Science fair projects don't necessarily have to involve expensive equipment or the types of chemicals you can only find in a specialist laboratory. The use of fabric in science fair projects is an inexpensive way of conducting interesting experiments or constructing exhibitions that draw fair attendees' attention. Projects that involve fabric are also quick and easy to arrange at short notice. You could set up projects that compare the properties of different fabrics, assess the effect of household products on fabric, experiment with dye and fabric, or involve the use of both moisture and fabric.
There are many experiments that compare the properties of different fabrics. You could test which fabric is the best insulator out of cotton, wool, denim, fleece, polyester and felt. Alternatively, conduct a test to see which fabric burns the quickest. If you can access a variety of towels, try finding out if the more expensive ones retain more water and are stronger. Use household substances such as vinegar, bleach and baking soda to gauge how much of an effect different chemicals have on the colours of different fabrics. Compare natural fibres with man-made fabrics to see which decompose faster. Test which burns faster out of cotton and cotton-blend.
There are a number of science projects that involve dyeing fabric. Informative and visually stimulating experiments to carry out include determining if dye affects the flammability of different materials, using fabrics to try out plant dyes such as strawberries and tomatoes, assessing which factors influence how effectively fabric is dyed, determining the optimum pH level for the dyeing of cotton with certain dyes, and comparing the properties of fabric dyed a light colour and fabric dyed a dark colour.
You can combine fabrics with other everyday household items to create projects and conduct experiments. Assess if the use of fabric softener when washing different materials affects drying time. Compare washing powder to see which one leaves the most excess residue on clothes. Test different fabric softeners on fabric samples to determine which brand of softener is the most flammable.
Moisture, or condensation, regularly features in science experiments. Why not include it in projects using fabric? Compare different fabrics to see which ones absorb the most moisture. Similarly, you could test the fabrics to see which absorbs the moisture the quickest. Alternatively, soak and then wring out different fabrics to see which one yields the most water when wrung.
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