Free «Rayon» Essay


Rayon is a fabric that is categorically the oldest in terms of manufacture since the inception of the process in 1880s. The manufacture of the fabric was first done in France where it was meant to serve as a cheaper substitute for silk. The synthesis of Rayon entails the employment of natural polymers through the process of regeneration of cellulose from wood pulp. This makes the fabric semi-synthetic referred to as art silk or alternatively as viscose rayon. The first commercial exploitation of the fabric began in 1920 when a firm known as Du Pont Chemicals purchased rights to its mass production elevating the fabric to a household product (Kadolph & Langford, 2004).

Rayon fabrics are cheap, easy to dye and highly absorbent. It possesses high luster hence the fabric is known for its bright sheen. Rayon is comfortable against the skin given its soft, and smooth without providing body insulation. This makes it appropriate to be worn in hot and humid areas since it is also absorbent. However, it has negative attributes which include: poor aging by yellowing and formation of pill. In addition, rayon fabrics tend to develop roughness in regions around where the fabric is subjected to a lot of wear (Salusso & LaBat , 2003).

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Rayon has a broad spectrum of applications in the fashion industry. It is used in the making of apparels that include: shirts, neck ties, skirts, hats, lingerie socks, jackets, and linings. Other uses include making of furnishings: upholstery, drapes, bed sheets and blankets.. Its versatility is demonstrated through appearance of the rayon in two forms: knitted and woven. The fabric has been devalued due to its mass production making it cheap and it used in making cheap garments. The upside of rayon is its applicability in fashion design is very pertinent. It is an ideal silk substitute due to its perfect draping qualities hence its use in flowing garments as well as evening gowns and other aforementioned apparels. A blend of Rayon with other synthetic fibers imparts properties limiting them to specific applications with specific handling properties (Kadolph & Langford, 2004).

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The production process of Rayon is a convoluted and very intricate chemical process. Methods of its production include: Nitrocellulose, the acetate, the cuprammonium and viscose methodsToxic chemicals such as carbon disulphide are incorporated in the process and the by-products of the process are negatively impacting the environment. Air polluting substances and effluents emanating from Rayon factories are posing a threat to the environment. There are alternative fabrics that such as silk that follow a shorter production process that ameliorates the effect of pollution on the environment by fabric factories. The bio-degradability of rayon is the best when compared to cotton and acetate. However, pure rayon repels water curtailing its bio-degradability property (Park et al..,, 2004).

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