What Is Viscose Fabric? Here is Everything You Should Know

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Mega Apparel
Mega Apparel
What is viscose fabric

Table of Contents

Viscose is produced chemically by using natural raw materials. It has three variations, including modal, lyocell, and viscose. The fabric is also known as Rayon, and it can be used to make various clothing products such as skirts, dresses, and lingerie items.

This material is known for many properties and uses that this article has covered only to increase your knowledge.

What is Viscose Fabric? – Important Facts & Properties

Viscose fabric is a semi-synthetic, raw, and biodegradable material known for its versatility. It is very easy to maintain. One of the most prominent properties of this fabric is that it is moisture-absorbing, which helps keep the body dry and cool. This material is very skin-friendly, unlike other synthetic fabrics. Moreover, the properties viscose offers are:

  • Softness
  • Breathability
  • Draping
  • Quick Drying
  • Substitute for Silk and Cotton
  • Blends Perfectly with Other Fabrics
  • Perfect Colour Retention
  • Smooth Texture
  • Temperature Regulation (Does not contain body heat)
  • Lightweight
  • Strong and Robust
  • Inexpensive

Why is Viscose Bad? Possible Drawbacks of Viscose

Viscose is made from chemically treated wood pulp, filtered afterward, and spun into a thread. This process releases toxic chemicals and pollutes the air, water, and plants. Despite the popularity and beneficial uses of viscose, it also has certain drawbacks:

  • It shrinks when washed
  • Threads can lose strength when wet
  • Wrinkles easily
  • Deteriorates when exposed to light

What Is Viscose Fabric Used for?

Viscose or rayon has many uses in the garment industry and other industries like automobiles. This fabric is a preferable substitute for cotton as it has similar properties. The point of comparing viscose with cotton is that rayon is used for most applications for which cotton is used, such as shirts, dresses, pants, household products like tablecloths, towels, and washcloths.

Rayon has a silk like texture, which is why it is helpful in producing garments that imitate silky texture. For example scarves, shawls, and nightgowns. It is also proven to be productive in industrial applications such as its use in producing automotive belts and tires.

Is Viscose Better than Cotton?

Let’s talk about Viscose vs cotton.

Viscose is a semi-synthetic, lightweight and smooth fabric.

Cotton is an organic material that is lightweight and more durable than viscose. However, the choice depends on the applications of these materials.

Making Process of Viscose Fabric

Viscose fabric making process

It takes a few steps and efficient working to produce viscose fabric. From extraction of wood pulp to final acid bath, we get good quality viscose material. Also, the manufacturing process is not costly which results in large-scale production of this fabric.

Extract Cellulose

The first step is extracting cellulose from wood pulp to carry out the viscose rayon production process. The extracted cellulose must be 90% pure in order to ensure a high-quality fabric.

Convert to Alkali Cellulose

This cellulose dissolves in caustic soda, and a chemical transformation converts it into alkali cellulose. This step clears the cellulose of impurities, making it ready for the subsequent manufacturing stages.

Pressing Phase

The alkali cellulose is then subjected to pressing between dual rollers, eliminating excess liquid. These pressed sheets are further processed, shredded, and crumbled into “white crumb.”

Aging and Xanthation

The white crumb undergoes an aging process through exposure to pure oxygen, followed by treatment with carbon disulfide to create a new substance termed “yellow crumb.”

Ripening Process

The yellow crumb is dissolved and allowed to “ripen” over several hours.

Filtering and Extrusion

Upon ripening, the yellow crumb undergoes filtration to remove any gas bubbles. It is then extruded through a spinneret, akin to a showerhead with numerous holes.

Acid Bath and Finalization

Lastly, the resulting substance is immersed in a sulfuric acid bath, forming rayon filaments. These filaments are subsequently spun, drawn out, and washed to yield fabric, which can be tailored to desired shapes and sizes.

What Are the Types of Viscose Fabric?

Types of viscose fabric

There are multiple types of viscose fabric that are used for different kinds of clothing based on the manufacturing. Here are the types:

1. Regular Viscose Rayon

This material is used everywhere, even in clothing. It’s called cellulose or wood pulp, and this particularity makes it nice to feel. It will soon be visible across dresses, blouses, or the linings that make you wear circulatory clothes more comfortable.

2. Viscose Filament Yarn (VFY)

This is the so-called filament yarn made from the viscose solution by squeezing it through small holes to create threads or filaments, which make the fabric look like silk. It becomes an ideal technique for weaving opulent, sparkly clothes, such as elaborate scarves or luxury attire.

3. Modal

This is a concoction from beech trees and has the best feelings while one is draped in the fabric. It’s much softer, also more breathable, and keeps the vibrant color longer, allowing it to be an excellent combination for nighttime basics like panties and socks.

Read more about: What is modal fabric?

4. Lyocell (Tencel)

While lyocell and viscose are close to each other in their properties, the former holds is the true winner with its environmentally sound manufacturing process and strong, thirty fibers. Lyocell, a more sustainable and buyer-friendly option, is frequently said to be better than Tencel.

5. Cupro

It creates fibers that are softer and a bit stretchy, often known as cupro silk, but from a safer and ecologically sound process. As far as I am concerned, it is a great option for dear fashion yet environmentally responsible outfits.

6. Santana Viscose Crepe

Santana viscose crepe is a lightweight material that is ideal for vintage style clothing including blouses, dresses, and other classic apparel.

7. Elbra Viscose Crepe

Elba viscose crepe is a fabric known for its versatility. It is durable due to being woven with highly twisted yarns. This fabric is used in various clothing products.

8. Viscose Balmoral

This material is ideal for skirts, dresses, and blouses as it is a medium-weight, plain weave material that offers good comfort.

9. Viscose Satin

Viscose satin is a medium-weight woven fabric that is a suitable and economical alternative to duchess satin.

10. Viscose Twill

This medium-weight fabric is an amazing mixture of viscose and a classic twill weave. Viscose twill is used to craft soft-textured blazers, structured dresses, and trousers.

11. Viscose Lycra

Viscose lycra is a medium-weight fabric known for its stretchability. It is ideal for various clothing products, such as dresses, trousers, and blouses.

12. Viscose Wool

Viscose wool is a non-woven, biodegradable fabric that is perfect for printing and dyeing. It is used in crafting costumes, soft toys for kids, appliques, and decorative items.


Is viscose stretchy & breathable?

Viscose fabric is stretchable, especially when it is blended with other fibers. It is also very breathable since it allows air to pass through to keep clothes properly ventilated.

Is viscose better than cotton?

Viscose has a silky texture and stretch capacity. On the other hand, cotton is more durable and has moisture-wicking properties. The decision of which one is better depends on their application and on your preferences. It’s a personal choice based on what qualities you prioritize.

Why is viscose terrible for the environment?

Conventional viscose is not suitable for the environment since it is not sustainable. Its manufacturing process requires a great deal of energy and hazardous chemical substances, such as sulfuric acid.

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