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About Batik Rayon

Rayon's quality has dramatically improved and it has become a fashion favourite. It used to be all rayon had to be dry cleaned to prevent shrinking or pulling out of shape. Batik rayons are washable, easy care and the dyes are colourfast. Rayon drapes beautifully, skimming over figure challenges, making it a flattering choice for everyday fashions for work, leisure and special occasions. A "natural" fabric made of wood fibre and cotton linters, rayon breathes and is the most comfortable fabric to wear in the heat.

Prewash: Pre-washing is important for a few reasons: In Bali, the fabric has been put through several dyes and stamping processes to make up the finished design. After each dyeing, the fabric has been hung on tiny nails or staked to the ground to dry in the sun. This distorts the selvedge resulting in the peaks and tiny holes you may see. Washing the fabric helps bring it back to its original shape. Shrinkage is minimal (approximately 4-5" per yard or  14cm per metre) and the fabric does not shrink again after proper prewashing. While rare, there may be slight traces of wax residue or mud on your fabric; this will wash out. Although the dyes are colourfast, there may be excess dye left on the fabric. Prewashing separately removes excess dye from the fabric.

Care:  To prewash yardage, a gentle machine wash in warm water, followed by machine drying in a warm dryer is required. For washing garments, we recommend a gentle machine or hand wash, then hang to dry. Any gentle fabric cleaner is fine but Eucalan no rinse delicate wash is preferred. Once dry, tossing the garment in a warm dryer softens the fibres before ironing. Prevent shine on dark or solid fabrics by ironing from the wrong side or with a press cloth or a protective iron shoe. The iron should be set on wool with some steam for best results.

Right side/wrong side of the fabric and cutting tips: The right side of the fabric will have the clearest designs and most distinct colour. You may find it helpful to mark the wrong side of your cut garment pieces with painter's tape. To prevent rayon from slipping when cutting, we recommend frequent pinning and ensuring the grain-line is straight. Serrated blade scissors or rotary cutters work well. Many batiks are one-way designs and require a "with nap" pattern layout for cutting. Make sure your palms are growing upwards or fish swimming right side up! Many batik prints have a definite horizontal or vertical line. If prominent you may wish to ensure that these line up on your garments and you will need to adjust your pattern pieces accordingly.

Sewing: Use a new size 80/12 universal needle for every project with a quality all-purpose (polyester) thread such as Mettler Metrosene and a stitch length of 2.5 to 3.0. On long straight seams, a slight zigzag will prevent puckers: try a width of .5 - 1.0 and length of 2.5 - 3.0 for best results. Serge seams (or use French seams as a finish as the Balinese women do).

Interfacing: Avoid changing the "hand" or drape of rayon with a good quality, lightweight fusible knit interfacing. Cut this interfacing with the greatest stretch running on the lengthwise grain of the garment. This permits the rayon to relax as it is meant to do.