Whether you're a weaver, dyer, quilter, or sewer you have undoubtedly used rayon fibers in your projects. Rayon is one of the most vastly used fabrics in our society. It is made all over the world from the cellulose of wood pulp or cotton. It can be easily blended with other naturally made or man made fibers, treated with enhancements, and engineered to perform multiple functions. Let's talk about rayon, its history and its advancements.What is rayon?Developed in 1885 by a scientist named Count Hilaire de Chardonnet, its creation was intended to save the fledgling silk industry at that time. Originally referred to as artificial or imitation silk, in 1925 the Federal Trade Commission gave it the name rayon once it had an industry unto itself. Rayon is a very versatile fabric it has the ability to copy or mimic the shine, softness and heavy drape of silk, bamboo, cotton or linen. It is a naturally-based fiber, made from the cellulose of wood pulp (usually from pine, spruce or hemlock trees) or cotton. The natural make-up of rayon fiber gives it the many beneficial attributes we appreciate, such as low cost, diversity and of course comfort. Yes, it was conceived of and produced in a laboratory, but rayon is touted as one of the best economically made and versatile natural fibers used today.Rayon yarnsYarns made purely from rayon are mostly 'novelty' yarns, which have a different texture from traditionally plied yarns. These purely rayon yarns are not very strong, and although they are very soft and light, they easily tatter and do not wash well. It is best to mix fibers when twilling with rayon yarn. Rayon will add a soft, plush texture to an otherwise plain fiber such as cotton.Blend types-Acrylic: Blending acrylics with rayon yarn will help the yarn take on a sheen similar to silk. Rayon fabrics usually have to be dry cleaned, but when blended with acrylics it will be able to be machine washed. Rayon softens the acrylic fibers too, eliminating the scratchy feel most people get from acrylics. This blend is a good choice for soft and easy to care for fabrics such as baby blankets and scarves.-Linen: Spun by itself linen can be stiff and rough, adding rayon to the yarn will add the softness and pliability we love in a good fabric. Linen is very durable and gets stronger and more elastic when wet, when spun together with rayon; it keeps these attributes plus softness making it the perfect yarn for tough but wearable garments and accessories.-Mohair: Mohair is a very soft and fuzzy fiber which has 'flyaway' tendencies (meaning it tends to separate and strands fly away fromWholesale Wool blend nylon yarn Factory the wearer). Adding rayon to the mohair yarn keeps the 'flyaways' together, binding the mohair fabric tightly together with the rayon. Fabrics made from this blended yarn are usually lightweight garments such as a loose knit pullover or a light, lacey shawl or scarf.Types of rayonRegular\/viscose rayon- is a very weak fiber which has a tendency to shrink when it's wet.High\/wet modulus (HWM) rayon- is a stronger form of rayon which does not shrink when wet. The advent of HWM rayon (also called modified rayon) is considered the most important development in rayon production since its invention.Art Silk-is not silk at all, it is rayon. Do not be fooled by semantics.Microfibers-these are fabrics used predominately in the upholstery business. Microfibers are usually rayon fibers, creating that soft, 'suede-like' texture we all love.Understanding the materials we use in our fiber related projects is essential to creating the piece you first imagined. Using rayon yarns spun with other natural fibers is a great choice when trying to achieve a silk-like loft and feel, without spending too much money.