Tuesday, December 11, 2012
As promised we just put up a beautiful pallet of Rayon Challis. I know it's still pretty cold in some parts of the country, but here in Los Angeles, a rayon dress with tights and boots is all we need to "rough" the winter.
Last week one of the buyers delivered over a dozen pieces of this Rayon Challis to me. I immediately knew I loved to look and feel of it, but I needed to know more about what I was photographing. What I have learned is Rayon is both natural, fibers taken from wood pulp, and man made, the process that happens to get it to look the way it does. The weight of Rayon, which is a bit heavier than a really light weight fabric, like voile, is perfect for dresses, skirts and blouse. Because it has some weight to it, it hangs and drapes beautifully on the body. There are a few types of Rayon, one being Viscose Rayon, which is dry clean only and has more of a sheen to it. Challis, which refers to the soft nature and it's just barely brushed look, is the Rayon we have. It is not shiny, has a super soft hand, and is washable. All these qualities that make is great for a wide range of sewers.
As I was reading up on this Rayon Challis, I came across a lot of discussion about pre-washing. Especially since some people called it a natural firer and others feel it is synthetic. The post from Lilacs & Lace put it best. "The idea is to be as hard on the material as I ever will be. Because I am going to hand wash the finished product, it should be perfectly safe since it has already been through a machine cycle."
As we love Amy Butler, when I came across this post from Whip Up, via Amy Butler, I felt we were in good hands. Amy says, "Choose the right pattern when working with Rayon Challis, it is an extremely versatile fabric and can be used for many different sewing and craft projects but some will turn out better than others. Rayon Challis has a soft drape that is perfect for dresses, skirts, blouses and other garments. Projects that have a lot of intricate details and tailoring are often better suited to other fabrics."
Anna Maria Horner has made some beautiful pieces from Rayon Challis. Here are a few.
Here are a few other articles I came across...
How to Sew with Rayon
Know your Rayon
If you buy our Rayon Challis and make something please share it here or on our Facebook page. Enjoy!