Last week we had a workshop on how to make a kobukusa taught by sempai Kate. The first thing we did is learn how to test fabric to find out the fiber content. Different fabrics react differently to being burned. Using samples of known content, we tested them by burning and comparing to the handy chart provided by Kate. For example, when approaching the flame, silk smolders and curls away. In the flame it slowly sputters and goes out when removed from the flame. It smells like burning hair and the ash produced is round, shiny, black bead that is easily crushed. So if you can pull a few threads or snip a small sample from a seam or other inconspicuous place, you can find out the fabric content of your material.
Everyone was provided a fabric burn test kit to take home. You can put one together yourself. Tweezers to hold burning fabric, mini lighter and burn test chart. You can download a copy of the chart here. She put it all in an small tin that can be used as your burn platform and is portable to take with you when you are purchasing fabric.
Here are some photos of cutting pattern, marking, pinning, and sewing the kobukusa:
Here are some photos from the previous workshop: As a reward for all of you who have read down to the end, here is a pattern and instructions for sewing your own kobukusa.