PeleBRONZE Member
the henna lady
6,193 posts
Location: WNY, USA


Posted:
We always say..."wear natural fibers and you won't get burned". Yup, that's what we say.So I was thinking about this the other day and grabbed bunches of different kinds of fabrics, a candle and Whipping Boy and we headed onto my front porch. Then I found some others materials and continued the experiments...Here is what we found when I held the fabrics directly over the flame, the equivalent to a move gone wrong....Lightweight Cotton/Gauze: up in flames in three secondsMiddle Weight Cotton (like a cheap t-shirt, not really tightly woven):up in flames in 3 secondsTight Woven Cotton (a nice t-shirt):up in flames in 6 seconds BUT once it was up in flames it was hell to put out..it just kept going. At first is smoldered to a little brown mark so we thought it wasn't going to go, then it burst into flames, literally!
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We did this a few times just to make certain.Tight Woven Heavy Cotton(Like Khaki pants):I left it there 10 seconds and it didn't go up in flames but after 10 it would've. That was the point at which the brown scorch mark was working through the material.Denim (without frays
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):held it there for 10 seconds (if you're safety hasn't put you out by then you have big problems anyway). It left little black soot marks that wiped off.Cotton Corderoy (sp??):Held it there 10 seconds. It scorched abit because of the loose fibers being raised up but once it made it past those it didn't go.Wool (Light grade, loose weave):10 seconds until scorch, much like thetight weave cottonWool (heavy grade, like a blanket):Worked better than denimFlax (it tends to be light and airy, like a cotton): 3 seconds and it was historyAdding to this in my editting: Silk (the shiny, light refined stuff):It lasted about 5 seconds before it frizzled into a tiny flame.Raw Silk (the course, heavier one):This held up to a count of 8 seconds before it smouldered fiber by fiber...but it never really went poof.Leather: It doesn't actually burn, it more curls up into this little black roll, and that was the edge of the light weight leather after about 20 seconds (I was really curious with this one). The center never went up.Moral of the story is that not *all* natural fibers are acceptable to spin in. The lighter the fabric and the looser the weave, the faster it goes up.Now, keep in mind that you have about a two to three second grace period before you even catch, and then you have the oh, about one second grace while the fuel residue burns off. After that it's all the fabric. So for all of you who are safeties, you should give no more than 3 seconds warning before you step in. Keep that in mind.Safe spinning to all.------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...https://www.pyromorph.com[This message has been edited by Pele (edited 19 July 2001).]

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


Posted:
Hey, Pele,Firstly, I've got to say thanks for putting the thought and effort into running this kind of test. But, I've got to beg to differ here. I personally haven't made any kind of "you won't get burned" statement. Here's what I say. Polymer-based fibers (like polyester, rayon, lycra...) melt when they burn. Some polymer fabrics burn extremely quickly as well. Some polymer fabrics can also reach very high temperatures. They all have a tendency to bond to skin and can require surgery to remove the fabric and repair your skin. Natural fibers, on the other hand, do not melt when lit. This makes them, generally speaking, safer than polymer-based fabrics. But as you point out, Pele, poly or natural isn't the only consideration. The weight and content are very important as well. Thanks for your efforts! Diana

adamricepoo-bah
1,015 posts
Location: Austin TX USA


Posted:
Thank you, Pele, for advancing the frontiers of human knowledge. I am definitely clipping this for future reference--this should be an article on this site somewhere.I wonder how PVC holds up. Yes, it is synthetic, but it seems (he said, never having experimented) to be fairly sturdy stuff--that it would take a while to catch. Of course, once it did catch, you'd be screwed, as Diana pointed out.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy


PeleBRONZE Member
the henna lady
6,193 posts
Location: WNY, USA


Posted:
Diana..I was kind of using the generic "we" in that we usually say to wear the natural fibers cause they are the best without really giving defintion as to why.I agree with the Polymer-based ones, it's why I didn't test them (although I found out that one of my Ren costume pieces which is labelled all cotton actually melted..which means it's a blend and I need a new tunic). I didn't want to take the chance of it melting to me. Although if you are hemming polymer fabric the easieast way to do it is to carefully run the edge through a candle flame in a **well ventilated** area.
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Thanks again Diana.Adam, the outer shiny shell of PVC melts fairly quickly (we tried this one along time ago when looking at reflective costumes and seeing which fake fabric melted best). Usually the inside is some ort of mixed fiber lining. I never took it this far but my guess would be that once it melted/burnt through that liner would attempt to become part of your flesh permently.Another thing not mentioned, when the Polymer/plastic based fabrics melt/catch they stink and the smoke is a bit more toxic than that of fuel. If you want to get into what happens with those, that was an experiment of ages ago, without timing...Rayon kind of bubbles and oozes then catching flame. Polyester drips and melts everywhere. Nylon caught the fastest and it more or less frizzled away as it melted.PVC is more plastic-ey so it smokes very badly, melts and burns. Those are the only ones I tested. After that I was sufficiently frightened of synthetics and fire combined. ------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...https://www.pyromorph.com[This message has been edited by Pele (edited 19 July 2001).]

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


Posted:
I'm sticking with polyester ^_^Love always,Spanky

NYC_not_PKOne Tyred Guy
203 posts
Location: Camaiore, Lu, Italy


Posted:
Wow, you guys read my mind. I was just about to post a question on the flammibility of certain fabrics. Then again, on this site redundancy seems to be somewhat sexy. Now that I've got my poi built (thanks Doug) the next logical question is "What's a boy to wear?" I was at the army/navy store picking up a canvas backback to dub my "fire sack" and I was browing that the army/navy type stuff as it's crazy durable.I was very surprised to see that some of the stuff which LOOKED denim or canvas was actually a poly-blend (like Dickies stuff) so check your labels kids.I was surprised about wool... I was thinking wool headgear would be protective and am pleasantly surprised that it holds up to the Pele test.Any thoughts on canvas?And how can I get out those stubborn lipsick stains?
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PK is a god.. i love the Peeekster.

.:PK:. [poiinthepark founder member]


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing smileSTAY SAFE! hug


Pele'sWhippingBoymember
442 posts
Location: Rochester, NY, USA


Posted:
quote:
Originally posted by PeleSo I was thinking about this the other day and grabbed bunches of different kinds of fabrics, a candle and Whipping Boy and we headed onto my front porch. Then I found some others materials and continued the experiments...
Pele next time, could I take the clothes off first? I'm getting tired of the burn unit at the hospital.
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The nice t-shirt one quite surprised me. I'd thought it'd last longer. I'm hoping that you'll still wear that material. I have a feeling wearing either all leather or all denim all the time will get uncomfortable and hot.------------------"Except for that Mrs. Lincoln, How did you like the play?"Pyromorph - Let the fire change you

FYI: I am not Pele. If you wish to reply to me and use a short version of my name, use: PWB.

English? Who needs that? I'm never going to England. - Homer Jay Simpson


CassandraFroggie ... Ribbit !!!
4,224 posts
Location: Back in Paris... for now !


Posted:
thanks a lot Pele, this is real usefull information !!!
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Shine oncassandra

"I want brown bread... no, that is diesel oil..."
"So I was raised in Europe, where History comes from ..."
"NON !!! La Plume de mon oncle n est pas Bingibangibungi !!!"


Rick aka LokiBRONZE Member
member
134 posts
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Posted:
There was a post on the "old" board (how many of us here remember that?) about a liquid which could be used to fireproof fabrics by soaking them for a while. It was mentioned as an asset to those of us with long hair as well, though I don't remember any detailed discussion on that use of it.Maybe the next round of testing could involve that stuff on different natural and synthetic fibres. Someone (I can't remember if it was Pele or someone else) had thought it might make those wonderfully costumey but rediculously dangerous materials a little safer and worth using for some flashier getups.Anyone remember what that stuff was called?...oops. just did a search and found the string called "fire retardant spray" started by Frenzie in March. A few things are in there. FlameGuard is one stuff mentioned.-Rick[This message has been edited by Rick (edited 21 July 2001).]

-Rick aka Loki
oh, man, a signature?... uuh... this is like coming across wet cement... uuh, shoot, I had something clever I was saving... I hope I don't run out of sp


Finnmember
341 posts
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia


Posted:
I remember Kerry from Fireworks Dance posting something about flame retardant spray on the old board. She used it on her billowing gothic costumes!She doesn't post much these days.Finn
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MalcolmSAPPHIRE Member
HOP admin
1,056 posts
Location: New Zealand


Posted:
See https://www.homeofpoi.com/_disc1/00000472.htm

May your balls always burn


MalcolmSAPPHIRE Member
HOP admin
1,056 posts
Location: New Zealand


Posted:
After doing some of my own research I have completed the following FAQ page.See Clothing - fire safety.

May your balls always burn


NYC_not_PKOne Tyred Guy
203 posts
Location: Camaiore, Lu, Italy


Posted:
I'm slightly confused by the FAQ. What is the implication of the "time to burst into flame" column? It seems counterintuitive. Those with shorter times seem less dangerous after reading up on them.I understand that "safe" is only a range of grey in this but... what should I wear?Also, any thoughts on going topless? Less dangerous, more dangerous?

PK is a god.. i love the Peeekster.

.:PK:. [poiinthepark founder member]


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing smileSTAY SAFE! hug


Posted:
I think topless is less dangerous, as long as you ensure your tool(s) are well shaken out.I tend to tap myself a lot, and when I go topless, its just a little mark, in a T-shirt however, it could be worse.skin doesnt burn as well as shitty cotton, which is about all I have
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Also - having flames close to bare skin is a lot more ..sensual than a stained T-shirt
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Josh

adamricepoo-bah
1,015 posts
Location: Austin TX USA


Posted:
I always twirl fire without a shirt. I do wind up hitting bare skin with some waist-wraps, and that often leaves a red mark (not quite a burn). But it's basically safe. And spinning poi is a workout, so you are better ventilated. And, yeah, from the performance aspect, I think going barechested looks better.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy


Angelmember
10 posts
Location: South Africa


Posted:
Unfortunately for us girls, bare chested is not quite an option..errr...well it could be, but I don't think I need quite THAT much attention
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I think a pair of denim jeans and a bikini top could look quite cool...anyway close as bare chested that I am going to get!By the way, thanks Pele for the good advice.

*HEDONISM*


pjmember
277 posts
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA


Posted:
I dunno... I think leather bra or corset is preferred atire for female spinners. ;-)

kmactanemember
97 posts
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA


Posted:
I'd love to spin bare-chested, but my chest is fairly hairy. I think that would be more dangerous for me than spinning with a shirt or tank-top on.Maybe if I were to shave, wax,(
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) or otherwise depilate my chest and belly... then I'd go shirtless.
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[This message has been edited by kmactane (edited 25 July 2001).]

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