wasn’t pure silk. I’d been told it was a silk/cotton blend, when I bought it. It’s got a beautiful soft finish, and it drapes like a dream. So today, I thought I’d take a match to it, to see how it burns, and see whether that tells me anything. It burned away to nothing, leaving a tiny tiny wisp of grey ash, and I didn’t detect any discernible burning hair/feathers smell. That reflects mostly on my appalling sense of smell, I feel. But I get the feeling that this is more cotton than silk.

I am planning to use this next weekend. I’ve booked myself on a Make a Shift Dress workshop at MakeMe in Cobham next Saturday. The deets say to bring along 2½ metres of fabric and a matching zip, so that’s the fabric I’m using. I’ve got about 3½ metres of it, so I should be ok!


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