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Rayon Fabric Questions
GwenH
GwenH
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CA USA
Member since 8/26/09
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Date: 6/27/11 5:47 PM

Hi, just a couple of questions about rayon fabrics.

What is the rayon fabric called that is woven, non-stretchy, opaque, often in prints but sometimes solids, drapes very well, and used to be used a lot for shirts, blouses, skirts, and dresses.

Auxliary question: is it just me or has this fabric that used to be widely used, largely disappeared. It was made from a natural fiber so I would have thought it would be up there with cotton, bamboo, and linen for environmental happiness. However, I really have to hunt online for it and I don't even see it in fabric stores.

Michelle L
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Michelle L  Friend of PR
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In reply to GwenH


Date: 6/27/11 6:40 PM

It is rayon challis.

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Michelle

http://cheapandpicky.blogspot.com/

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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KS USA
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Date: 6/27/11 7:30 PM

Gwen, like everything, fabric popularity waxes and wanes. Right now it seems that rayon knits are all the rage; ten years from now I bet we won't be able to find them anywhere! I fondly remember the popularity of rayon challis from the mid '90s--I *lived* in it in the summer! You can still find it, but it's definitely not the "in" fabric like it was.

(Another fabric that has recently gone by the wayside--those beautiful, richly detailed home dec tapestries. Sigh.)

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~Gem in the prairie

Maggiedoll
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Maggiedoll
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In reply to GwenH


Date: 6/27/11 7:30 PM

While rayon is made of plant matter and is biodegradable, it's still a synthetic fiber. Wikipedia gives a brief overview of its production process. It's not particularly environmentally friendly to make.

I don't generally have any trouble finding rayon, but there's not much in the way of local fabric shopping around here, so I mostly just order online anyway.

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Judy Kski
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Judy Kski  Friend of PR
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In reply to GwenH


Date: 6/27/11 7:35 PM

I found some rayon challis at www.fabric.com. I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for, but it's on sale. You can order swatches for a small fee.

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Judy

DKJ

DKJ  Friend of PR
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MN USA
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Date: 6/27/11 8:25 PM

I am a big rayon fan. I have not had any trouble finding rayon. Gorgeous Fabrics, Fabric.com, and Vogue Fabrics all have rayon selections. I generally find rayon at Hancock Fabrics; both printed challis and solid colors, not a huge selection, but some. HTH

GwenH
GwenH
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Date: 6/27/11 8:28 PM

Thanks everyone!

I thought it might be rayon challis, but I wasn't sure since I'd recently read a post somewhere that made it seem like rayon challis was one of those transparent fabrics.

I'd looked at Fabric.com before I posted and saw their small, and in my opinion sad, selection of rayons. However, it's 100% more than I see in my local fabric store!

I'm sick of that knit stuff. But I agree these things go in cycles, so I can hope. I'm disappointed to hear it's not environmentally friendly to produce Rayon. I will have to go read up on that.

Maggiedoll
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Maggiedoll
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Date: 6/29/11 8:59 AM

FabricMart is having a 50% off sale on the "Trendy Fabrics" (not completely sure what that means-- brand name?) and they have a section of "Trendy" Rayon Challis Dunno if any of that is what you're looking for, but some of the prints are pretty.

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My (overly complicated) blog: http://maggiedoll.com/

marec
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marec  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/29/11 9:33 AM

Trademark names are "lyocell" or "tencel" for this rayon. I just picked up a pair of JJill pants at a thrift store made from silk, hemp, lyocell and had to Google laundering instructions.

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my blog: http://kf-biblioblog.blogspot.com/
Sewing through my pattern stash-145
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Lynnelle
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Lynnelle  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/29/11 9:33 AM

Rayon is not considered a synthetic fiber. It is a plant-based fiber that undergoes heavy chemical processing. In textiles, the term "synthetic" is used to denote fibers that often come from petroleum or other basic non-plant/animal raw materials.

Lyocell actually isn't quite the same as rayon. While it is also a plant-based and chemically processed fiber, it has unique characteristics and has less of an environmental impact upon creation. The difference between rayon and lyocell rests in how it is processed. Rayon is created by dissolving in acid, while Lyocell is created by dissolving in amine oxide. Lyocell is trademarked as tencel.


-- Edited on 6/29/11 9:40 AM --

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