Friday, November 27, 2020

Rayon shirt

Rayon shirt 

Rayon, acetate, and lyocell are all regenerated cellulose fibers. They originate from chemical treatment of natural materials. The materials most often used are cotton fibers too short to spin into yarns or wood chips. The Federal Trade Commission establishes generic categories of fibers for regulation and labeling purposes. The generic classification "rayon" includes several variants. Viscose rayon is the most common form. A variation of viscose, high-wet-modulus rayon was produced in 1955 with trade names of Avril and Zantrel as a modification to generate high strength, reduce elongation, and improve washability of rayon. Cuprammonium rayon is subjected to slightly different processing. U.S. cuprammonium production ceased in 1975, but it is still produced in Japan (FiberSource Web site; Kadolph and Langford 2001).

The First Manufactured Fiber

Rayon, the earliest manufactured fiber, was first patented in 1855 by the Swiss chemist Georges Audemars. It was called "artificial silk." Sir Joseph Swan, an English chemist, was inspired by Thomas Edison's incandescent electric lamp to experiment with extruding Audemars's cellulose solution through fine holes into a coagulating bath in order to create filaments for the electric light. His fibers were used in Edison's invention as well as for an 1885 exhibition of textiles his wife crocheted from his new fiber. "Artificial silk" was also exhibited at the Paris Exhibition in 1889 by the French chemist Count Hilaire de Chardonnet who is known as the "father of the rayon industry" because he built the first plant for commercial production of "Chardonnet silk" in Besancon, France.

Production of Rayon

The French chemist Louis-Henri Despeissis patented cuprammonium rayon producing what he called "Bemberg silk" as early as 1908. A British silk company, Samuel Courtaulds and Company, Ltd., began production of a rayon known as viscose rayon in 1905 and by 1911 helped start American Viscose Corporation in the United States (FiberSource Web site; Encyclopaedia Britannica 2003). Some researchers theorize that getting access to the science of producing rayon was such a benefit for the United States that it contributed to American involvement in World War I (Clairmonte and Cavanagh 1981).

Characteristics of Rayon, Acetate and Lyocell Textiles

Rayon and lyocell have high absorbency, low heat retention, and soft, non-irritating surfaces that make them comfortable next to the skin in warm weather. Both can also be manipulated to emulate the aesthetic character of cotton, wool, silk, and linen. Additionally, lyocell has the capacity to simulate the aesthetics of silk, suede, and leather. By contrast, acetate has more heat retention and less absorbency and is subject to static electricity build-up.

Viscose rayon and lyocell tend to be produced as staple (short) fibers and thereby have a textured surface that softens light reflectance. Acetate fibers are typically produced as filament fibers, and as a result acetate is more successful in simulating the luster and body of silk in such fabrics as taffeta and satin. Both rayon and lyocell dye easily although color will fade over time and with abrasion. Acetate was difficult to dye and subject to fading until synthetic solution dyes were developed to solve this problem. Acetate now is produced in a wide color range and color stability is good when fabrics are exposed to sunlight, perspiration, air pollution, and cleaning. Acetate is dissolved by fingernail polish remover containing acetone and is damaged by extended exposure to sunlight.

Unless it is the high wet modulus type, rayon has poor durability and resiliency. Rayon and acetate perform better if dry-cleaned than if laundered because they are weaker when wet. Acetate also has poor abrasion resistance and is sensitive to chemicals. While rayon may shrink or be distorted after laundering unless given special finishes, acetate is dimensionally stable. Lyocell is much stronger when wet than rayon or acetate and is considered to have good durability and dimensional stability. Resiliency is better than either rayon or acetate. Lyocell can be successfully washed by using the gentle cycle and can be pressed with a warm iron. Wrinkle-resistant treatments do not greatly affect strength. Lyocell has potential to fibrillate, which results in a fuzzy appearance on the surface. This is beneficial for a textured surface but makes the fabric subject to abrasion damage. New variations developed to lower fibrillation contribute to the versatility of this promising textile. Lyocell is often manufactured in microfiber (ultrafine) form to enhance the extremely soft feel and drape.

A major concern with acetate is its reaction to heat and to fire. While acetate wrinkles easily, it fuses and melts if ironed at high temperatures. Acetate also burns readily, as do all cellulosics, but spits molten pieces while burning that melt and fuse to the skin. Acetate is mildew and insect resistant. (FiberSource Web site; Kadolph and Langford 2001; Collier and Tortora 2000).

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