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26-11-2018 14:30:44  #1

What's this Ribbon Made From?

Greetings All

A few days ago, I acquired a selection of old typewriter ribbons on various spools. I did not know if the ribbons were nylon, cotton or silk, so I started doing a little experimenting. My conclusion is fire is the quickest way to tell.

Disconnect the ribbon from one of the spools and straighten out the end. Hold the very tip of the ribbon against, but not in the flame of a lighter and the results will be:

1, If the ribbon shrivels up and melts, it's nylon.
2, If the ribbon catches fire and smolders after you blow it out, it's cotton (the smoke will smell like burning candle wick).
3, If the ribbon singes and smells like burning hair or feathers, it's silk.

If anyone else has any other ideas of how to determine the composition of ribbon, please chime in. All the best,


A person who sees Quality and feels it as he works is a person who cares.
A person who cares about what he sees and does is a person who's bound to have some characteristics of Quality.
Robert M. Pirsig. (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)

26-11-2018 15:47:24  #2

Re: What's this Ribbon Made From?

If you can tear the ribbon, it is cotton.  If you can't, it is nylon


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