chloe. yarn. May 29th , 2018.
When natural hair-type fibers are burned they tend to singe and have a smell of burnt hair; this is because many as human hair are protein-derived. Cotton and viscose (rayon) yarns burn as a wick. Synthetic yarns generally tend to melt though some synthetics are inherently flame-retardant. Noting how an unidentified fiber strand burns and smells can assist in determining if it is natural or synthetic and what the fiber content is.
Protein yarns (i.e. hair silk feathers) may also be irritating to some people causing contact dermatitis hives wheezing or other reactions. Plant fibers tend to be better tolerated by people with sensitivities to the protein yarns and allergists may suggest using them or synthetics instead to prevent symptoms. Some people find that they can tolerate organically grown and processed versions of protein fibers possibly because organic processing standards preclude the use of chemicals that may irritate the skin.
Yarn is selected for different textiles based on the characteristics of the yarn fibres such as warmth (wool) light weight (cotton or rayon) durability (nylon is added to sock yarn for example) or softness (cashmere alpaca).
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