Properties of Linen & Rayon Fabric

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Fabrics like linen are often used for household items like sheets and clothing.
Fabrics like linen are often used for household items like sheets and clothing. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Linen and rayon are both fabrics that have a variety of purposes, such as making clothes or household items. The two fabrics are very different from each other. Linen is a natural fabric produced from a plant that is fibrous. Rayon, on the other hand, is made artificially with chemicals and cellulose, making it a synthetic fiber instead of a natural fiber.

Types of Linen

There are a few different types of linen available on the market, including venise, damask and butcher’s linens. Venise linen is a very fine version of linen that has various fibers. Damask linen is similar to venise in the variation of fibers, but is less fine. Butcher’s linen is a strong and heavy weave of linen that makes it stiff and uneven when compared to the other types of linen.

Types of Rayon

Rayon is synthetic and thus has few variations available. The most common variation of rayon is the regular rayon, which is also called viscose. The regular rayon requires dry cleaning only and will shrink in other forms of cleaning. High wet modulus, also known as HWM, is a version of rayon that can withstand more water and can be washed in a washing machine. High tenacity rayon is a version that has more strength and durability when compared to the regular rayon.

Properties of Linen

Linen is a natural fiber that is comfortable and durable. It is twice as strong as cotton, but has similar comfort levels. It is absorbent, making linen a good option for sportswear. The material is naturally anti-static, so it will not result in shocks from static electricity. It is also naturally antibacterial, preventing odors in sweat from bacteria and making it a good choice for use in wrapping injuries and wounds. Linen is hypoallergenic, making it a good choice for sensitive skin. The material is also eco-friendly because it is a natural fiber found in plants.

Properties of Rayon

Rayon is made from cellulose fibers, which makes it comfortable. Rayon is more absorbent than either cotton or linen, which makes it an ideal summer fabric. The material does not build up static electricity, which prevents shocks from static. It wrinkles easily because of its low resilience, but it can withstand temperatures from an iron that are slightly less than cotton. The material is highly flammable and requires a flame-retardant substance added to the material.

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