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Formerly known as man-made fiber, manufactured fiber is defined as “any fiber derived by a process of manufacture from any substance which, at any point in the manufacturing process, is not a fiber.” (Textile Fiber Products Identification Act, 1960)

Manufactured fibers include those regenerated from natural materials, synthetic fibers and inorganic fibers.

Regenerated fibers include those based on cellulose (rayon, acetate, triacetate) and protein-based fibers (azlon).

Synthetics include acrylic, modacrylic, nylon, olefin, polyester, spandex and vinyon.

Inorganic fibers include ceramic, glass and metallic fibers.

Timeline of first commercial use of manufactured fibers

1905 rayon in the U.K.
1910 rayon in the U.S.
1918 acetate in the U.K. (called celanese)
1924 acetate in the U.S. (trademarked Celanese)
1939 nylon
1939 vinyon
1950 acrylic
1953 polyester
1953 acetate and rayon given separate groupings by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission
1954 triacetate
Late 50s Modal
1959 Spandex
1960 Antron nylon (trademarked name)
1961 Olefin
1968 Qiana (trademarked name)
1970 Antron Nylon III (trademarked name)
1993 Lyocell