Acetate appeared early in the 20th century and started its industrial days with World War I whereas nylon took off during World War II. In times of war, raw material trade between countries is often interrupted; this tends to trigger innovations to reduce foreign dependency especially for things as fundamental as underwear for soldiers.
Acetate's unique moisture management properties
Acetate is a semi artificial fiber as it is a cellulosic fiber made from processed wood pulp. It can therefore be classified as a hybrid fiber. Its properties are close to those of certain natural fibers. Like silk, acetate fibers drape well and resemble the moisture wicking of cotton.. Acetate provides surprising properties which makes it a desirable component in fabrics that are meant to be in direct contact with the skin. It also has an amazing acceptance of dyes creating vivid colored textile and like artificial fibers, it has a high color retention capacity. All this is due to the amorphous open-pore structure of the acetate fiber that allows air and moisture to be transported away form the body.