Considered the oldest manufactured fabric, rayon is made from cellulose ( often wood pulp), and thought of as semi-synthetic. There are several different ways of processing the cellulose each producing slightly different fabrics such as viscose, modal, lyocell and tencel.

Known as artificial silk when it was first introduced in the late 1800’s early 19o0’s, it soon became very popular as a cheaper alternative to cotton and silk.  By the 1950’s the versatility of rayon meant it was being used extensively often printed in a great variety of fashionable designs and colours.



1960’s Walric rayon shown above is a heavier dress fabric which has a stiffish linen feel.


this lighter silk crepe like rayon is perfect to dresses and blouses


Cold satin rayon in great 1950’s geometric design

blpray1950’s silky rayon


Rayon brocade fabric which could be used for dress making or interiors


1960’s 70’s interiors fabric in a rayon and cotton blend


Check out the excellent blog  by Emileigh of Flashback Summer – The History of Rayon and how to care for it  Rayon blog





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