World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Art silk

Article Id: WHEBN0014100331
Reproduction Date:

Title: Art silk  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Fiber, Cellulose fiber, Textile manufacturing, Silk, Synthetic fibers
Collection: Cellulose, Organic Polymers, Silk, Synthetic Fibers, Woven Fabrics
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Art silk

Artificial silk or (as the term is used in the textile industry) art silk is any synthetic fiber which resembles silk, but typically costs less to produce. Frequently, "artificial silk" is just a synonym for rayon.[1] When made out of bamboo viscose it is also sometimes called bamboo silk.[2]

A woman wearing a Utility rayon shirt dress with front-buttoning, 1943

The first successful artificial silks were developed in the 1890s of cellulose fiber and marketed as art silk or viscose, a trade name for a specific manufacturer.[3] In 1924, the name of the fiber was officially changed in the U.S. to rayon, although the term viscose continued to be used in Europe. The material is commonly referred to in the industry as viscose rayon.[4]

In 1931, Henry Ford hired chemists Robert Boyer and Frank Calvert to produce artificial silk made with soybean fibers. They succeeded in making a textile fiber of spun soy protein fibers, hardened or tanned in a formaldehyde bath, which was given the name Azlon. It was usable in the making of suits, felt hats, and overcoats. Though pilot production of Azlon reached 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) per day in 1940, it never reached the commercial market; Du Pont's nylon was the winner in the quest to produce artificial silk.

Although not sold under the name art silk initially, nylon, the first synthetic fiber, was developed in the United States in the late 1930s and used as a replacement for Japanese silk during World War II. Its properties are far superior to rayon and silk when wet, and so it was used for many military applications, such as parachutes. Although nylon is not a good substitute for silk fabric in appearance, it is a successful functional alternative. Du Pont's original plans for nylon to become a cheaper and superior replacement for silk stockings[5] were soon realized,[6] then redirected for military use[7][8] just two years later during World War II. Nylon became a prominent industrial fiber in a short time frame, permanently replacing silk in many applications.

In the present day, imitation silk may be made with rayon,[9] mercerized cotton,[10] polyester,[11] a blend of these materials, or a blend of rayon and silk.

Despite a generally similar appearance, genuine silk has unique features that are distinguishable from artificial silk. However, in some cases art silk can be passed off as real silk to unwary buyers. A number of tests are available to determine a fabric's basic fiber makeup, some of which can be performed prior to purchasing a fabric whose composition is questionable. Tests include rubbing the pile in your hand, burning a small piece of the fringe to smell the ash and smell the smoke and dissolving the pile by performing a chemical test.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Is Your Silk Oriental Rug Made of Real Silk?". Jacobsen rugs. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  2. ^ Stefan Anitei (April 18, 2008). "Bamboo Silk could be the Textile of the Future".  
  3. ^ "A Short History of Manufactured Fibers". Archived from the original on 11 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  4. ^ "Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet: Rayon—The Multifaceted Fiber". Archived from the original on 6 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  5. ^ See Du Pont's Press release on Nylon in 1938 which claimed nylon was "strong as steel" and the "first man-made organic textile prepared from raw materials of the mineral kingdom."
  6. ^ May 27, 1940, pp. 65-66.Newsweek,"Nylon Sellout,"
  7. ^ , August 9, 1941.Business Week"Stocking Panic,"
  8. ^ , February 7, 1942.Business Week"Hosiery Woes,"
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^

External links

The burn test and other methods for fiber identification:

    • Fiber Content Tests
    • Is Your Silk Oriental Rug Made of Real Silk?
    • Fabric Identification

See The Stocking Story: You Be the Historian at the Smithsonian website.

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.