Acetate in fashion is a type of fiber or fabric, made of cellulose taken from wood pulps.

Acetate was invented in Germany in 1869.

During the beginning of the 20th century the pair of swiss scientists and brothers, Camille and Henri Dreyfus, started to work on acetate fibers in Basel, Switzerland.

The research had to be stopped due to WWI and acetate started to be used as airplane varnish for British and French fleets.

In 1920 the acetate fiber was created by the company British Celanese Ltd. in the U.K. using the Dreyfus method.

Acetate flakes are generated by a reaction of the wood pulp to a variety of acetic acids, the flakes then are dissolved in a solvent, and then passed through a spinneret, as the solvent evaporates.

The acetate fiber can be mixed with other types of fibers such as cotton and silk, to create a different fabric.

To be mass produced chemists had to dye the fabric. In the beginning some fumes and pollutants caused the fabric to fade and discolor. Some acetate fabrics still discolor when exposed to pollutants.

It’s commonly used as lingeries, blouses, dresses and some knitwear garments.


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Bibliography: Callan, Georgina O’Hara; Enciclopédia da moda de 1840 à década de 90 / Georgina O’Hara Callan ; verbetes brasileiros Cynthia Garcia : tradução Glória Maria de Mello Carvalho, Maria Ignez França – São Paulo : Companhia das Letras, 2007.

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