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Caring For Rayon Fabric

May 1st, 2017 Nick of Time Textiles

Luxuriously soft and durable, rayon is a must-have fabric in many wardrobes today. Why? Aside from its comfortability, it has proven to be more absorbent than cotton, and is widely considered to be eco-friendly, due to the fact its material is biodegradable.

Yet those are the same factors that also make rayon more vulnerable to damage, if not cared for properly. Namely, many of us still treat rayon as if its cotton, and therefore, put an undue amount of stress onto the fabric whenever we go to wash it.

We’ve compiled a simple list of ways to care for rayon fabric. Check out our helpful tips below:

How Do I Wash Rayon?

Not all rayon is created equal. That said, make sure to read the garment label first and foremost. While some rayon are hand wash or dry-clean only, others are safe for machines. If it’s able to be dry-cleaned, keep in mind that one shirt can cost you anywhere from one to five dollars.

In a similar vein, if you’re being forced to hand wash every piece of rayon, time is of the essence. To avoid any missteps, you’ll want to use warm water and mild detergent, and then agitate your fabric in a clean basin for three to five minutes. Be sure to then rinse the rayon under a warm faucet of water, and gently squeeze.

For machine washing, you’ll need to employ a short, delicate cycle on a low to medium temperature. Fair warning: Regardless of what the tag might say, rayon has been known to shrink in the washing machine.

What About Drying?

All rayon knits should be flatly dried. It’s helpful to use a drying cage or drape rayon over the top of a rack. On the other hand, woven rayon can more easily be dried by hanging. How is one supposed to know the difference? Knits stretch in all directions, whereas woven fabrics only stretch diagonally. What’s most important to note, however, is that you should avoid using a dryer at all costs. Tumbling rayon can damage or rip the fabric for good.

How Should Rayon Be Stored?

Smaller rayon garments can be hung on a hanger, as rayon isn’t prone to wrinkle if hanging properly. If that’s not an option, fold the garment along its seams, and try not to place other clothing on top. Another tip: If your rayon is dry-cleaned, quickly remove the outer plastic bag. Exposure to these types of plastics can cause the fabric to yellow if disregarded for longer periods of time.

Looking to purchase rayon fabric? Nick of Time has a wide variety of rayon fabrics available.

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