Cotton is a comprehensive fabric that has a ton of different characteristics. Because of these reasons, it is further divided into a wide range of fabric types and blends which include cotton but in different forms and different quantities.
There is no doubt that fabrics made from cotton blends are a lot different than the original 100% cotton. The tricky job here is determining whether the fabric is 100% cotton or you are being scammed or something.
But the question here is, how to determine if the fabric is 100% cotton? The good thing is that identifying 100% cotton fabric is not as difficult as many people think because all you need is to follow a proper technique. Not one but many techniques can be used for identification while some other things can help you out as well.
So, let’s move on to the article and benefit from all the amazing information that is coming up.
How can you tell if the fabric is 100% cotton?
Many techniques can be used to tell if the fabric is 100% cotton but burning the fabric is probably the biggest and most accurate test for this purpose. You may feel weird to hear that but it’s not like its sounds.
You don’t need to burn the whole fabric but a small piece of it. If you have a little bit of experience in fabrics, you can also identify 100% cotton to some extent simply by touching or feeling its texture, pattern, comfort, and coziness as well.
How to determine if summer clothes are 100% cotton?
Summer clothes that are made using 100% cotton, will feel extremely comfortable and cool to wear on hot summer days. It can help moisture evaporate and doesn’t always keep you sweaty. It also takes the heat out of your body and brings in cool air.
Although the fabric speeds up the process of evaporating sweat from your body, it takes a lot of time to dry itself. This thing is a great factor to identify 100% cotton. If fabric takes a good time to dry, it is 100% cotton but if it dries quickly, it has a blend of any other fibers.
How to determine if winter clothes are 100% cotton?
Winter clothes made using 100% cotton are extremely cozy, soft, and smooth to wear. Because of its breathability, you will always remain cool and heat will remain inside your body for the whole time making it one of the best fabrics to wear in cold weather.
Another good factor that can exactly tell you whether the winter clothes are made with 100% cotton or have a blend will be their price. 100% cotton clothes for winter will be quite expensive compared to cotton clothes that have blended.
What are the major techniques of fabric testing?
- A burning test is without a doubt the best method to test 100% cotton or any other fabric because it always brings the most accurate results.
- Microscopy identification is also a technique to test fabric but it can only be practiced by professionals and experts who have the required tools and knowledge about the fabric.
- Touching, smell, texture, construction patterns, and feel can also be used as an identification technique but it can be done by people who have years of experience in fabrics.
How to identify 100% cotton fabric by touching it?
To identify 100% cotton fabric, you need to know the factors that can help you distinguish cotton from any other fabric. Many factors can be considered but some of the most accurate include the following:
- Touch: 100% cotton will feel a bit stiff and creases will appear if you crush the fabric.
- Feel: The fabric will have a comfy, cool, and cozy feel when you touch or wear it.
- Texture: The fabric will have a slight texture and will feel soft if you move it against your skin.
How to identify cotton fabric by burning it?
No doubt burning a piece of fabric is the best method to identify 100% cotton fabric. Below is the step-by-step procedure to do so:
- Take a small piece of fabric. (Make sure you only cut fabric from a place that will not affect the overall fabric for the dress.)
- Set fire to the piece of fabric from one corner while holding it in the air.
- Focus on the way the fabric burns.
- Also, focus on the smell and color of the smoke coming out of the fabric.
- Look for the ashes and note their color as well.
Now, if the fabric doesn’t curl while burning, the smell of burning wood or paper is coming out, and the ashes have a grayish shade or color, it is a clear indication that the fabric is 100% cotton.
How to tell the difference between cotton and polycotton?
It is an extremely messy job to differentiate 100% cotton from poly cotton as there are not many differences because of their source of material. However, they do differ in some aspects which could be used as an identification.
- 100% cotton and polycotton have a lot of differences in terms of fabric sheen.
- 100% cotton doesn’t shine under the light while polycotton does.
- 100% cotton is matte while polycotton has a waxy sheen.
- Cotton is taken solely from cotton plants and has natural fibers while poly cotton is blended with other fibers as well. This thing makes a difference in their texture and pattern.
How can you tell if the fabric is cotton or linen?
Many indications can tell you the difference in a matter of seconds. All you need is to focus on the right factors and you will be able to distinguish 100% cotton from linen. Below are some major differences between these two fabrics that may help you out in your determining process.
- Cotton is a bit thinner fabric while linen is thicker and coarser.
- Cotton is a bit stiff while the linen is too soft.
- Cotton gets creases more than linen when crushed.
- Cotton is strong but linen’s neutral fibers are about 2-3 times stronger.
- Cotton is far cheaper as compared to linen.
How to tell if cotton is pure cotton or synthetic fibers?
First thing first, natural fibers are taken from plants or natural resources while synthetic fibers are made using chemicals, plastic, or any other artificial material. When you burn cotton, you need to focus on the burn pattern, ash color, flames, and smell while burning.
If cotton is made using natural fibers, it will have straight flames, the smell of paper/wood, and the ash will be soft and of grayish color.
On the other hand, if cotton is made using synthetic fibers, the flames will be unsteady, the smell will be like any chemical or plastic, and the fabric will be dripping instead of simply burning like paper. Also, the ash from synthetic cotton fabric will be hard.
How to tell if fabric is cotton and cotton percale?
There is not much difference between 100% cotton and cotton percale as the latter is just a sub-product of the actual cotton fabric. Both fabrics are made using natural fibers but there is a difference in their manufacturing patterns.
A 100% cotton fabric is one of the best in terms of breathability and is made from fibers taken solely from cotton plants while the percale is a cotton weave that is manufactured using a traditional crisscross pattern.
Why do experts suggest testing fabric if it is 100% cotton?
Many reasons back this suggestion and the major one is that 100% cotton brings you the best wearability and feel. Testing will help you get 100% cotton fabric which will further result in major advantages like:
- Less likely to irritate delicate skin
- Ideal for people with skin allergies
- Moisture-wicking abilities
- Keep you dry
- Keep you cool
- Great for apparel
- Good for home decor
- Less stretching
- Withstand heat to a certain extent
- Sustainable fabric
- Environmentally friendly
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there any app to identify fabric?
There are quite a few applications that can be used on digital devices to identify fabrics using images. A free version of an android mobile application was released in 2021 with the name “Textile Identifier”.
This app was designed solely to identify fabrics. All you need is to take a picture using a mobile camera and upload it to the app. It will analyze all aspects and will bring the accurate name of the fabric in most cases.
Some other digital ways include Google Lens, Fabric Finder, Image Recognition and Searcher.
Can Google tell the fabric with a picture?
Google can bring you hints on what fabric it is by analyzing the picture. As soon as you upload the image in Google Lens, it searches everything related to that picture and comes up with the most related results.However, you may be able to find an accurate answer sometimes but it is not always right as Google may come up with other fabric related to your picture.