Man-made or Synthetic fibres
Man-made fibres can be classified into two main headings -
1. The cellulose-based fibres: made from cellulose which is obtained from cotton linters or wood pulp for example viscose rayon, acetate.
2. Non-cellulose man-made or synthetic fibres: made entirely from mineral substances such as coal and petroleum for example nylon, polyester, acrylics, etc.
Viscose rayon is made by treating wood pulp or cotton linters with certain chemicals. It is therefore called regenerated cellulose fibre. There are other types of rayon such as cuprammonium rayon.
1. The cellulose (wood pulp or cotton linters) is first purified.
2. The cellulose is then treated with the right chemicals. It is changed into a thick liquid.
3. The liquid is then forced through a nozzle containing many fine holes called a spinneret. The rayon filaments or fibres are produced.
Characteristics or properties of viscose rayon:
- It is absorbent.
- it is soft and drapes well.
- it is not very strong especially when wet.
- it creases easily.
- it is cool to wear.
- it has smooth surface.
- it resembles silk in appearance only.
- it dyes well.
- it is not easily attacked by mildew.
- it is mothproof.
Uses of viscose rayon:
Viscose rayon is used for bedsheets, bed-covers, home furnishings, table-cover, underwears, dresses, etc.