Do you know what material your summer dress is made of? Currently, you can find a wide range of clothing made with various raw materials such as cotton, silk, and satin. Identically, most of these materials contain synthetic fibers that look similar. However, every synthetic fiber has its special characteristics and mechanism.
By the same token, rayon is also such a fiber that it has its own unique properties. For instance, you may ask, is rayon stretchy material? As a matter of fact, we’ll cover all the basics of rayon fabric in this article, and let you know what it’s like to use it as a raw material.
What Is Rayon?
In fact, rayon is a cellulose-based fiber that comes as a leftover of cotton production. Sometimes, manufacturers use cellulose leftover from the wood pulp of hemlock, spruce, or pine trees. All the cellulose turns into plastic-like and semi-synthetic fibers after going through a chemical process. And, the rayon fabric comes with a silky weave that is comparatively lightweight than others.
Because of the silky weave, rayon fibers can be moisturized individually. For this reason, you shouldn’t wet this fabric to save it from any kind of a mess. Usually, you can drape a rayon dress elegantly around you, and it’ll look great if you can fit it properly.
In most cases, rayon is used as a substitute for silk. Why does it happen? Because the production of natural fabrics like silk costs more than rayon. As a result, despite having a long process of creating rayon, which includes giant machines and many chemicals, manufacturers have a tendency to choose rayon as the popular substitute.
Types Of Rayon
Now, let us use introduce three major types of rayon vastly used in the clothing industries below:
1. Modal Rayon
Because of its unique softness, this rayon has a popularity for use in clothing and underwear. Though modal rayon is the most costly rayon type here, manufacturers prefer it for its chemically treated beechwood pulp. Not to mention, manufacturers sometimes produce a more sturdy kind of fabric by blending cotton or spandex with modal rayon.
2. Lyocell Rayon
If you consider the look of this rayon, you may get confused with the cotton. Because this rayon type sometimes feels and looks like cotton. Furthermore, the lyocell rayon is produced using a more environmentally-friendly chemical treatment. Usually, you need cellulose from beech trees to make lyocell rayon, and it can absorb moisture at the highest rate compared with others.
3. Viscose Rayon
The most popular type of rayon is viscose. Because this rayon is suitable for use in most dresses and clothes. Unlike other rayon types, you can slightly stretch it. It is possible only because of its replication of the drape and sheen of silk.
Excluding the above three types, you may occasionally find another type called rayon knit. But, that’s not very common for rayon fabric and not available most of the time. Generally, this kind of weave is used in fancy sweaters and rayon cardigans since it comes with interlocking loops in exchange for crisscrossing threads.
Is Rayon Stretchy Material? – Does It?
In the previous section of our discussion, we mentioned that rayon fabric has no elasticity. That means rayon is not stretchy at all. Therefore, you cannot stretch a rayon horizontally or vertically.
However, remember that using spandex chemically in the mixture of rayon can give it a stretchy behavior. Similar to most knits, using rayon knit also provides better flexibility as well as stretching capability.
When it comes to contact with moisture and heat, rayon shows extreme sensitivity in such conditions. Because rayon fibers strongly absorb moisture causing expansion when wet. To put it differently, you can actually expand rayon by stretching the fabric when its fibers are damp. However, the expansion remains permanently after drying, and you cannot stretch or shrink in the normal state.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will Rayon Stretch With Wear?
No, you cannot stretch rayon by wearing it. Because this fabric is not similar to other materials like cotton. As a result, there is no chance that it will stretch over time like others. So, when you buy rayon clothing, be aware of this issue. You’ll get exactly what you see! If you buy a rayon cloth that is a tight fit for you, don’t expect it to be expanded later. However, the positive thing is that you are worry-free to get your clothes baggy or loose over time.
Does Rayon Stretch In Jeans?
First, you should know the materials used in the jeans. Basically, jeans contain cotton and spandex as a mixture. So, when rayon is also included in that mix, it will stretch for the other materials in the blend. And, the exciting fact is that almost every skinny jeans have at least a small percentage of spandex, which is the main element to bring the stretchy characteristic.
Does Rayon Have Any Chemical Reaction?
Though rayon is made through a lengthy chemical process, it is not damage resistant to acid-type chemicals. As rayon is actually a cellulose fiber in structure, you can easily damage it using acids, even using a very weak one. However, the bleaches cannot damage the rayon. Still, we recommend treating it using bleaches very carefully.
Rayon is not a stretchy material by nature. So, it is impossible for you to stretch your clothes that are made using only rayon fabric. However, using spandex mixed with rayon can bring a stretchy environment into the fabric. Otherwise, this bio-natural material is not flexible at all due to no elasticity in its cellulose fiber of chemically altered wood pulp.