A manmade fibre derived from the salts of acetic acid, which has a slightly crunchy feel, drapes well and is silky in appearance.
The best acetate fabrics really do feel and handle just like silk and sometimes it is hard to tell the difference straightaway, however: silk will always feel warm to the touch and creases spring away, whereas with acetate , they hold in.
Acetate is almost always used as a substitute for silk, for reasons of budget or situation. Being less affected by sunlight, it’s most useful anywhere close to a window – for curtain linings, unlined curtains, fine blinds, window seats and then if necessary for less costly bed curtains. One way to balance the budget in a ‘silk’ room is to use real silk at the bed, where you can feel and touch it, and acetate at the window.
Specific information must always be obtained for each textile, but many acetate and acetate based fabrics are inherently fire resistant.
Another credit point to acetate, and perhaps the reason it stands for consideration at all and has been developed by some of the best fabric houses, is its sheen and ability to accept intense colours–both hallmarks that make silk such a magical textile.