I'd like to comply with and apply this advice immediately from this comment by user Kopanoak, UNDER the actual news article, but how do I discriminate between these fibres easily, swiftly, and effectively? Assume that all written clothing information or tags are absent. http://textilefashionstudy.com/difference-between-natural-fiber-and-synthetic-fiber/ proves overly laborious and impractical.

Here are some excellent yet often overlooked survival habits for air travel:

... 4. Wear natural fibres as synthetics tend to melt in a fire.

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    Couldn't you just read the tags on your clothing? Not sure if this goes for all countries but nearly everything in the US is labeled.
    – apaul
    Jan 4, 2015 at 19:32
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    @apaul34208 Sometimes people are cutting their labels because they are irritating their skin
    – vladiz
    Jan 4, 2015 at 19:36
  • @LawArea51Proposal-Commit I can't see your citation on the linked page, are you shure this is the right page.
    – vladiz
    Jan 4, 2015 at 19:43
  • @vladiz Thank you. Yes, it's NOT in the actual article, but it's in the first comment under it. Sorry for any confusion. I thought that I had linked to the precise comment itself?
    – user1869
    Jan 4, 2015 at 21:10
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    Of the few crashes, only 26 involved fire. Meaningful air safety tips are about avoiding traffic accidents on the way to the airport.
    – user1312
    Jan 4, 2015 at 22:52

1 Answer 1


Though I disagree with the premise to "Wear natural fibres as synthetics tend to melt in a fire", since the artificial fiber Nomex (see http://www.dupont.com/products-and-services/personal-protective-equipment/thermal-protective/uses-and-applications/fire-protection.html) is used in fire-protective wear, one simple test is to take a few fibers from the garment and try to set them afire. Cotton burns rapidly, rayon ("restructured" cotton) more slowly, nylon and polyethylene tend to form blobs that blacken and burn with a blue flame, wool and silk is more difficult to ignite and burn with the stench of burning eggs or chicken feathers.

In any event, even if one were to survive a plane crash and then encounter a fire, cause of death is most often from smoke and flame inhalation. In that case, a survival mask might be of help: http://www.pksafety.com/sperian-survivair-cougar-scba-888888.html?gclid=CN_4k-m8-8ICFUsR7AodknAAnQ, if somewhat awkward to get aboard your flight.

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