Rayon is a manufactured fiber made from regenerated cellulose fiber. The many types and grades of rayon can imitate the feel and texture of natural fibers such as silk, wool, cotton, and linen. The types that resemble silk are often called artificial silk. Rayon is made from purified cellulose, primarily from wood pulp, which is chemically converted into a soluble compound. It is then dissolved and forced through a spinneret to produce filaments which are chemically solidified, resulting in fibers of nearly pure cellulose. Because rayon is manufactured from naturally occurring polymers, it is considered a semisynthetic fiber, whereas in precise usage the term synthetic fiber is sometimes reserved for fully synthetic fibers. Specific types of rayon include viscose, modal and lyocell, each of which differs in manufacturing process and properties of the finished product. Workers can be seriously harmed by the carbon disulfide used to make most rayon.
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