Care of Rayon Fabrics & Garments – PART III in Rayon: Love It or hate It
Care of Rayon Fabrics
What is the BEST laundering care for Rayon? This Blog post surveys some online fabric sources and the care they recommended.
In the end, we must clean our garments in some manner. For rayon, this can be a monumental challenge. Armed with the detailed information of the last 2 blog posts on Rayon, it is clear that the labelling of rayon garments is just not complete enough to really help us. From my experience, the bulk of ‘Rayon’ garments on the market and in fabric yardage is ‘Regular’ of Viscose Rayon. As you’ve learned, this type of rayon is weak when wet. AND, it fades and pills.
Remember my Chico knit T which is fiber-labeled as 95% Viscose and 5% Spandex?
You can’t read the label in this photo, but it says: “HAND wash cold separately. Do not wring or twist. Only non-chlorine bleach when needed. Lay flat to dry Do not tumble dry. Iron on lowest setting as needed. Maybe Dry Cleaned. ”
Yet another top of mine – which hasn’t pilled at all like this…. Fiber Content is the same – 95% Viscose 5% Spandex. Care label reads: “Machine wash cold separately gentle cycle. Do not bleach. Dry flat. Cool iron if necessary or Dry Clean.
THINK WITH ME…
Both of these tops are the ‘regular’, Viscose type of rayon that loses strength when wet. The fibers are delicate enough that they should NOT be thrown into the dryer. AND, ‘wash separately’ – well, I don’t think I have EVER washed just 1 garment in my washing machine at a time. Have you? At least not on a weekly, regular basis. Thinking about it, ‘wash separately’ would keep them from abrasion from rubbing on other fabrics when wet – and weak.
These are (or have become due to my ‘care’), what I call ‘every day’ tops. They are comfortable ‘friends’ I grab time and time again, but hardly ever do I wear them out of the house. Honestly, one has need for that type of garment in their wardrobe too. So, my lack of careful ‘care’ is not a total waste.
OTHER EXPERT CARE RECOMMENDATIONS AND SOURCES FOR RAYON FABRIC
Note especially their CARE Recommendations in BOLD ITALIC
Years ago, I had Marcy Tilton to my shop and we became good friends. I really respect her knowledge regarding fabrics, and I personally feel she offers one of the VERY BEST SELECTIONS of fabric on the internet. Be advised, fabric is PRICED AND Sold in 1/2 yard increments, so keep that in mind as you evaluate pricing per yard! Marcy’s website HERE.
Marcy says regarding Care on some of her basic rayon fabrics:
- ‘Suprima’ lighter weight Ponte’ Rayon Blend double knit which has a fabric content of 66% Rayon, 30% nylon and 4% Spandex:
“Pre-treat by machine wash/dry gentle. After sewing, hand launder or machine wash gentle and air dry. I NEVER put darks or pontes in the dryer, it can fade the color and will make dark colors look ‘tired’ much more than wearing the garment will.”
Viscose Knit Marcy says: “Pre-treat by machine wash/dry gentle. After sewing, machine wash gentle and air dry.”
Nancy is now carrying a select group of fabrics to meet her color/styling prescriptions for gals. She especially raved to me about her Ponte Knit and was kind enough to send me a cut. It does, indeed, feel extra extra luxurious, and it is nearing the top of my ‘TO SEW’ pile….. Access Nancy’s website HERE:
Nancy says: “Absolutely the loveliest ponte in the market. A full 60% rayon for breathability and natural-fiber appearance. 7% Lycra-branded spandex “(made in USA) for stability and recovery. 33% American-made nylon. 16-oz weight, made on special machinery that creates a finer/tighter gauge for a smoother surface and a more stable, firm fabric. Made in a California factory with the same eco-friendly bluesign certification used by iconic brands like Patagonia and Eileen Fisher. ” 60” width. Gently machine washable, tumble briefly, then hanger-dry. Also dry-cleanable.
I honestly haven’t shopped their fabrics yet. You must understand tat when one moves, ALL of their wardrobe is ‘new’ – hence the ‘need’ for more clothing goes by the wayside….. However, they seem to have a lovely collection. It seems that they are somewhat more easy-going in their care recommendations on fabrics with rayon content. In checking them out, it seems that the care is slightly more ‘delicate’ for knits than woven suitings – which, makes sense. A knit IS more ‘delicate’ than a closely woven suiting – for which they say: Care: Machine wash cold tumble dry low. Find their website HERE.
For a Ponte (Double Knit) , they say: Care: Turn inside out before washing. Machine wash cold, tumble dry low.
For a matte jersey labelled Viscose Rayon, they say: ” Care: Hand wash, lay flat to dry. “
I ordered a 95% rayon 5% Lycra jersey to make my gown for my sister’s wedding and was HUGELY unhappy with what I got. This isn’t a reflection on them, but a commentary on my OWN mistake. This hunk of fabric WRINKLED TERRIBLY just laying around! In a suitcase to get to the wedding – it would have been a disaster. I even tried to ‘conquer’ it by underlining in nylon tricot. STILL did not work and I started over with a silk dupioni as you read in this Blog post. Anyway, for care, I have to admit that they say: “Washing Instructions: Machine Wash Gentle/Lay Flat” AND, as a solid, with the sewing and pressing I DID do on it, I surely found that wherever it got wet, a ring formed. I read about that in the more scientific paper from Joyce as cited in Part I of this Rayon series.
Emma One Sock
I haven’t ‘shopped’ this site for awhile, but they have a LOVELY selection of Rayon blend fabrics!!! Generally, their care agrees with what we’ve learned and protects them by putting the monkey on YOUR back when they say: Test first if you wish to hand or machine wash, and hang to dry. Personally, I take issue with the ‘hang to dry’, as I feel that the stress of water weight on a garment where the fibers are weak when wet shouldn’t have the extra stress of hanging.
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However, don’t look for ANY care recommendations at Elliott Berman – there are NONE!
I hunted for Tencel at each of the above sources and found only this one at Elliott Berman. At Fabrics.com, their search Tool thought any Rayon was the same as Tencel. YOU now know differently!
Well, now I am more educated – and WISE when it comes to caring for Rayon fabric. I hope you are as well. Hands down, if I LOVE the garment and it is Rayon, I should care for it in this manner:
HAND WASH and LAY it out to dry. One needs to think of Rayon like they do a VERY GOOD FRIEND, and give it CAREFUL, INDIVIDUAL attention.
Due to that care restriction, personally, I’ll search for more ITY fabrics – Polyester and Lycra blends for my sewing, especially print TOPS – as that is an easier care content! To learn more about ITY fabrics, you might want to invest in my Textiles for the Seamstress – a comprehensive look at all fibers, weaves, and types of fabrics.
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