Recently, I was enjoying a lovely Indian summer's day stroll in Brooklyn Heights in, where else, Brooklyn, when I happened upon a coop building's sidewalk tag sale. Most of the items were typical New Yorker fare: trinkets gathered from world travel, tiny potted fern-ish houseplants, and so forth. But in the midst of all that city dweller paraphernalia, I stumbled upon a sewist.
I never know when I am going to find a stash of fabrics, patterns, or notions, but I am always ready to purchase when I do. For $30, I bought several yards of silk and three sets of vintage buttons.
I was pretty puffed up about my finds, and making my plans for what I would do with my fabrics. When I got home, I decided to do a burn test just to confirm that indeed I had shelled out my shekels for silk.
I cut a small triangle of the each of the three fabrics I had purchased, got out my matches and an ashtray and set each one aflame. (Make sure you research doing this before trying at home, as the fumes and flame can be hazardous!)
I like to think I have a pretty good hand with fabrics. The woman who had sold me the chocolate and floral fabrics insisted they were silk and I believed her and willingly paid over $20 for the two. The blush fabric had a great drape, but she said it was just polyester and charged me only $3.
Well, I was dead wrong on all three. The chocolate and the floral flared into bright flames, and had a hard blob when extinguished–a sure sign of manmade textile. The blush turned to ash that crumbled in my fingers. It was the silk!
I had considered testing the fabric when I was purchasing, but I would have had to chase down matches, and I was just so certain that I had chocolate crepe back silk and a light floral silk. If you love a fabric buy it, but buyer beware! I don't think I was deceived-I think that someone fooled my sewist friend along the way when she purchased her fabrics in the garment district.
My fabrics are lovely just the same and I know that I will find plenty to use them on in Stitch Winter 2014, now available for pre-order in the Sew Daily Shop.