Orlon, trademark for an acrylic fiber available in filaments (long single strands) or staples (bundles of short fibers). Orlon is resistant to sunlight and atmospheric gases, which makes it ideal for awnings and other outdoor uses. It is also characterized by stability, resistance to shrinkage, a soft, warm feel, and good drapability. The filaments have a high tensile strength that is almost as good when wet as dry. The fibers have good elasticity and low moisture absorption. Orlon is resistant to chemicals, chiefly acids, and it has the ability to withstand high temperatures, which makes it suitable for various industrial uses. Other uses for the filament include evening wear, sports fabrics, and rainwear. The staple fiber is used in bulky suiting fabric, overcoatings and topcoatings, dress fabrics, knitted wear, and washable woven sportswear.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.