A friend of mine continually has problems mailing packages that contain wool. She is told by the postal worker that it's listed in the book of dangerous goods as being highly flammable. Recently I was listening to the Car Talk podcast, and Ray was reading from Philip McCutcheon's book "Tall Ships":(No, Car Talk hasn't answered me yet.)
"Spaced along the upper deck were the cargo hatches with their heavy covers of reinforced hardwood planks, well chocked in and secured with three separate layers of tarpaulin, held down with ropes and more chocks to withstand the pounding of heavy seas. Below the hatches lay the reason for the ship's presence on the sea, her cargo, to be held inviolate against nature and disaster, against fire that could come from a self-combustible cargo like wool, or a cargo that could swell when it met water, such as rice."
Why is wool considered highly flammable or self-combustible, especially when wet? I have not heard of sheep in Britain (where it certainly rains) self combusting in the fields. As a knitter, I have never had my wool yarn self combust, even while washing it. In fact, one test to see if a particular yarn is wool or not is to see if it self-extinguishes after being held to a flame.
Is wool dangerously flammable or self-combustible?
Monday, December 17, 2007
Is Wool Self-Combustible?
Penny had trouble mailing yarn again. In my quest to get to the bottom of this issue, I've submitted the question to Quirks and Quarks: