Characteristics, Applications, and Care of Acetate Fabric Update 05/2022

In between fabrics, like all other materials, have a place in the fashion industry. They are neither entirely synthetic nor entirely natural. When you choose an in-between material for your sewing tasks, you get the best of both worlds.

Originally, acetate was used to remove varnish, but a technology was developed in the early twentieth century to turn the result into fibers that could be spun into garments. This fabric drapes and hangs beautifully, making it ideal for drapes, evening wear, and clothes.

Continue reading our post to understand more about this in-between fabric. It contains all of the necessary information if you intend to use it as a wonderful formal gown or drapes in the future.

Acetate Fabric Examples

This fabric has a silk-like shine and a silk-like feel on its own. To make it stronger, it is sometimes combined with silk, cotton, nylon, and wool. Wedding gowns, ties, and scarves are all examples of this material.

Acetate Fabric Characteristics, Uses, Examples, and Care

Acetate, which is made from chemicals and wood chips, is the second-oldest man-made fabric after rayon. It took almost three decades to perfect the procedure, and the end product was a fabric that was comparable to silk.

The fibers are given a satin weave when they are formed into ribbons, which makes them appear fantastic. This material is also resistant to mildew, stains, and shrinkage. It is a biodegradable cloth, which is wonderful news for the environment.

Acetate materials are frequently used in graduation robes to help the graduates stand out and look excellent.

Acetate Fabric Pros and Cons

Every cloth has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The rule does not apply to acetate. Here are some of the best advantages and disadvantages of this fabric:


  • It decomposes quickly.
  • The fabric is resistant to moths.
  • The material is resistant to mildew.
  • The material drapes beautifully.
  • Various hues and sheens
  • The substance dries quickly.
  • It resists shrinkage and produces little static electricity.
  • It has a high shine and an attractive feel and appearance.
  • It is not a pill.


  • The material does not stretch.
  • It is fairly easy to rip
  • When it becomes too heated, it can melt.
  • Dry washing is most likely required, but read the care label to be sure.
  • Can be easily wrinkled

When ironing the fabric, you must be aware of the melting element. It will take very little heat to remove the wrinkles.

Acetate Fabric Characteristics

The best qualities of this cloth can be found in its favorable aspects. It’s a lightweight fabric that can be a bit difficult to control while sewing, but the end result is well worth the effort.

If you didn’t construct the dress yourself, its magnificent look and feel will make you believe you’re wearing silk. The cloth is silky smooth, soft, and brightly colored. While it is extremely difficult to dye, it is available in a range of colors.

Its resistance to shrinkage makes it an excellent fabric. The fabric should come out the same size it went in as long as the washer and dryer are not overheated. Because it dries so quickly, you may not even need to use your dryer.

What Does Acetate Fabric Feel Like?

When you rub your palm over the fabric’s surface, it feels similar to silk. You should feel comfortable even if you have to walk around a lot because there is a softness and delicate touch against your skin.

As you walk into a room full of strangers, that silky feeling may give you a sophisticated air, giving you greater confidence. Long periods of time inside a dress made of this material should not be an issue, and you should not experience any discomfort.

Then there’s the wonderful drape, which should give you a lot of freedom. This freedom allows you to move, glide, or stroll without fear of embarrassment. Unfortunately, you won’t feel very secure because this cloth isn’t very sturdy and rips easily.

What is Acetate? Fabric Guide, Types & Uses | TREASURIE

Is Acetate Fabric Breathable?

It does not appear to be very breathable on its own. None of the sites we looked at referenced its breathing ability. Because it drapes well and is lightweight, you should be able to stay cool while wearing it.

The breathability element increases when it is combined with other fibers such as wool and cotton. Synthetic fibers do not breathe as well as natural fibers. Depending on how the fabric is utilized and which fibers are combined, more breathing may occur in its apparel use.

Because nylon does not breathe well, you should not expect to stay cool when acetate is added to the mix. If you wear a loose-fitting outfit, your body heat should escape much faster than if you wear a tight form-fitting suit. The amount of breathing you obtain is also determined by the garment item’s design.

What does Acetate Fabric Look Like?

Depending on the colors that are dyed into it, this cloth has a variety of sheens. Then there’s the fact that it comes in a selection of attractive hues that will suit your figure.

However, the weaving type, shine, and colors all combine to give this material an attractive appearance that rivals silk. It was created to seem like natural fiber while also lowering the cost of looking good.

While this fabric is not entirely made of natural fibers, it does outperform many of its natural fiber competitors. When the garment is sewn together correctly, it creates a silk-like appearance that is difficult to describe.

You have to see it to believe it, since discussing the appearance of this cloth is like attempting to describe the appearance of a Rolls Royce to someone who is unfamiliar with automobiles.

Acetate Fabric Uses

This fabric can be used in a variety of ways. The list of apparel items alone is extensive and might be tedious. But here are some examples: formal shirts, evening gowns, knitwear, wedding dresses, and other wedding clothing, suits, blouses, ties, coats, sweaters, sportswear, caps, and even men’s and women’s underwear.

This fabric can also be found in umbrellas, furniture, furniture upholstery, drapes, curtains, rugs, and other home decor products that require fabric. It’s also utilized in cigarette filters to filter out tar and nicotine while you’re smoking.

This material can be weaved into Christmas ribbons to improve the appearance of any present. For an in-between fabric, that’s a fairly excellent lineup. If you thought about it, you could definitely come up with a few more applications for this substance.

Acetate Fabric in Hot Weather

While it is not a particularly breathable fabric, it does have some silk-like properties. This could be due to the fact that it is sometimes mixed with silk. The varied fibers that acetate is combined with can give it different properties.

One thing is certain: like silk, it assists in keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The disadvantage is that you cannot sweat while wearing this material. With time and perspiration, the color and design fade.

When you know you’ll be in a cooler area where you won’t be sweating, you’ll want to wear it. The cloth is also not particularly durable, so you may want to be cautious when wearing garments created from it.

Watch out for sharp corners, since snagging the cloth can easily create tears.

Acetate Fabric for Lining

This acetate choice is regarded to be the ideal polyester substitute because its lining qualities considerably outweigh that of the synthetic material. That isn’t only in terms of the material’s hue. The lining material is available in a wide range of colors to complement your outfit.

The fabric is then usually of high quality and has more body than polyester. It’s also quite soft when you put your clothes on. This lining’s attractiveness is more in accordance with the color scheme, but its feel adds to that beauty.

When you use this cloth as a lining fabric, your arms and legs should be able to glide on and off with ease. Although this fabric is affordable, it will not give the impression that you saved a few cents when used to build a lovely coat or dress.

Is Acetate Fabric-Safe?

Not at all. That is true for a variety of reasons. Before we get to those reasons, the clothing material is safe up to a point, and you’d have to make a silly move, for example, to fully expose its riskier side.

It is not a safe substance for several reasons, one of which is that it can melt on you. Not when you’re wearing it, but while it’s being washed, dried, and ironed at incredibly high temperatures. When it comes to laundering acetate, extreme caution is required.

Another reason it isn’t regarded safe is because of all the chemicals used in its manufacture, as well as the compounds added to give it some of its beneficial properties. Because these compounds are not non-toxic, you should limit how often you use them.

The final argument is that this material isn’t completely fireproof. Even a spark from a fire might cause it to burn or melt.

Acetate Fabric Price

Depending on who is selling the fabric, the price will vary. Some of this fabric has been as little as $5 per yard, while lining fabric has been as high as $20 per yard.

Then there were the prices in the middle. You’d get a better deal if you bought in bulk, but you’d have to buy a lot to justify the low price. Some of the pricing per yard were little over $1.

Shopping around and comparing pricing is the best option. Some fabric stores send out coupons, so look for and use them when purchasing your acetate fabric. Look for closeout sales to further reduce your expenses.

Can You Wash Acetate Fabric?

It’s possible, but because acetate is such a fragile fabric, the care label will almost certainly state “dry clean only.” However, you’d have to look at a variety of acetate garments to determine if that is a regular instruction.

Dry clean only products can always be washed by hand. However, you should be cautious about the volume and temperature of water you use. Hang drying is the greatest option if you employ this technique.

It’s not that you can’t use your dryer; this material dries quickly, and hanging dry all of these items will save you money on your power bill. When it states dry clean only, dry cleaning is usually the best option. Taking extra precautions protects both you and your clothes budget.

Acetate Fabric Characteristics, Uses, Examples, and Care

How to Wash Acetate Fabric

This is a delicate fabric with a high risk of tearing. That means that when cleaning your clothing, for example, you should be gentle. Hand washing is the safest option, but only if done without agitation or kneading.

The first step is to turn on your cold water faucet and run it through the material. There’s no need to knead or do anything more but move the blouse, etc., so the water runs through all of the components.

Fill the tub with a mild or gentle laundry soap that is dye-free and fragrance-free. Simply soak the item in soapy water, gently agitate it, and then rinse the soap away.

Repeat this process two or three times more, then allow the material to drip dry for a few minutes. To dry, lay flat on a towel. At some point, you may need to change towels and turn the clothing over. The towel should be placed somewhere warm, airy, and dry.

How to Iron Acetate Fabric

This is doable, but the material is flammable. That is to say, you should not spend too much time in any one location. You should also avoid pressing too hard because the fabric is still delicate.

Set your iron to a very low temperature because too much heat might melt the material in addition to burning it. Turn the garment inside out and press it with a pressing cloth. Before you begin ironing, the fabric should still be moist.

The pressing cloth is optional and ideally used on the exterior of the fabric, but it is useful on both sides. Ironing this material is as simple as that. The idea is to keep your iron temperature low and watch your heat levels.

Can You Steam Acetate Fabric?

The preferred method for eliminating creases from this cloth appears to be steaming. Just keep an eye on how hot the steam gets, since you don’t want to damage any of the shirt’s components. Before applying steam, keep the wand moving or lift your iron off the fabric.

There are other ways to deal with wrinkles using steam and your iron, but these are the best. You can hang the clothing while waiting for the steam to do its work with a steamer.

A word of caution: do not over steam the fabric because it is still delicate and even too much steam can harm it. Play by ear and keep an eye out for melting.

Can You Bleach Acetate Fabric?

This stage of the laundry cycle appears to be doable to complete. However, you must keep an eye on the PH levels. These values cannot exceed 9.0. You can use any type of bleach you like, from hydrogen peroxide to oxygen bleach, but as with any other cloth, test it first to be sure it won’t harm it.

Clorox has stated that ordinary leach can be used, however this could be a biased statement intended to keep the product on the market. Clorox2 stain remover and color enhancer were also advised.

Instead, you might go natural and use hydrogen peroxide or another solution you can discover on the internet. Bleach is dangerous for delicate fabrics like acetate.

How to Whiten Acetate Fabric

Using warm water in the washer and adding the Clorox stain remover and color enhancer is one option. This is due to the fact that this is one of the safer options to employ. It’s an extremely gentle oxygen bleach.

You can soak the fabric in a solution of ordinary bleach and cold water for around 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water and repeat with washing detergent and bleach.

Bleach is known to destroy sensitive fabrics, so proceed with caution and don’t soak the garment too long. Keep an eye on the garment and be prepared to remove it if something goes wrong.

How to Unshrink Acetate Fabric

You can try to unshrink this material using your iron. It worked on rayon, and this material is very similar to it. However, it is nearly impossible to unshrink an in-between or synthetic cloth once it has been shrunk.

Then, in order to shrink acetate that resists shrinking, you’d have to do something spectacular. The cloth will not be repairable if it has melted. Melted fibers cannot be repaired and are permanently damaged.

You can also try line drying the cloth to see if hanging it by its threads relaxes it enough to return to its natural shape. Don’t hold your breath, though. You never know what kind of effect you’ll obtain while working with these materials.

Can Acetate Fabric be Dyed?

It can, but don’t expect it to respond well to dyes designed for natural materials such as wool or cotton. The issue is that the dispersed dye you need to use requires extremely hot water to work.

While changing the color of your fabric, the warmth of the water may cause it to melt. It’s difficult to say because various people have different outcomes. After the operation is completed, you must immediately rinse with cold water. This will swiftly chill the fabric and protect it from harm.

Finding some scrap acetate and testing it out before submerging the genuine garment is the best option.

Some Final Words

Acetate fabric was created in the nineteenth century to assist replace silk, simulate its beneficial qualities, and reduce the cost of clothes. However, the end result was a delicate substance that can be quickly damaged if not handled carefully. On the plus side, it feels like silk and is available in a variety of hues.

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