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Skein Lane Studio
208 Carmel Ave
El Cerrito, CA 94530

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About Rayon

Rayon is a man-made fiber, but it is not synthetic. It was developed in 1910 and is the oldest man-made fiber. It is spun, either as a filament or a staple (short fibers), from cellulose that comes from wood pulp. Knitter's will see two kinds of rayon on yarn labels, sometimes: viscose and cuprammonium rayon. These are made with different manufacturing techniques.

Fiber Properties

Considered to be one of the most versatile fibers we have, rayon is silky and softer than cotton. It is very comfortable to wear as a summer fabric and has a beautiful drape, like silk.

Rayon can be dyed into a range of beautiful colors, in a variety of yarn structures from plied yarns to ribbons.

It is said to be more absorbent even than cotton, however, it can lose it's strength when wet, so care must be taken when washing - see below.


Rayon yarns are not resilient, that is, they do not have the "memory" to spring back into shape. So ribbings knit in rayon will not be elastic, and heavier garments may stretch. Rayon can pill if treated with a lot of abrasion.

For these reasons, rayon is often blended with other fibers, especially cotton, to minimize these properties.


Always read and use the care instructions on your yarn's label. If you need help interpreting the symbols used on the label, check our Yarn Label Symbols page.

Rayons can be hand washed, but dry cleaning may be recommended. They should not be dried in a machine, or exposed to high heat from the iron. Again, always check your yarn label for specific care instructions.

Skein Lane recommends using a "wool wash" product such as Eucalan, and tepid water (not cold); it's not just for wools. Never use Woolite, as it contains a bleaching agent that can discolor your yarn. You may also add touch of hair conditioner to rinse water for extra softness.

Do not wring or twist the wet item. Wrap in a towel and gently squeeze out the excess water before laying flat to dry.


Some popular rayon and rayon blend yarns at Skein Lane Studio are:

  • Waikiki  - Crystal Palace Yarns
  • Cotton Twist - Classic Elite Yarns


Learn about

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