Washing Rayon Clothing & Fabric

- Dec 26, 2018-


Washing Rayon Clothing & Fabric

Rayon. Can it be machine washed? That is the question!

The answer is yes, but...

Rayon is not as sturdy a fabric as cotton and will not stand up to the same level of abuse that we put cotton T-shirts and jeans through. If you put a rayon dress through a washer/dryer in a load with say, jeans, then in the tumbling, the jeans will rub and pull on the dress's seams. If the dress has ties or straps, they will get tangled in the jeans and other items and pull and tear the seams. If you machine wash rayon items alone or better yet in a net bag, then the rayon item will hold up just fine.

Best of all is hand washing and line drying, which avoids the issue entirely, and is what we recommend.

Also, rayon is weaker when it is wet than when it is dry. We used full strength bleach on some black rayon to discharge it and rinsed it immediately after it discharged for a minute or two - both the discharged areas and the untouched black areas ripped very easily in one direction while wet. After the fabric was dry, it did not rip, even where bleached. Conclusion: You have to treat WET rayon very carefully, and it is not the discharging (if done properly) that is making the fabric weak. You have to support the whole garment if you are going to lift it out of a dyebath wet. You can't just grab part of it with a stick or some other object.

We recommend hand washing & line drying Rayon clothing, and handling wet rayon with extra care.