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Posts Tagged ‘acetate’

Miracle Fibers – Rayon and Nylon

First there was rayon, then nylon. They weren’t very lovable, despite the hype promoting their advantages. Thanks to technology not only have they become acceptable, but they laid the groundwork for generations of new synthetics. For some reason, early rayon and nylon tend to be passed over by most vintage fabric collectors. They are not suitable for quilting nor heirloom sewing nor much in demand for street wear. It is probably the theatrical and historical costumers and to some extent doll dressers who most seek these fabrics. Up to 1960 synthetic names were marketed far enough apart to be solidly identifiable and recognizable – the rayons, nylon, orlon, dacron, acrilan and vicara. We knew what to do with them, how to sew with them; what to expect of them. Then beginning in the early 1960s fiber construction took on a whole new meaning and from that point on most of us felt we needed a degree in textiles and Latin to navigate the fabric stores. As the histories of rayon and nylon are interesting, this column talks to their development rather than the fabric. From rayonne to artificial silk to rayon Of all the synthetics rayon is probably the most confusing and misunderstood and received the worst press. To begin with, rayon is not a true synthetic. It is made from cellulose, the solid part of cell walls for plant life. Cellulose for rayon is obtained from wood pulp and cotton linters which are short fibers left on the cotton seed after the long fibers have been removed. There are three processes used in its manufacture to produce viscose, cuprammonium and acetate. Each has its own special properties. Rayon has been around for more than 250 years but not as a fabric. The term rayon has only been with us since 1924. The idea to artificially duplicate the silk worm process was advanced in 1665 by an English scientist. It lay dormant until 1754 when a French scientist reported it was possible to make varnishes into threads which imitated silk. More than 100 years later another Frenchman, Count Chardonnet, produced the first fiber having commercial success as a textile. In 1884 rayonne was born from his nitrocellulose process. Right on its heels the cuprammonium process was developed, a third in 1982 by two Englishmen called viscose , followed by acetate. The Chardonnet process is no longer in production. Rayonne was more widely known as artificial silk. The name was outlawed in 1924 and the name rayon was given…
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The Elusive Obsoletes – The Dating Game Continues

In the British world of antiques, a divy is a diviner, one who can tell it’s the genuine article upon sight. Perhaps you’ve experienced a shiver down your spine when you find a vintage fabric; you just know it’s old and the real thing at first glance. So, your divy instincts having performed admirably, you know you have something old, but exactly how old and and exactly what is it? Fabric identification without the aid of selvage markings, provenance or an expert can be tricky. Most of the time there is no positive answer. But there are clues to put you somewhere in the ballpark. Often width, color, design, weave and appearance can be good indicators. Widths, while iffy and weak signals, nevertheless can generate a time frame. Generally, by the early 1930s narrow widths were replaced by 36″ to 39″ for most all American dressmaking cottons and by the early 60s the standard was 42″ to 44″ though some  36″ widths cottons lingered on for another decade. One notable holdout is Liberty of London lawn still being manufactured in 36″. This can be a deterrent in pinpointing fine old lawn, particularly with retro designs now in vogue. Regardless, finding natural and early synthetic fabrics in 36″ to 39″ or narrower widths should trigger your inner alarm system into action. Color, designs, patina and fancy weaves are stronger giveaways. Old catalogs, ads, pattern and fashion magazines like the Delineator, reference books such as Dating Fabrics by Eileen Trestain, 1998, plus your personal knowledge are useful tools for a decade-by-decade comparison of fabrics. Unwashed old cottons seem to impart a certain glow or patina, mostly due to mellowing and special finishes now outdated. Novelty and variations on basic weaves can help define fashion trends of the day. For instance, iridescent chambray and basket-weave cottons were the absolute rage in the late 1940s-early 50s; finding those fabrics in 36″ is a good clue to their age. Fabric typing can be downright frustrating. Some plain-weave cottons such as batiste, lawn and nainsnook are still with us but whether old or vintage, their similarities after washing make them virtually indistinguishable from each other. Two other long-gone family members, mull and longcloth, are nearly indistinguishable from nainsnook and lawn whether new or washed. Voile with its raspy-tongue feel and frosty soap scum appearance is easily identifiable; however it is still being manufactured. Old voile had wide satiny selvages; most today are narrow. The separating line for muslin and percale is when thread count…
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Uses of Silk Velvet

Uses of Silk Velvet All velvet fabrics can be dyed effectively with deep colors. Dark shades are preferred because it can highlight the rich pile of the fabric. Most often, silk/rayon blend velvet is used for flowing dresses and evening wear which emphasize its soft drape. Meanwhile, synthetic velvet made completely of acetate or rayon is less expensive and easier to care for and is often substituted for a silk/rayon blend. This type of velvet can be used for all types of soft garments. For both home decorating and clothing, cotton velvet is the most suitable. Vests, skirts, blazers and coats can be made from cotton velvet. It’s also used for costumes. The durability of cotton velvet also makes it ideal for home furnishings. Sumptuous bed coverings, upholstery, draperies and cushions can be made from cotton velvet.      

The Fabrics.net Store Has Hard To Find Fabric

Hard to find fabric is our specialty.  If we don’t have it, we’ll help you find it! Just visit our FabricFinder page if you don’t see what you need listed in our store inventory below. We sell hand-selected fabrics direct from the warehouse to you so your fabric is pristine when you receive it. We never sell from bolts, only rolls, so you know your fabric has not been overhandled. We sell both large and small quantities, down to a one-yard minimum. Our experts have decades of experience and purchase from their exclusive manufacturers. Save 20%-30% off retail when you buy direct from Fabrics.net! Shop with confidence, our products are perpetual stock and you can buy the same weave and shade from year to year. IF WE DON’T HAVE IT, WE’LL HELP YOU FIND IT!  Just visit our FabricFinder page to post your hard to find fabric request and have our US/Canadian network of fabric suppliers CONTACT YOU! Here are some of the fabric categories available today in the Fabrics.net Store: China Silk Duchesse Satin Wool Crepe 4-ply Crepe Silk Charmeuse Silk Charmeuse Stretch Silk Chiffon Silk Chiffon wide Silk Chiffon Crinkle Silk Crepe Back Satin Silk Crepe de Chine Silk Double Face Satin Silk Double Georgette Silk Doupioni aka (Doupioni, Dupioni, Doupionni, Dupionni) Silk Faille Silk Knit Jersey) Silk Organza Silk Satin Organza Silk Taffeta (aka Taffeta) Silk Zibeline (aka Zibeline) Rayon/Silk velvet (aka Satin Organza) Wool Satin Gaberdine Wool Double Knit Jersey Wool Silk Blend Poly Plain Bengaline Poly Moire Bengaline Poly Taffeta Sequin Knit Poly (aka Sequin Knit) Stretch Velvet (aka Velvet) Glimmer Tulle (aka Sparkle) Poly Nylon Mesh Tie Dye Power Mesh (aka Tie Dyed Power Mesh) Foil Power Mesh Poly Organza Acetate Satin (aka Acetate) Nylon Tulle Acetate Taffeta Damask Cotton (aka Damask) Acetate Iridescent Taffeta (aka Iridescent) Poly Double Georgette Poly Crepe Back Satin (aka Poly Satin Back Crepe) Poly Chiffon Poly Lining (aka Lining) Satin Silk Wool Notions Ask us anything about these fabrics or any other hard to find fabric, we’re happy to help in any way we can…

Dyeing Acetate and Viscose Fabric

Have a white garment I would like dyeing black it is 72% acetate, 28% viscose and the lining is 100% acetate. Who and where should I let my garment go to? Dear Kenny, Sorry, this garment can’t be dyed. best, Jennifer

Removing Smoke Oders From Garments

Dear Jennifer: I recently bought a beautiful acetate/spandex evening gown via e-bay. However, it obviously came from the home of a smoker and smelled like it had been stuffed up the chimney. I, therefore, decided to expose it to ozone (we keep an ozone machine running due to my husband’s allergies). Just hanging it in the bathroom with the ozone hose was not cutting the smoke, so, at my husband’s suggestion, I placed the garment in a paper grocery sack with the ozone hose running in the sack. After two days, I checked the garment and found that the strong smoky smell was dissipating from the area closest to the hose. Accordingly, I refolded the garment and exposing the ozone hose to the area that still smelled the strongest. Due to several hectic days, it was 5 days before I again checked the dress, at which time, I intended to wash it in cold water and dry it flat as per the instructions. When I removed the dress from the bag, it had lost color in blotches throughout the material, fading in places from its original black color to a brownish gold in spots. And yes, the smell of smoke was gone, but was replaced with an ozonish synthetic smell. So, do you think there is any help for this dress at this point? For now, I have hung it in the attic away from the ozone, hoping it will air out and regain its original color. What do you think happened and why? Thanks so much for your prompt response. I should have had it professionally cleaned as soon as I got it, but hindsight is 20/20. Barb Dear Barb, You know, I have purchased many things on eBay myself, and some of them arrive smoky. I have an ozone machine, too, but it is the box kind. I usually drape the offending piece over the box, rearranging it every few hours until it smells okay. I really don’t know what happened with your dress except the overly-simple explanation of a “chemical reaction.” In my experience, acetate is very color unstable. I have tried washing it several times and the color always runs (a lot) and the water leaves a water mark. Since the acetate is a synthetic fabric, there is no hope for dyeing it black again. Dyes which are available for the use of ordinary mortals only work on natural fabrics. Chalk it up to fabric adventure. At least you didn’t pay retail for the…
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Type Of Dye To Use On Dresses

I am planning an inexpensive wedding and will most likely be wearing a bridesmaids dress for the ceremony. However, most of the dress styles I’m interested in only come in certain colors. Is it possible to get a dress of this type dyed? I was told by one store that the colors would run as soon as the dress got wet. Can a dress be dyed more than once? Thanks. Nancy Dear Nancy, Well, it all depends. 1. The fiber content of the dress, 2. The color it is, 3. The color you want it to be. It sounds like you are talking about an acetate taffeta or satin dress; yes, the color is unstable and cannot be re-dyed. Also, in general, you cannot dye anything a lighter color. So if your dress is baby pink, for example, you can only dye it darker pink or red. In my opinion, it would be far easier to find a dress at resale or consignment that suits you just as it is!! Congratulations and have fun! Jennifer