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Thread: Viscose Acetate

  1. #1
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    Viscose Acetate

    I just received a utility kilt made from Viscose Acetate, not the Poly Viscose made by Marton Mills. Except for being a little on the light/thin side (maybe equivalent to 9/10 ounce?), I have to say that the colors and sett of the Royal Stewart matches my wool kilts from the 1950s/60s better than any of the acrylic/cheap wool kilts I have seen. The feel of the fabric is very much like my older wool kilts, other than the fact that it is thinner. There aren't may tartans available in this material from what I see, but I'm anxious to see how well it holds up.

    Other than being made "elsewhere", what are the issues with this material? I've searched the forum and about the only thing I can find are statements similar to "it's not Poly Viscose," but that doesn't really explain what's "wrong" with it.

    Thanks!

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    From what I know, the possible issues will depend on the variety of viscose acetate used and how well it is woven. Viscose acetate can go from smooth as silk to compared to wool. Some verities do not hold pleats and hardly ever wrinkle, yet I think that is normally the lighter verities that are compared to silk. Weaving quality will depend on where it was woven. Either way I would expect it to age better then woven acrylic and am interested in hearing how it holds up in the long run compared to the wool kilts you mentioned. I am often interested in learning how new kilt materials hold up over time. So far wool and PV from Marton Mills seem to be the best, but one day someone might find something else that works at least as good.

    This site has some background information on the material:
    https://www.nyfashioncenterfabrics.c...iscose-fabrics

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    Thanks for the article... The Celanese plant is 20 miles from where I live, but I didn't really know the process.

    I found the third paragraph interesting:
    Viscose and acetate fabrics are renowned for their slick and slippery textures and luxurious shine. Acetate for use in clothing is also known as rayon, and has the breathability of cotton blended with the supple feel of luxurious silk. Viscose, when combined with a variety of other components, is also used in medical devices as cellulose xanthe and as the translucent wrapping material known as cellophane.

    From what everyone has said before, Viscose = rayon, but this says Acetate = rayon. Now I'm really confused... That would mean Viscose Acetate is rayon rayon.

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    There is the issue of flammability with some fabrics. Here is a link to the results of a study on different fabrics and the types of uses.

    https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/v...=extensionhist

    I find newer man-made products have questionable standards that the public should be aware of. I hope this is not the case with your kilt.

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    Please define "questionable standards."

    The flammability is certainly interesting, but I don't smoke, so there's little chance of that being an issue.

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    OK, Here are some facts about the three most common synthetic fabrics we see as listed in kilts.

    The term "Viscose" as we use it in reference to kilts is what in the US is called 'Rayon". It is a cellulose plant fiber spun into yarn.

    The chemical formula for Viscose is (C6H10O5)n.
    Flash point is 750-880°F or 260-300°C

    From Barnhardt Cotton -

    There is some confusion between the two terms Viscose and Rayon. Viscose is actually a type of rayon, even though “viscose,””viscose rayon,” and “rayon” are often used interchangeably. What started as “artificial silk” in the late 19th century became known as rayon in 1924, with the name “viscose” coming from “a viscous organic liquid used to make both rayon and cellophane.” Per Swicofil.com, rayon is “the generic term for fiber (and the resulting yarn and fabric) manufactured from regenerated cellulose by any one of six processes.” Keep in mind that modal and lyocell, along with viscose, are also considered types of rayon.



    Acetate

    Chemical formula = CH3COO(-) or C2H3O2(-) or C2H3O2
    Flash point is variable depending on the type. Usually about 450-575°F or 230-300°C

    An Acetate is a salt formed by the combination of acetic acid with an alkaline, earthy, or metallic base. So it is not a single compound. You can have an Aluminum Acetate or Ammonium Acetate and Potassium Acetate.
    Acetate fibers are another form of Cellulose It was first prepared in 1865. It has been used as a film base and as a frame material for eyeglasses. It is also used in the manufacture of cigarette filters and and even playing cards. Cellulose acetate is what replaced nitrate movie film in the 1950s as less flammable and cheaper.



    Acrylic

    Chemical formula CH2=CHCOOH. It is the simplest unsaturated carboxylic acid.
    Flash point is 154°F or 68°C

    From Dupont Corp. -

    Dupont created the first acrylic fibers in 1941 and trademarked them under the name Orlon. It was first developed in the mid-1940s but was not produced in large quantities until the 1950s. Strong and warm, acrylic fiber is often used for sweaters and tracksuits and as linings for boots and gloves, as well as in furnishing fabrics and carpets. It is manufactured as a filament, then cut into short staple lengths similar to wool hairs, and spun into yarn.
    You can have an Acrylic Acetate.

    Strangely Acrylic fibers have the potential to be the closest to wool of all other synthetics. But the fibers must be 'worsted' in the same way wool is and unfortunatly most of the Acrylic fibers used in the middle east are not treated this way.
    Steve Ashton
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirkomatic View Post
    Please define "questionable standards."
    The flammability is certainly interesting.
    I take into account that some members will wear a kilt in all types of environments. Consider an stray spark from a campfire landing on a kilt that may weld a bit of kilt to a leg (or other sensitive body part). I also don't know what effect an iron on a quick home pressing may do to this material.

    My son was a infant when the whole child-proof fabrics issue came to light. I always consider the safety of the public as well as quality attire.

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    In the sewing world we will often use a burn test or flame test to determine the fiber content of a fabric.

    Here are the results of a burn test.

    Reaction of Fibers to the Burn Test

    Cotton is a cellulose fiber. It burns and may flare up when lit. No melted bead is left by it. After burning, it continues to glow. It gives out smell like that of a burning paper. The smoke is gray or white. The ash is fine, soft that can be easily crumbled.

    Hemp is a cellulose fiber, burns quickly with bright flame. It leaves no melted bead and after burning no sign of flame is seen but it does not melts. It smells like burning leaves or wood. The ash is gray and smoke has no fume hazard.

    Jute is also a cellulose fiber, doesn't shrink from flame. Other characteristics are similar to those of hemp fabric.

    Linen (Flax) also cellulose fiber, it takes longer to ignite. It is easily extinguished by blowing on it. Other properties are similar to hemp and jute.

    Rayon is a manufactured cellulose fiber. It burns without flame or melting and may flare up. Unless there is a fabric finish, it doesn't leave any bead. After the flame is removed, it may glow a bit longer than cotton. It smells like burning paper and leaves soft, gray ash. It's smoke is a little hazardous.

    Silk is a protein fiber which burns slowly and curls away from the flame. It leaves dark bead which can be easily crushed. It is self-extinguishing and leaves ash that is dark, gritty, fine powder. It smells like burned hair or charred meat. It gives out a little or no smoke and the fume has no hazard.

    Wool is a protein fiber which burns slowly. It sizzles and curls away from flame and may curl back onto fingernail. It leaves beads that are brittle, dark, and easily crushed. It is self-extinguishing and leaves harsh ash from crushed bead. It gives out a strong odor of burning hair or feathers. It gives out dark smoke and moderate fume.

    Acetate, Triacetate Is a protein fiber which burns quickly and can flare even after flame is removed. The bead is hard, brittle, and can't be crushed. It melts into very hot bead and drips very dangerously. No ash is left by it and the smell is like hot vinegar or burning pepper. It gives out black smoke and the fume is hazardous.

    Nylon, Polymide are made from petroleum. Due to their fabric finish, they quickly burn and shrink to flame. The beads are hard, grayish and uncrushable. After flame, they burn slowly and melt. They are self-extinguishing but drip dangerously. Their odor is like celery and they leave no ash but the fume is very hazardous.

    Polyester is a polymer produced from coal, air, water, and petroleum products. It burns quickly and shrinks away from flame, may also flare up. It leaves hard, dark, and round beads. After the flame, it burns slowly and is not always self-extinguishing. It has a slightly sweet chemical odor. It leaves no ash but its black smoke and fume are hazardous.

    Acrylic, Modacrylic, Polyacrylic are made from natural gas and petroleum, they flare up at match-touch, shrink from flame, burn rapidly with hot sputtering flame and drip dangerously. Beads are hard, dark, and with irregular shapes. They continue melting after flame is removed and are self-extinguishing. When burning, they give out strong acrid, fishy odor. Although no ash is left but their black smoke and fume are hazardous.
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner

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  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    I take into account that some members will wear a kilt in all types of environments. Consider an stray spark from a campfire landing on a kilt that may weld a bit of kilt to a leg (or other sensitive body part). I also don't know what effect an iron on a quick home pressing may do to this material.

    My son was a infant when the whole child-proof fabrics issue came to light. I always consider the safety of the public as well as quality attire.
    I opted for a PV kilt for my first kilt rather than acrylic based on the fact that I do enjoy the occasional cigar or pipe and was concerned about the flammability of the acrylic. My second kilt is a polyester and wool blend which I also chose, in part, based on relative flammability.

    In both cases, other items which influenced my choice were, cost (of course), sizing options, vendor location (physical) and presence on XMarks.

    With regard to ironing - I've given a light press with, on the advice from many on this site) a damp, lightweight towel between the iron and the kilt - iron set to cotton or a little below. It seems to work well and only takes a few moments.
    At a time like this one must ask themselves, 'WWJDD"
    What Would Jimmy Durante Do?

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