SO glad you thought to test before wearing! Many of the synthetic
materials are quite flammable and will, as you found, burn
cheerfully. Others will melt to your skin fairly quickly at
relatively low temps – long before they would catch fire. One
night I went to casting class and had forgotten my casting clothes –
only had my nice meet-the-public clothes, which that day featured one
of my favorite blouses. The blouse is a polyester/nylon blend, and
when I went to open the door of the burnout oven, I could literally
feel the material of the blouse “change” instantly when the hot air
hit it (it actually moved, and was the oddest feeling). I quickly
backed off and had someone else do my actual pour for me that night.
I have no doubt based on what I felt that the blouse would have done
something really nasty had I continued.
I was taught in welding class to wear 100% cotton shirts and pants
(denim, preferably) and/or 100% wool. No synthetic blends. Reason
being that both will smolder and smell long before they will flash
and catch fire. Denim is fairly protectant against sparks that may
fly, as well.
The other option, but more expensive, would be leather. Perhaps you
could find a scuffed up pair of well-fitting leather gloves in a
second-hand store (pardon the pun) and sacrifice their fingers?
Leather is one of the best protective clothing materials (ask any
motorcycle enthusiast) and won’t catch fire easily at all.
Hand-crafted artisan jewelry