What is Charcloth?

Charcloth or charred cloth is just that, it’s 100% cotton (old t-shirt, tea towel, pair of jeans) charred to make it more combustable. The process is the same as you would make charcoal, by means of you are drawing out all the impurities and moisture form the material by baking it and as a result the material in this case cotton becomes charred.

What do yo need to make it?

  • 100% cotton (old tea towel, pair of jeans, t-shirt, etc)
  • A metal tin with a lid (note the lid must have a hole punched in the top to allow the gases to escape)
  • A fire
  • Heat resistant gloves

The process

Step 1: Take an old tea towel (t-shirt, etc) some thing that is 100% cotton and begin to cut it into strips, my strips are around 4cm wide.

(tea towel and char cloth tin)


(Tea towel cut into strips)

Step 2: Take the strips and then cut them up into four equal lengths.


(Tea towel cut strips cut into four)

Step 3: Place the piece of cotton into the tin and place the lid on top.


(Cotton pieces in tin)

Step 4: Place the tin on the embers of the fire, and let the char cloth bake, the size tin took around 10 minutes.


(Charcloth beginning to bake over the fire)

Step 5: Once the smoke become less dense and you can begin to see through it, remove it from the fire.


(Removing the tin from the fire with a heat resistant glove)

Step 6: Plug the hole in the top of the tin either with a stick or in my case some mud (be careful to to burn yourself). This stops the airflow and as a result combustion.


(Placing some soft mud over the hole to stop combustion)

Step 7: Leave to cool completely before removing the lid.


(The char cloth is now ready for all your fire lighting needs)

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