Fabric made from wood?!
A fabric made from wood?!? Yep, it's rayon, and it's made from wood pulp.
@juliedemaggio Fabric made from wood?!? Yep. #themoreyouknow #studyfashion ♬ Cafe BGM, Uptempo Swing Jazz Guitar - Hanadayama Music Lab
Rayon was invented by chemists in the late 1800's as an "artificial silk." It's an amazing fabric but sadly it's not that great on the environment. Making wood into nice soft fibers for rayon fabric actually requires some pretty caustic chemicals.
Since the 1970's though, scientists have been coming up with better ways to make rayon. Lyocell was created as a response to the environmental concerns of rayon production.
In the 1990's Lyocell was brand-named Tencel. My fellow fashion designers and I just thought it was a fancy new, expensive version of rayon. And it was, but what we didn't realize then was that it was expensive because of the new process that was making more environmentally friendly.
Rayon is soft, drapey, and it takes colors well.
Oh, and do you know what else is a rayon? Bamboo fabric. Bamboo has to be processed similarly to wood to make it appropriate for fabric fiber.
Want to know more about fabrics? I gotchu! My Basics of Fashion Fabrics mini-course is available now!
Sign up below for more info: