Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Fabrics: Rayon

Rayon was the first manufactured fiber developed, it's made from wood or cotton pulp and was first known as artificial silk. The Swiss chemist, Georges Audemars invented the first crude artificial silk around 1855, by dipping a needle into liquid mulberry bark pulp and gummy rubber to make threads. The method was too slow to be practical.

In 1884, a French chemist, Hilaire de Charbonnet, Comte de Chardonnay, patented an artificial silk that was a cellulose-based fabric known as Chardonnay silk. Pretty but very flammable, it was removed from the market.
In 1894, British inventors, Charles Cross, Edward Bevan, and Clayton Beadle, patented a safe a practical method of making artificial silk that came to be known as viscose rayon. Avtex Fibers Inc. first commercially produced artificial silk or rayon in 1910 in the United States. The term "rayon" was first used in 1924.

Rayon is a beautiful draping fabric used to create dresses, skirts, blouses and some gorgeous drapes.  The fabric hangs well on the body and  feels wonderful too.  Sewing together a bodice can some times be tricky but using interfacing gives it enough structure without ruining the lovely drape rayon has.

For more helpful tips visit ' Prudent Baby ' she has some great advise on sewing with rayon.

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