A regenerated cellulose fibre derived from wood pulp, first manufactured in France in the 19thC as a cheaper alternative to silk. As a woven or knitted fabric, rayon shares many properties with natural fibres such as silk, wool, cotton, linen and bamboo. It produces a soft, comfortable light, easy to dye and highly absorbent cloth, which mixes well with other fibres.
Fibres made from different materials but with the same process are known as types of rayon, e.g. viscose rayon.
Rayon has a very wide range of applications, from tyre manufacture to furnishings.