Equipment for spinning viscose rayon, 1901.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Viscose rayon is regenerated cellulose, originally based on cellulose acetate and evetually on cellulose xanthate. Due to the obtained yellow solution being rather viscous it was christened 'Viscose'. It was developed by Englishmen Charles F Cros and Edward J Bevan and patented by Cros, Bevan and Clayton Beadle in 1892 with the British patents taken over by Courtaulds in 1904. A succesor to Chardonnet silk (based on cellulose nitrate), viscose rayon (cellulose acetate) could be spun into thread but its chemical composition made it les flammable.