Rayon Fabric Definition


Rayon is a type of fabric that is soft and silk-like. Its name comes from the French word "rais" meaning ray. Because of this, its texture and the ability of being able to let light through the fibers rayon is often called "the ray of light." Rayon fabric is a natural fiber cloth.

Fabric Characteristics

Rayon fabric is easy to spot as it is very soft and almost silk-like in nature. It is an absorbent material with a natural flow. It generally sews well and can be found in many colors. Because of its natural draping ability, it is often found in women's dresses, skirts and blouses.


Rayon fabric is often hand washed, keeping its softness. A mild fabric soap is recommended for cleaning with a gentle twist to wring out the water after it is rinsed. Cool water is recommended. Air drying of the clothing is done on a flat surface. Chlorine bleach for cleaning is not recommended. Dry cleaning is also used for cleaning of rayon dresses and trousers.


Rayon fabric cuts generally the same as cotton, although the use of a sharp pair of scissors will facilitate smooth cuts faster. The sewability will depend on the thickness of the fabric. Very thin fabrics might require an interfacing for strength and body.


Rayon is a durable fabric and is used in not only undergarments but work clothing such as hotel and restaurant uniforms. Rayon fabric holds up well to dieing and for all types of embellishment work.

Products Using Rayon

Rayon is found not only in clothing for sewing, in sheets and other household goods, but it is a popular fabric and thread for use in other things. Rayon can be fabricated into various trims for clothing and household furniture. Rayon thread is often used for embellishment work when machine sewing finishing work such as hems.

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