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A manufactured fiber that is not one of those regenerated from natural materials (such as rayon, acetate, triacetate or azlon) can be called synthetic, as well as manufactured.

The creation of synthetic fibers uses fossil fuels, air and water to create chemicals that form polymer units. These special synthetic polymers can mimic natural polymers (and natural filament fibers) by forming long chain molecular units which can form textile fibers. Examples include acrylic, modacrylic, nylon, olefin, polyester, spandex and vinyon.