How is rayon different from cotton?
Rayon is a regenerated fiber or semi-synthetic fiber that is manufactured from cellulosic fiber especially from the woof pulp. After the cost of cotton increased dramatically, there was an increasing demand for rayon fabric. Being a synthetic fiber, rayon was developed to overcome the disadvantages of natural fibers. Rayon is a versatile fiber and has all the properties that are possessed by any natural fibers like cotton, wool and silk. Sometimes it is also called artificial silk. Rayon is much softer than cotton and it does not build static electricity.
Rayon is considered to have good breathability than cotton as it absorbs more sweat and water keeping the body of the wearer cool. Hence it has a similar cooling effect as that of cotton and is a great fabric for humid climates. Rayon is a non-insulating fabric that has a great dyeing ability. Hence, rayon can be dyed into a variety of colors. Rayon is a more flexible fabric than cotton and as we know the high flexibility of fabric increases its fluidity and the ability to drape. One of the drawbacks of Rayon is that the strength of rayon decreases when it’s wet while it’s completely opposite in cotton fabric, which gains strength when wet. Although the dry strength of rayon is more than that of cotton fiber.
Considering the sustainable point, both viscose rayon and modal rayon fiber are not environment-friendly fibers. The manufacturing of these fibers follows a linear manufacturing system which means that the end life of this fiber is either sent to landfills or they are thrown away polluting nature. It’s processing also uses a lot of harmful chemicals which may result in a lot of health problems including skin related disease, verve strokes, etc. Not only the manufacturing process is a toxic process for humans but the end life of this fiber is also toxic for the environment, plants and animals.