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COTTON VS RAYON: STRETCHABILITY
Is Cotton stretchy? No, not really. But there's more to its stretchability than a simple yes or no answer. Normally, cotton has around 3 to 6% stretchability which is not nearly enough to have it rub shoulders with characteristically stretchy fibers like Spandex.
Does rayon stretch better than cotton? No, it doesn't. Rayon does not stretch, but it is sensitive to humidity and will absorb moisture from the air. When it absorbs moisture, rayon becomes longer but returns to its original length when humidity reduces. This is the closest a rayon fiber will come close to stretching. That said, both fibers can be stretchy when knitted.
All fibers become stretchy when knitted, but other than that, they are not stretchy. Therefore, I'll call this round a tie.
COTTON VS RAYON: WRINKLING
Cotton shrinks, there's no doubt about that. But why? Cotton is composed of a substance called cellulose. This substance contains hydrogen. When woven, the hydrogen particles in cotton come together to form a bond. This bond is essential for ensuring your cotton apparel keeps its original shape.
However, as most of us would know, hydrogen is an important element in water (H20). Thus, when cotton is exposed to a humid environment or a sweaty body, the hydrogen bonds are interfered with causing the fabric to lose its shape and wrinkle.
Synthetic fibers are generally known to wrinkle easily, so like cotton, rayon is susceptible to wrinkling. Rayon wrinkles when exposed to moisture too. It also wrinkles badly when exposed to heat. So if you're going to iron, you have to turn the fabric inside out and set the iron to low heat.
COTTON VS RAYON: THREAD
Cotton threads are strong and durable. They will neither break nor stretch easily. Cotton threads also do not shrink during washing. This makes it a great choice for quilting.