Last modified on
APR 7/19



Cellulose is an organic compound and the structural component of most green plants. It is composed of the three elements: carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. In general, its chemical formula is C6H6O5. For example, cotton contains 82.7% of cellulose, ramie - 68.6%, hemp - 67%.

Cellulose WOODEN SUN, Photography © Irene & Mr. Sheep Co.   Rayon is produced from naturally occurring polymers, and is called an artificial silk. It is not a synthetic fiber, but a manufactured regenerated cellulosic fiber.
Rayon is very versatile and has the same comfort properties as other natural fibers: it can imitate the feel and texture of silk, wool, cotton and linen. Rayon fabrics are soft, smooth, cool, comfortable, and highly absorbent, but they do not insulate body heat making them ideal for use in hot and humid climates.

Viscose: Georges Audemars developed the first rayon fibre around 1855, but his method was impractical for commercial use. Hilaire de Charbonnet, Comte de Chardonnay, patented "Chardonnay silk" in 1884, but it was so flammable it had no safe use.
Finally, in 1894, Charles Frederick Cross, Edward John Bevan, and Clayton Beadle patented the first safe and practical artificial silk, which they named "viscose".
Avtex Fibers Incorporated began selling their formulation in 1910 in the US.

What is Tencel? Lyocell is an eco-friendly fiber made from wood pulp cellulose as well as Viscose and Rayon. It was first manufactured in 1988 by Courtaulds Fibres UK at their pilot plant S25. The only current manufacturer in the United States is Lenzing Inc, who market it under the trademarked brand name Tencel. - Reference: Lenzing Fibers Inc. » What is Cupro? Cupro is a regenerated cellulose fiber, soft, strong and silky, produced by treating cotton cellulose with cuprammonium salts. It is also called Cuprammonium Rayon. Cupro was first made in 1890s in Japan and Italy.

Trade names are used within the rayon industry to determine the type of rayon used: • BEMBERG, for example, is a trade name for cupramonium rayon that is only produced in Italy. • MODAL is a widely used form of rayon produced by Lenzing Fibers Corp. which is based in northern Austria. Galaxy, Danufil, and Viloft are rayon brands produced by Kelheim Fibres, a German manufacturer. • GRASIM(India) is the largest producer of rayon in the world (claiming 24% market share).
More information about rayon fiber and its production: » Lenzing Fibers »

The natural cellulosic fibers are also Cotton, Flax, Hemp, Nettels, Bamboo, Sugarcane, Jute, Ramie, and many other.

Rayon Rayon Viscose Rayon Rayon

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