What is Regenerated Cellulose Fibre? Its Applications and Examples

Viscose regenerated cellulose fibre

Regenerated Cellulose Fibres:

Regenerated cellulosic fibres are produced by transforming natural cellulose into a soluble derivative, followed by its regeneration into fibrous form. Sources of cellulose for this purpose encompass bamboo, cotton linters, and other plant materials abundant in cellulose content. They are called “regenerated cellulosic fibres” due to the combination of the natural raw cellulosic material and the chemical manufacturing process that breaks down the cellulose so it can be “regenerated” into a fibre from the original pulp.

They are neither a truly synthetic fibre, in the sense of synthetics coming from petroleum, nor are they natural fibres, in the sense of processing fibres that are produced directly from plants or animals (such as wool). So, regenerated cellulose fibres are categorized as semi-synthetic fibre. 

Regenerated cellulose fibers like rayon are valued for their softness, comfort, and versatility. They can be manufactured to mimic the feel and texture of natural fibers like cotton, silk, or wool, making them suitable for a wide range of applications including clothing, home textiles, medical supplies, and industrial uses. Additionally, they are often considered more sustainable than synthetic fibers like polyester or nylon because they are derived from renewable resources, although the manufacturing process may involve chemicals that need careful management to minimize environmental impact.

Example of regenerated cellulose fibres:

  • Rayon - Rayon is a generic term for any regenerated cellulose fiber
  • Viscose
  • Modal
  • Lyocell (Brand name - Tencell/Lenzing AG) 
  • Bamboo fibre is a regenerated cellulosic fibre produced from bamboo.
  • Cupro - Cupro is a regenerated cellulosic fibre, manufactured using a similar process to viscose, but using 100% cotton linters, a pre-consumer residue of the cotton processing.

Regenerated cellulosic fibres have physical and chemical properties similar to cotton, and so, find uses where water absorbency and skin comfort are desirable. 

Application of regenerated cellulose fibres:

  1. Healthcare/hygiene products - Key applications for regenerated cellulosic fibres are in the hygiene, wipes, and incontinence sector.
  2. Food packaging - Regenerated cellulose films are used in food packaging.
  3. Clothes - Used in making clothes and garments.

Cellulose Fibres

Cellulose fiber refers to fibers that are naturally occurring and derived directly from plants or other biological sources. Examples include cotton, jute, hemp, and flax.

Read the difference between cellulose fibres and regenerated cellulose fibres.

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Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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