Man's physical universe



products so much that the destructive distillation

of wood has been

greatly curtailed.

Other processes for using cellulose as a raw material are being

developed. For example, Friedrich Bergius has developed in Germany

a commercial process for the production

of edible sugars from sawdust. As the

structure of cellulose becomes better

known, it is certain that many other

valuable materials will be made from it.

Chemical Research Has Produced Materials

Which Greatly Improve

Fabrics Made from Natural Textile


The sensational creation of synthetic Fig. 292. The steering

fibers must not obscure the story of the wheel of cellulose acetate is

brilliant achievements of chemistry in im- only one of 200 plastic parts

,1 1 . ,.1 on the modern automobile.

provmg the commonplace textiles. ,^ r t-l n i i-

. ,„ „. ,,r ,1

(Courtesy of The Bakelite

1. Water-repelling. Water repellency

differs from waterproofing in

that, while


the whole surface is rendered impervious to water in waterproofing,

the surface remains porous in water repellency because each fiber is

waterproofed. Water repellents render fabrics such as hosiery resistant

to spotting by water. One interesting new finish of this type

is the E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company's "Zelan" durable

water repellent, which is so resistant to laundering and dry cleaning

as to remain effective throughout the useful life of the fabric to which

it is applied.

2. Snagproofing. Wax emulsions and resin finishes lubricate textile

surfaces of hosiery, thus decreasing their tendency to snag.

3. Wiltproofing. Collars which retain their shape without the use

of starch before ironing them are made possible by sandwiching

cellulose acetate or other types of resins between layers of fabric.

4. Creaseproofing. Crease resistance is imparted to cotton, rayon,

and linen by the use of urea-formaldehyde resins (described in the next


5. Fire-retarding. The latest and most satisfactory fire retardant is

ammonium sulfamate.

6. Mildewproofing . Salicylanilide, a coal-tar derivative, prevents


7. Mothproofing. Compounds of fluorine and chlorine which will

mothproof textiles have been discovered.

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