Absolutely!! One of our students has used her love of sewing to get an A on a science project!! Check out her pictures and learn a little about fabric composition.
It all started when we were chatting about the fibers in fabric and how can you tell if you have a 100% wool piece of fabric. This has also been used to do a quick check of the wool if you are entering the Make It With Wool contest this fall in Concord, NC. (This contest REQUIRES you to send a swatch of fabric in for testing.) Please take the time to do this BEFORE making your garment!
Start with a fireproof dish, grill lighter and a pair of tongs. This is preferably done outside since you will be burning fabric. A natural fiber will burn to ash. A fiber that has polyester in it will have a bit of hard plastic in it. And a fiber that is all polyester should shrink up to a hard plastic ball.
It really is that quick and fun to find out if you are working with an all natural fiber. If you are a purist for heirloom sewing, this comes in handy also to check your fabrics that you have on hand and may not of labeled as soon as you purchased them. Not that any of us have an unlabeled stash!