Rayon Prints
by Shannon Gifford
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  • Rayon Prints

    Rayon is a unique fiber among those used for fabrics; it is a fiber created from natural sources, using man-made technology. Once billed as "faux silk", this fiber has continued to advance in versatility. Rayon tends to be soft in drape, and is very comfortable to wear.

    Pretreatment:

    Hand-wash or machine wash in a delicate cycle. No bleach. Use a cool dryer, and remove the fabric while still slightly damp.

    Needles and thread:

    Use a sharp or universal point needle, size 11/75 or 12/80, for most sewing applications. All cotton, cotton-covered polyester, or all polyester fabrics are good choices for this fabric.

    Seams, Seam Finishes, and Hems:

    Plain seams are perfect for this fabric. Finish the edges with a three-thread serged edge, rayon seam binding, or a Hong Kong finish. Hems can be machine topstitched or hand-sewn. Use a strip of interfacing to stabilize the hem before sewing.

    Interfacing:

    Use the softest fusible possible, such as a thin knit tricot. If you prefer a sew-in interfacing, cotton batiste, cotton organdy, or silk organza are all good choices.

    Pattern suggestions:

    Dresses, blouses, soft jackets, skirts, draped garments, soft pants, shorts, pajamas.

    Creative possibilities:

    Rayon responds beautifully to creative techniques such as shirring, smocking, pintucks, or embroidery. Test a sample of your fabric to see how your particular piece develops.

    Additional Tips:

    Rayon is the traditional fabric used in 'broomstick' style pleating. Stitch several parallel rows of basting stitches along the crossgrain of your fabric. Pull the bobbin threads of each row to create tight gathers. Tie the fabric in a large overhand knot, then wash and dry. Bear in mind that drying the fabric in this state will take a bit longer than normal. When the fabric is dry, untie and remove the basting. You'll have beautiful "broomstick" pleats.

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