Viscose rayon (artificial silk), 1896-1900.

Image number: 10276816

Viscose rayon (artificial silk), 1896-1900.

Six skeins and one spool of Chardonnet silk made at Wolston, near Coventry, under Count Hilaire de Chardonnet's (1839-1934) supervision. Chardonnet's artificial silk was based on cellulose nitrate. The product was very attractive, and when exhibited at the Paris Exhibition of 1889 it gained the Grand Prix. The major flaw was its flammability, as initially the thread was not denitrated and eventually production was banned in France. Chardonnet then opted for Swan's denitration process. Unfortunately this process weakened the fibres making them brittle.

Image number:
10276816
Credit:
Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library
Date taken:
12 January 2004 15:28
Image rights:
Science Museum