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Rayon

Rayon is a transparent fibre made of processed cellulose. Cellulose fibres from wood or cotton are dissolved in alkali to make a solution called viscose, which is then extruded through a nozzle, or spinneret, into an acid bath to reconvert the viscose into cellulose. A similar process, using a slit instead of a hole, is used to make cellophane.

Rayon was originally named artificial silk or wood silk, but the name rayon was created in 1924. Unlike nylon, rayon absorbs water, making it more comfortable to wear as a clothing textile.

As well as viscose rayon, there are other types such as anitrocellulose rayon, developed in 1891 but discontinued because of its high flammability, and cuprammonium rayon, developed in 1890, which closely resembles silk.



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