Here are some pointers and techniques for sewing with rayon challis or viscose.
Natural fibers are used to create the synthetic fabric known as rayon. Today, a lot of clothing is made from this soft, drapey fabric, which goes by many different names, including viscose, modal, lyocell, and rayon. They react poorly to high heat, high agitation, and occasionally even water. It can be difficult to sew with rayon.
You can greatly reduce the frustration and anxiety people occasionally experience when sewing with rayon fabric by carefully following the steps outlined below.
How to Sew Rayon Fabric?
The process of sewing rayon into a garment is the same as sewing other fabrics.
Preparation and Cutting
Simple but necessary preparation is required for sewing smoothly on rayon fabric.
- Trim the yardage in advance. Use Ivory liquid detergent and the gentle cycle on your washing machine to wash rayon fabric alone in cold water. With excessive agitation, the wet fabric will distort. On the permanent press cycle, machine-dry the yardage. While the fabric is still slightly damp, remove it from the dryer, and iron it dry.
- Press with caution. Because moisture stretches fabric, dry iron on a medium setting is recommended. Use a disposable press cloth, such as a paper towel, as some dye may transfer during pressing. Before moving some rayons, they must cool on the pressing surface in order to prevent wrinkles. The fabric may shine if it is overpressed. For a smoother surface, rub the shiny area against the self-fabric.
- Pick a cutting plan. Use a double-thick, without-nap layout. Tape tissue paper to the work surface to ensure precise cutting. At 12-inch intervals, pin the tissue to the double-fabric thickness. Through the layers of tissue and fabric, tack the pattern.
- Cut with sharp tools. Cut all layers, including the tissue, through with scissors or a rotary cutter.
The majority of rayon fabrics are thin and somewhat unstable. Smooth and precise stitching is guaranteed by these tools.
- Marking tools: We advise using a wheel and tracing paper, a Pilot FriXion erasable ink pen, or a Clover Chaco Liner. To ensure that marks come off with minimal effort, test the marking tool on your fabric.
- Interfacing: Although they stick well, fuses can lose their hold after laundering. When fusibles don’t stick, silk organza makes a good interfacing material.
- Thread: only use cotton thread. When put under pressure, a seam stitched with the polyester thread may rip.
- Needle: Install a new micro-tex or sharp 70/10 needle for jeans. The fabric may snag on a dull needle. Presser foot: An all-purpose or zigzag presser foot that is typically used is suitable.
Pick strategies that reduce Rayon’s propensity to warp.
- Pin accurately. Even with meticulous cutting, seam lengths can vary when you pin two or more layers together. Matching the top and bottom of both pieces, pin with the shorter fabric piece on top. Allow the feed dogs on the sewing machine to gradually inset the longer side to match the shorter one.
- Select a stitch. Use a small, 0.5 mm wide by 2.5 mm long zigzag stitch for long side seams. Due to the fabric’s ability to relax, seams can also.
- Finish seams neatly. Seams should be flat-felled or pressed open before being serged separately with fine serger thread.
- emphasize with an edge stitch. With a topstitching foot and beautiful results, stitch 1/8 inch from the finished edge.
- Sew the hem. Hand-hem after turning up the raw edge by 1 inch. To avoid stretching with unstable rayons, press Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 in a 1/2-inch hem allowance. Use a twin needle to topstitch after turning.
You will find a flat fell seam on button-up shirts. Also you can press open and overlock raw edges separately. Very popular seam finish for rayon fabric is French seam, especially if the fabric is translucent or the garment opened design.
Here is a video about sewing rayon fabric:
Tips for Sewing Rayon Fabric
- Prewash your fabric. I wash in cold and tumble-dry low
- To stop fraying, finish your edges before prewashing. You can either overlock (serge) the edges or fold the cut edges together and stitch them very close to the edge. After washing, you can cut off your stitching line.
- Before you cut out your garment, press it with starch.
- Make a wise pattern selection. Instead of structured clothing, rayon challis is excellent for flowing, draped clothing.
- When cutting out your pattern, think about using a rotary cutter.
- Think about tracing your pattern onto just one layer of fabric. This may mean tracing patterns cut on the fold or laying a pattern
- Think about replacing your needle. It will work better with a smaller needle, like a 70/10 size. Also, think about using a micro-sharp needle if your fabric is catching on anything.
- Shorten your stitching. Shorter stitch lengths are associated with thinner fabrics.
- If possible, lessen the presser foot pressure. Less presser from the presser foot is required for thinner fabrics.
- Before hemming, hang the garment, ideally overnight, so that you can even hem based on the fabric drape.
Final Thoughts: Sew Rayon Fabric
When selecting a rayon project, you should think about how the fabric and design patterns will complement one another in the garment’s intended use.
Use needles and pins designed for thin, lightweight weaves, such as a 10/70 sharp, when sewing rayon fabric. To prevent making big holes in your fabric and causing snags, use a fresh needle.
Is It Hard to Sew With Rayon?
Many sewers use viscose, rayon challis, and Tencel fabrics to create dresses, shirts, and skirts because they all feel wonderful against the skin. The only problem is they can be a little tricky to get neat seams and finishes. The fabric will become wonky or skewed due to uneven movement or ripples.
What is the Best Stitch for Rayon?
I like to use French or enclosed seams when working with rayon since the fabric is usually lightweight. I’ve also finished Rayon seams with an overlocker or serger using either a 3- or 4-thread stitch.
What Size Needle is Best for Rayon?
You can sew rayon using a universal needle (the one that came on your machine), but you will find it easier to use an extra sharp ballpoint needle – a 75/11 or 80/11. The ideal thread to use is polyester or a poly blend.