Rayon is a wonderful fabric with an amazing feel, besides having many advantages. It is also cheaper than most other fabrics. But, it is very important to take proper care of rayon fabric, as it shrinks easily and loses its strength when wet. Know more about this semi-synthetic fabric, in this HomeQuicks article.
Did You Know?
Rayon, initially called artificial silk, is the first man-made fiber. It got its name ‘rayon’ in the year 1924.
Man has been using natural fabrics like cotton since prehistoric times. In the quest to make something better, different fabrics have been invented over time. These combine the natural characteristics along with science, to give us superior products at a cheaper cost.
One such fabric is rayon. With its versatile uses, right from clothing to medical, rayon has become a much sought-after fabric in today’s world.
In the upcoming sections, we shall tell you how to wash rayon fabric, and also, on the whole, how to take care of this extremely useful, albeit slightly delicate fabric.
What is Rayon Fabric?
■ Rayon is a semi-synthetic fabric. It was initially invented as a cheaper alternative to silk. It does resemble silk in appearance, but feels more like cotton. Both cotton and rayon are made from cellulose, but rayon goes through a lot of processing. Thus, it is neither a completely natural nor an artificial fabric.
■ The fact that rayon has the advantages of natural fabrics at a much cheaper cost makes it a very popular option for apparel and upholstery.
Properties of Rayon Fabric
■ Rayon is a soft, absorbent fabric that drapes really well. In fact, it is much more absorbent than cotton.
■ It is extremely breathable, and dyes easily. Rayon holds colors really well. You don’t even have to worry about static.
■ All these advantages make it a very popular option. But there’s one big disadvantage of rayon: it loses its strength when wet.
■ This makes it mandatory to take special precautions when washing this fabric.
■ Rayon is not a very sturdy fabric, and it loses its strength when wet. Thus, it is very important to take precautions when washing it.
■ The most important rule when it comes to caring for your rayon fabric is – ‘Follow the label’. There are different types of rayon, and while some may need to be only dry-cleaned, others may be fine for machine wash.
■ If the label says dry clean only, do not go on to wash the fabric. It will deteriorate the fabric, and you may end up shrinking it.
■ Most rayon clothes are suitable for hand wash with cold water and mild detergent. Be very gentle when washing rayon; never use hot water.
■ It is okay to machine wash some rayon blends, but use a very delicate setting. You may end up destroying that pretty rayon dress if you wash it along with your jeans.
■ Avoid hanging rayon clothes when drying. They lose their shape easily. The best way to dry rayon clothes is flat drying or line drying.
■ Never use metal hangers for your rayon clothes, as they get rust spots easily.
■ Never twist or wrung the fabric. Use a towel or any other absorbent cloth to remove excess water, if required.
■ Once it is completely dry, rayon will wrinkle a lot. So, it’s best to iron it when it’s still slightly damp.
■ Do not use the iron on a very high setting, it will burn the cellulose fibers.
■ Using a pressing cloth will also help quicken the process. Rayon clothes should be ironed from the inside. This helps reduce the excess shine.
■ Rayon fabric is very easy to dye, and it also holds colors really well. You can use fiber-reactive dyes to dye rayon. You will get a nice vibrant, permanent color. You don’t even need to use hot water, as these work really well in cold water.
■ Rayon, being a cellulose fabric, can get easily damaged by bleach or acid. Using chlorine bleach will reduce the lifespan of the fabric. To remove stains or whiten the fabric, you can use bleach, but in an extremely diluted form.
It is very important to consider all these factors when buying rayon fabric. Not everybody may be comfortable with spending so much time and energy for its care. Even the cost of regular dry cleaning may be heavy on the pocket for some.
The best way to use rayon fabric without too much fuss about its care is using rayon blends. Rayon combines well with most other fabrics like cotton, polyester, and wool. You can opt from different blends, depending upon your convenience.