Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fabric term of the week: Manufactured fiber

Many people want to know when fabrics were first available, especially those that were newly created in the 20th century.

I used quite a few sources to come up with these dates, and found there is some discrepancy, but I believe it should help with dating items.

For more specific information about the history of each of the manufactured fibers, including the date of invention, go to each of the fabrics by name.

Manufactured fiber 

Formerly known as man-made fiber, manufactured fiber is defined as “any fiber derived by a process of manufacture from any substance which, at any point in the manufacturing process, is not a fiber.” (Textile Fiber Products Identification Act, 1960) 
Manufactured fibers include those regenerated from natural materials, synthetic fibers and inorganic fibers. 
Regenerated fibers include those based on cellulose (rayon, acetate, triacetate) and protein-based fibers (azlon). 
Synthetics include acrylic, modacrylic, nylon, olefin, polyester, spandex and vinyon
Inorganic fibers include ceramic, glass and metallic fibers.  

Timeline of first commercial use of manufactured fibers 
1905 rayon in the U.K.
1910 rayon in the U.S.
1918 acetate in the U.K. (called celanese)
1924 acetate in the U.S. (trademarked Celanese)
1939 nylon
1939 vinyon
1950 acrylic
1953 polyester
1953 acetate and rayon given separate groupings by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission
1954 triacetate
Late 50s Modal
1959 Spandex
1961 Olefin
1993 Lyocell

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