About: Make stuff!!!

in this instructable I wil show you how to make char cloth, char cloth is the product of having the oxygen and hydrogen taken out of the cloth making it pure carbon which does not burn with a flame, it burns as an ember and is very easy to catch on fire, it usually takes about five sparks to start it up, or sooner if you have a magnifying glass

Things you will need:

100% cotton cloth

a tin with a hole in the lid

a pair of tongs

and fire

Step 1: Find the Cloth

most people think you need 100% cotton but that is not true, any organic fiber will do, that's how people make lump wood coal, but I do admit that 100% cotton is the easiest to use, you can find it in most t-shirts

Step 2: Get the Tin

find a tin that is air tight with a lid (ex. a paint can), once you have one, poke a hole in the top about 2 to 3 mm. wide make it small but not to small, the hole will act as an escape for the gasses to burn off in the fire creating a vacuum inside the tin

Step 3: Cut the Cloth

cut the cloth to your desired length, make sure it fits in the tin.

Step 4: Place the Cloth

place the cloth inside the tin as best you can, don't over pack it because if you do you will have a difficult time getting the cloth out later

Step 5: Tongs

make sure you have something to get the tin out of the fire with safely

Step 6: Start Up Your Fire

once you are ready go ahead and start the fire place the tin inside where it wont get knocked over

Step 7: Inside the Fire

once inside the fire after a minute or two, you will notice some smoke and maybe a flame, don't be alarmed, that means its working and the gasses are burning off, once you see that there is no more smoke or fire coming out of the tin then it is ready to be taken out and placed aside.

Step 8: Place Aside

have a place ready to put the tin, it will be very hot so use the tongs to move it, do not remove the lid right away or it might be ruined, because if a ember is in there when you open the lid the oxygen will rush back in and burn the cloth, so let it cool for 15 minutes with the lid on

Step 9: Once Cooled

once it is cooled and you can touch it you may remove the lid, be careful because the cloth is very fragile, so gently remove the cloth from inside the tin.

Step 10: Once Its Out

once it is removed take a small piece of the cloth and light it with a match, if it burns with am ember and there is no fire then you have done it right

this project is dangerous and involves fire, I am not responsible for anything that may happen, this is for educational purposes only

If you make this project please post a picture and show others how you made it, and feel free to expand on this idea I would love to see your ideas, and we can learn from each other and always be safe.



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    10 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Great instructable. How long can the char cloth be kept do you think?

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    My oldest pieace is about 3 months old and it still works great, as long as it does not get wet


    Reply 3 years ago

    Im not sure, but i dont see why not, because both charcoal and char cloth are pure carbon, but you will need alot of it


    3 years ago

    Char cloth is the little brother of charcoal, and is used as a firestarter with flint and steel. Once an ember is started on it, it's near impossible to extinguish. Nestled in a bundle of dry grass and twigs, a light breath will ignite a flame.

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    Ahhhh.......Poetry in ignition!


    Reply 3 years ago

    when your camping and don't have a lighter you can light a tinder bundle with this

    but its mostly for just starting fires :)


    Reply 3 years ago

    here I show how to use charcloth