Acetate was first introduced in 1904, when Camille Dreyfus
chemical research and development in a shed in their father's garden in Basle,Switzerland.Inasmuch
as their father was interested in a chemical factory,his influence was probably
a factor in their choice of careers.And since Basle was a center of the dyestuffs
industry, it was natural that their first achievement should be the development
of synthetic indigo dyes.In search of a field that offers really limitless potentialities,
they deliberately selected that of cellulose acetate products, including fibres
for textile use.
his younger brother Henri,
For five years, the Dreyfus brothers studied and experimented in a logical, systematic
manner in Switzerland and France.
By 1910, they had perfected acetate lacquers and plastic film and opened a factory
in Basle capable of producing about three tons a day.This was largely sold to
the celluloid industry in France and Germany, and to Pathe Fréres in Paris for
non-flammable motion picture film base.
A small but constantly growing amount of acetate lacquer, called "dope", was sold
to the expanding aircraft industry to coat the fabric covering wings and fuselage.
After some twenty-odd thousand separate experiments, by 1913, the brothers produced
excellent laboratory samples of acetate continuous filament yarn.
The outbreak of the First World War postponed completion of development leading
to successful commercial production until 1921. The war, of course, necessitated
rapid expansion of the Basle factory which terminated its trade with Germany and
exclusively supplied the Allied Governments with acetate "dope"
for military aircraft.
In November 1914, the British Government invited Dr.Camille Dreyfus to come to
England to manufacture acetate "dope".
In 1917,the War Department of the United States Government invited Dr.Dreyfus
to establish a similar factory here after the US's entry into war.After about six
weeks, a contract was negotiated for sale of acetate "dope" to the War Department
and a plant site was sought Dr.Dreyfus and his associates started construction
of the American company at Cumberland, Maryland in 1918,but the war was over before
the plant could be completed.
The business with the Government was completed in due time, construction of the
plant continued, the early nucleus of the management began to assemble, and the
organisation in England completed development of the first commercially successful
acetate textile yarn.In England, in 1912, the British company produced the first
commercial cellulose acetate yarn.
The yarn was sold primarily for crocheting, trimming, and effect threads and for
The first yarn spun in America was on Christmas Day, 1924, at the Cumberland,
Md. Plant.The first yarn was of fair quality, but sales resistance was heavy,
and silk associates worked zealously to discredit acetate and discourage its use.Acetate
became an enormous success as a fibre for moiré because its thermoplastic quality
made the moiré design absolutely permanent. The same characteristic also made
permanent pleating a commercial fact for the first time, and gave great style
impetus to the whole dress industry.
This was a genuine contribution.
The mixing of silk and acetate in fabrics was accomplished at the beginning and
almost at once cotton was also blended, thus making possible low-cost fabrics
by means of a fibre which then was cheaper than silk or acetate. Today, acetate
is blended with silk, cotton, wool, nylon, etc. to give to fabrics an excellent
wrinkle recovery,good left,handle,draping quality,quick drying,proper dimensional
stability,cross-dye pattern potential,
at a very competitive price.