What is Viscose Fabric? Is it Better Than Cotton?

April 28,2023

What is Viscose Fabric? Is it Better Than Cotton?

An affordable and opulent-looking combination of natural and synthetic fibers is called viscose fabric. It is excellent for hot weather because it is lightweight and highly absorbent.

Charles Cross and Edward Bevan created it in 1892 by treating cellulose with carbon bisulfite and Caustic soda. They gave it the name "viscose" because the liquid was thick and viscous, resembling honey.

Cotton is everywhere. Here’s one of the different types of fabrics this one little plant can make.


What is Viscose Fabric?

The texture of viscose fabric or viscose silk yarn is similar to that of silk or cotton. Because of its softness and lightness, it is a preferred option for many apparel items. Dresses, blouses, shirts, and other casual clothing frequently have this material.

Cellulose, which is obtained from wood pulp and other plant products, is used to make viscose fiber. The cellulose is then chemically processed to create fibers that resemble silk or cotton in appearance and feel.

Due of the need for deforestation, this technique has various negative effects. Additionally, water is used extensively in the manufacture of viscose. As a result, it is not an environmentally favorable alternative for many clothing items.

In addition, a lot of individuals worry about the dangerous chemicals that are employed in production. These substances affect both people and the environment by contaminating the air in the vicinity of the factories where they are made.

Viscose production methods that are healthier for the environment and people's health do exist, nevertheless. Modal, lyocell, and recycled viscose are a few of these.

For instance, because modal rayon is produced by spinning beech trees, it degrades more slowly than conventional viscose. Additionally, this method typically results in a somewhat stronger and more resilient fabric than viscose.

On the other side, Lyocell uses a closed-loop production method instead of certain chemicals, making it more environmentally friendly. There are several fashion brands that use this method and modal.

Although modal and lyocell are both more environmentally friendly than viscose yarn, they nevertheless have significant drawbacks. One reason is because modal emits a lot of poisonous chemicals, which causes pollution and unhealthy air emissions.

Modal also has the drawback of producing waste in the form of dyes and other chemicals. People with delicate skin or those who are allergic to these compounds may find this to be harmful.

It can stretch and sag when wet and is also prone to creases, which can result in misshaped garments. This is something to be concerned about if you want to maintain your clothing item nice and clean, especially if you use a lot of detergents that combat wrinkles.

How is Viscose Fabric Made?

Fabric constructed of regenerated cellulose fibers is called rayon, sometimes known as viscose. The fact that it is supple and breathable, moisture-wicking, and wrinkle-resistant makes it a popular option for clothing designers. Due to its adaptability, it is a preferred material for a variety of clothing, including bedding and fashion.

The process of extracting cellulose or viscose rayon yarn from wood pulp is the initial stage in the creation of viscose fabric. Depending on the precise type of viscose fabric being produced, this procedure can be carried out in a number of different ways.

In the procedure, other chemicals are utilized, such as sodium hydroxide, carbon disulfide, and sulfuric acid. By doing this, the cellulose in the wood pulp is broken down and converted into a useful substance that can be spun into yarn.

The recovered cellulose is then combined with other substances to produce fibers. To make these fibers more elastic and robust, they are sometimes combined with cotton or spandex.

The fibers are woven into garments at the end. Viscose fabric is an excellent option for apparel since it has a silky, glossy texture and drapes well.

Viscose fabric like cotton viscose comes in a variety of forms, including modal and lyocell. Since modal is produced utilizing a closed-loop system, all the water and chemicals used in the manufacturing process are caught and recycled numerous times, making it a more environmentally friendly alternative to viscose.

As a result, modal fabric is up to 80% more environmentally friendly than traditional viscose and drastically lowers greenhouse gas emissions. Customers that are looking for a sustainable fabric for their custom clothes business can consider it.

Modal fabric is more absorbent and lighter than regular viscose, and it is also a sustainable fabric. It is a great alternative for summer clothing because it keeps its color and holds up nicely after numerous washings.

Due to the significant demand for wood pulp, the manufacture of modal fabric takes a lot of natural resources and contributes to deforestation. This indicates that using cotton viscose yarn has a significant negative environmental impact, and many manufacturers are currently working to reduce this impact by switching to more environmentally friendly processes.

Types of Cotton Fabrics | Cotton


What are the Drawbacks of Viscose Fabric?

Viscose is a synthetic textile manufactured from cellulose, the same element that gives cotton its glossy sheen and natural softness. It was created in the 1800s and is used for many things now, including household textiles, furniture, and clothes.

Viscose has various advantages, including being breathable, soft, and lightweight. Additionally, it is quite strong and does not fade even after numerous washings.

However, it also has several disadvantages that you should be aware of when buying viscose clothing. Before washing any viscose-made clothes, it is a good idea to check the care label because, like all fabrics, it can shrink when wet.

Additionally, it needs to be ironed before wearing because it is prone to wrinkles, and washing it in hot water or at a high temperature might cause it to stretch and lose its shape. Choose clothing manufactured from high-quality viscose fabric that has been treated with resin and spandex for more elasticity to avoid these problems.

Make sure the viscose natural fiber is from a sustainable source and toxic-free when purchasing new or used items. Additionally, choose a fabric with minimal amounts of phthalates and PVCs, which can harm reproductive organs and cause cancer.

The quantity of water required to develop viscose fiber is another significant factor. Compared to cotton, viscose requires less water to grow, but more chemicals and land utilization. Environmentally detrimental effects may result from this, especially as the problem of plastic pollution grows.

Viscose also has the major benefit of being biodegradable, which means it will degrade over time. This is crucial for eco-aware consumers who don't want to add to the issue of ocean plastic trash.

If you're thinking about buying a viscose item, be prepared to pay a little bit more than you would for cotton, but the extra money will probably be worthwhile in the long run. You can maintain it in excellent shape for many years because the fabric is more resilient and simple to clean.

How to Care for Viscose Fabric

The essential thing to keep in mind is to avoid using hot water while washing viscose yarn for knitting. This is because the heat may harm the fibers and cause the cloth to shrink.

Additionally, you ought to run your washing machine on the mild cycle. If not, the fibers will probably twist and be torn by the agitator. If you can, put your clothes in a mesh bag to shield them from this.

Another key piece of advice is to avoid drying viscose-based fabrics in the dryer. The fibers will only be harmed and will continue to shrink as a result. Instead, hang them up to dry or spread them out flat to let them air dry.

If you must wash your clothes in a washing machine, choose the delicate cycle or the "Hand wash" option, and place your clothing in a wash bag to keep it from rubbing against the drum. To remove stains from your viscose garments, you should also use cold or lukewarm water and mild detergent.

To keep the hues and brightness of the fibers, you should let your clothing air dry after washing. They can also be dried, but you should do so at a low temperature to protect the fabric.

Viscose is an extremely fragile fabric that needs to be cleaned with extra care. Before putting the cloth in your washing machine, it is best to verify the care label provided by the manufacturer. This is due to the possibility that it contains synthetic or natural fibers, which could alter its appearance and functionality.

Additionally, you need to be aware that some viscose clothing can fade in the sun. If this occurs, it is recommended to store your clothing in a cool, dark area so that the color can revive.

Additionally, you should avoid washing your viscose garments with abrasive chemicals or scents to prevent fading. By using these, the fibers may degrade and get brittle, which could lead to the clothing becoming ripped or harmed.

Viscose has gained popularity as a fabric for many various types of clothing due to its softness, toughness, and adaptability. It is utilized in many different industries, like as bedding, clothing, and interior design. Additionally, because it is a biodegradable cloth, it does not add to landfill waste.

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