Most synthetic fibers can be cleaned with standard procedures and cleaners. Potential
cleaning problems arise with the use of natural fibers.
To determine if a fiber is natural or synthetic we perform the burn
- Obtain a piece of the carpet to be cleaned or cut small tufts from an
inconspicuous place of the carpet itself.
- Hold the tuft with a tweezers so as to not burn your fingers.
- Apply flame to the fiber and observe the following.
1. Does it melt or not?
2. How it burns.
a. Rapidly or slowly?
b. Does it go out when the flame is removed or continue to
c. Does it smolder?
3. How it smells
a. Odor after burning
4. The ash
5. The molten bead, if it melts.
The test is done as follows:
- Hold a small piece of yearn near the flame and observe whether the
yarn melts as you bring the flame close.
- Hold the yarn in the flame and note how fast it burns.
- Withdraw the flame and note if the yarn continues to burn or goes
- Smell the odor of the burnt yarn.
- Note the color of the ash and whether it is hard and brittle by
pinching between fingers.
- If a molten bead forms, note the color and hardness.
If some type of flame retardant or other finish has been applied to
a fiber, it may not respond naturally to the burn test.
A textile may be make by using one or more fibers.
This fact should be taken into consideration when you attempt to
determine what fiber or fibers have been used. To make certain you are getting correct
results, take samples of yarn from various colors, directions in the weave, plies, and
from different areas of a carpeting, since the yarns are not always uniform over an entire
surface. When a yarn is made up of a blend of two or more fibers, it may be impossible to
detect any or all of them.
If should be remembered that the results of this test are used only
as a method to classify fibers into broad classes.
Results of the burn test are listed on the following identification