Rayon is an artificial fiber that looks similar to silk but costs lower than silk. This is the first man made successful artificial silk of cellulose fiber. Since it is produced from natural polymers, it is neither synthetic nor a natural fiber and can be called as a semi-synthetic fiber. It is the one among the high luster quality fabrics which exhibit maximum sheen.
Rayon is used to manufacture many apparels, furnishings, for filling Zippo lighters, and for some industrial purposes. It is a multi faced fiber which exhibits the same properties of the natural fibers. It is soft, smooth, comfortable, highly absorbent, but do not insulate body heat, making it ideal for the use in hot climates. The fibers of rayon are easily dyed. These fibers are engineered to possess great range of properties to meet the demands of the users.
They are two important varieties of rayon. One is the high wet modulus rayon and the other is the polynosic rayon.
High Wet Modulus Rayon: These fibers are used in the making of parachutes and other industrial purposes. They have high wet modules of about 1 g/den.
Polynosic Rayon: These fibers are made with a high degree of orientation by high stretching during the processing itself. They have some unique qualities such as the fibrillar structure, high dry and wet strength, low elongation, relatively low water retention and very high wet modules.
The durability and the lowest elastic property of this fiber made it so popular and it is recommended to go for a dry wash for this fabric.