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HomeFabric InformationAcetate Fabric & Viscose Fabrics

Acetate Fabric & Viscose Fabric Information






Acetate was one of the first man-made fibers, developed by Doctors Camille and Henri Dreyfus, two Swiss brother based in Basel, Switzerland. Initially focusing on cellulose acetate for use in motion picture film, the brothers developed a workable fiber in 1913. The first commercial acetate threads were spun in the United States in 1924 and trademarked under the name Celanese.


The material is derived from cotton or wood pulp cellulose, and through a process of acid treatments and hydrolysis, cellulose acetate is achieved. The compound is then dissolved in acetone and results in viscose resin, which is then pushed through a spinneret and emerges as filaments. In the final step of the process, the acetone solvent is evaporated through dry spinning, leaving the acetate fibers remaining. Synthetic fabrics derived from organic material have fallen from prominence, however, since the more recent emergence of readily available and less expensive petroleum-based synthetics.


Viscose and acetate fabrics are renowned for their slick and slippery textures and luxurious shine. Acetate for use in clothing is also known as rayon, and has the breathability of cotton blended with the supple feel of luxurious silk. Viscose, when combined with a variety of other components, is also used in medical devices as cellulose xanthe and as the translucent wrapping material known as cellophane.


The elegant drape of the material lends itself to beautiful accent pieces for garments as well as chic bedding and home décor. Acetate is often used in bridal party attire due to its splendid shine, while viscose jersey material is a wrinkle-resistant form of the material commonly found in athletic jerseys and other flowing garments. Care for the fabric is dependant on the specific variety, as some require dry cleaning while others are machine washable.