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Forum > Fabrics and more... > do I HAVE to hand wash this rayon? ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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do I HAVE to hand wash this rayon?
what will happen if I machine it?
Mole Princess
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Date: 6/18/13 1:27 PM

Hi all--am working on a friend's dress, which calls for two coordinating fabrics. Have found a rayon challis floral and need solid black challis to go w/ it. The floral says it's okay to machine wash, but the blacks I have found so far all say "hand wash." If I pre-shrink a "hand wash" fabric can it be machine washed anyway? My friend just does not do hand wash as she is a very busy homeschooling mother without that kind of time.

The one I'm most interested in is from Hancock's and is on sale.


black rayon at Hancock's

Debbie Lancaster
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Date: 6/18/13 2:50 PM

I'd prewash it, and if it doesn't survive, then you'll know. You should put a Color Catcher in with the wash, because it may bleed, and you don't want it bleeding on your floral. If it does bleed, you'll have to try to get all the excess dye out before you sew it up.

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Debbie

beauturbo
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In reply to Mole Princess <<
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Date: 6/18/13 2:56 PM

No you don't have to. If you want to use it, especially if combined in with some other fabric in the same clothing item though, that is lighter than black color, I think you had better wash and dry it, just like you know that person only will, before you even bother to cut it and sew it at all. As then no big surprises later.

Hard to say why they say hand wash, but pretty much, I'm sure it's just for a large part, to to cover themselves in case you don't like what happens later. What could happen is probably it will shrink up a bit, wrinkle some and because it's actually dark colored and black, a bunch of dye will probably even show in the sink the first few times you even handwash it. And if you want to keep black stuff, the darkest possible, and the least fading, for the very longest amount of time, sometimes people don't machine wash and dry. But maybe that is not all that important to you either.

But since it says Hand Wash and you actually want to sew it to some other fabric, that is not all black and floral print instead, I would assume it's really going to bleed some of that black the first few times it's washed, and better that happens in the sink or the washing machine, when it's all by it's lonesome, then onto the rayon challis fabric print, that you are sewing it next to.

So if you are going to combine the two together, I think you had better wash it just like you know that other person is going to end up doing, (a few times before cutting or sewing) or the black on it, may end up on your floral fabric later. Plus if it's going to shrink, you want it to do that, ahead of time too.

stirwatersblue
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Date: 6/18/13 4:35 PM

I machine wash all kinds of things they tell you not to--wool, upholstery, outdoor fabric, delicate embroidered things, you name it, I've washed it!I almost always cut a 6x6" test swatch and throw it in with the appropriate load of laundry before just setting my yardage at the mercy of my washer... but yesterday I machine washed/dryed a yard of upholstery fabric that I'd only previously hand washed a tiny test scrap. It did great.

Usually I'm pretty brutal (hot wash/hot dry), but if I have *any* doubts, I'll be more gentle: warm wash, warm or low dry. Since I know I'll never be machine washing the upholstery fabric again (and only wanted to get out any excess dye), I only did a warm wash/cool dry. It did just fine.

Rayon will shrink, and sometimes it can shrink A LOT, so I would honestly send it through at least a warm dryer several times (after machine washing it, of course). I've also machine washed/dried every piece of rayon clothing I've ever worn. Got a few cropped pants out of the mix ;), but other than that, no trouble at all.

Good luck!

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~Gem in the prairie

tigergirl
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Date: 6/19/13 8:02 PM

My mother and I both machine wash and line dry our rayon dresses - what we've found is that they shrink a bit every single time but within a few minutes of wearing, they 'stretch' out again

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TGWGWS
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Date: 6/19/13 10:29 PM

I would fine another black challis that is machine washable.

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Tina
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Elona
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In reply to Mole Princess <<
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Date: 6/19/13 11:42 PM

If your friend does not hand wash or baby her fabrics, then whatever you deliver for her has to stand the gaff.

I say, before construction, wash and dry the fabrics exactly the way she would.

If you don't, neither of you will be happy with the outcome.

Mole Princess
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Date: 6/20/13 1:06 PM

Great help everyone! I will buy and try, and rough up the black thoroughly before combining w/ the floral.

If I think of it I'll report back later.

The voices of experience are so valuable!

Vireya
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Date: 6/20/13 6:23 PM

It might be because the black isn't colour-fast. I've had black rayon clothing that bled colour every time it was washed for the whole life of the garment. If it had been thrown in a machine everything would have come out grey. If that's the reason your fabric is labelled "hand wash", I wouldn't use it combined with any other fabric.

DonnaH
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Date: 6/20/13 6:49 PM

Another possibility - would your friend be open to using Dryel (or the other brand that's basically the same stuff)? When I wore lots of rayon dresses, I found that Dryel saved me lots of ironing time!

(But I would still wash the heck out the black, with a color catcher)

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