27 Mar 2012

Cupro, rayon, acetate and lyocell?

I made a start with my Marfy dress. The thin cotton fabric I have is pretty but tears easily along the outlines of the flowers. I needed some kind of reinforcement for this.
I figured that the dark blue fabric which I want to use as lining is slightly on the heavy side for the bodice so I needed something else. There aren't big fabric stores within 40 km's and with my current job I can't be there before they close. So I'm left with some online stores to buy stuff.
One evening browsing around on the internet I discovered the 'cupro' lining fabrics which should be both thin and breathable. I've never heard of this material before.

So, what is cupro made of?
Cupro is neither synthetic nor natural fibre. It is man made but made out of wood/cotton. It is actually processed wood pulp or made out of soft linters of cotton. The fibers of Cupro are thinner than viscose, for this reason it was developed as a cheap alternative to replace silk. Interesting is that the cupro fabric is both thin, soft and breathable so this seems to be the ideal lining for summer clothes. This fabric is antistatic and has a great drape hence suited for thinner garments too. It is still not very cheap, at least here in Europe it costs about 9-10 euro's per meter.
Why didn't I now this??? Has anyone experience with cupro fabrics?

Cupro's origin is similar to viscose rayon and acetate, lyocell
All of these materials are made out of cellulose, only the process they go through is different.

Cupro fibers are also much thinner than the other fabrics. These fabrics are usually more absorbent in contrary to truly synthetic fibers, but they are generally more flammable than truly natural fibers.

Rayon viscose was the first one, already made and used by the end of the 19th century (Chardonnay silk). It is weaker than natural fabrics like wool, linen or cotton. It may stretch and shrink when wet and dry. It wrinkles easily.

Acetate was discovered during the making of cellulose acetate for use in motion picture films. Acetate fabrics often have a silk-like appearance. They becomes weak when wet but does't shrink like rayon. Acetate doesn't absorb water easily.

Lyocell (Tencel) is the latest one in the row, made since the 1980's. The making of this fiber is less environment-heavy than the other ones since there is little waste product and this fabric is extremely resistant to wrinkles.

The bad news is that the processing of these fibers usually requires a lot of chemicals, water and energy and is anything but good for the environment. The good news is that they are made out of natural fibers and have a lot of good properties like natural fibers.

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