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  • Writer's pictureSuzhou Zanying

Textile Fiber Analysis — Burn Test (Part 1)

Updated: Sep 9, 2023

Burn test is one of the simple and commonly used methods for fiber analysis. It is based on the different phenomena that various fibers produce when they are close to the flame, contact the flame, and leave the flame, as well as the odor produced during combustion and the state of the residue after combustion to distinguish the fiber category.Burn test is more suitable for pure spinning products. Not applicable to blended products, fancy yarn products and specially finished products.

burn test
A lighter is required before the test

Due to the content of the burn test is more. We will be divided into 2 parts.

Part 1: The burning state of the fiber (close to the flame, contact the flame, leave the flame)


Burning state of commonly used fibers:


Cotton:It does not melt or shrink near the flame. Burn immediately on contact with flame. Burn quickly away from flame.

cotton burn test
Near Flame and Away Flame (Cotton)

Linen:It does not melt or shrink near the flame. Burn immediately on contact with flame. Burn quickly away from flame.

silk burn test
Near Flame (Silk)

Silk: Melts and bends near the flame. Curls, melts, burns on contact with flame. Burns with a slight flicker away from flame and sometimes extinguishes itself.


silk burn test
Contact Flame and Away Flame (Silk)

Wool:Melts and bends near the flame. Curls, melts, burns on contact with flame. Slow burning away from flame and sometimes extinguishes itself.


Viscose:It does not melt or shrink near the flame. Burn immediately on contact with flame. Burn quickly away from flame.


Polyester:Melt and shrink near the flame. Molten smok and slow burn on contact with flame. Keep burning away from flame and sometimes extinguishes itself.

polyester burn test
Near Flame and Away Flame (Polyester)

Nylon:Melt and shrink near the flame. Melting burn on contact with flame. Extinguishes itself away from flame.

nylon burn test
Contact Flame and Away Flame (Nylon)

Acrylic:Melt and shrink near the flame. Melting burn on contact with flame. Keep burning with black smoke away from flame.

acrylic burn test
Contact Flame and Away Flame (Acrylic)

Vinylon:Shrink near the flame. Shrink burn on contact with flame. Keep burning with black smoke away from flame.


We can find that there are obvious differences in the burning of plant fibers, animal fibers and synthetic fibers. It is worth noting that the raw material of viscose fiber is originally from plants, so it burns similarly to fabric fibers.To distinguish viscose fiber, it only needs to cooperate with the method in sensory identification to accurately distinguish.




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