Fabric Guide: Viscose

Viscose Fabric

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Fabric Guide: What Is Viscose?

Viscose cloth is a type of cloth made from artificially obtained fibres from cellulose origin. This fabric can look similar to silk, wool or cotton depending on how it was treated.

Viscose has been used in fashion, home textile, footwear and car tires for more than 100 years. Despite its versatility, viscose fabric remains a popular choice. However, some people don’t like it because it is perceived as not natural. Today is the right time to cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s. Do you want to give this fabric another chance or should you stay clear? This article can help you make a decision!

How Is Viscose Made?

Viscose is made from the wood pulp of trees which grow and regenerate quickly enough to be considered sustainable. These species include eucalyptus and beech, as well as bamboo, sugarcane, soy, and pine. What are the production steps?

  1. Wood pulp collection
  2. To obtain cellulose xanthate, the alcaline wood pulp substance must be disintegrated in the chemical solution carbon disulfide.
  3. The aqueous solution containing caustic soda at t 10-12 degrees C dissolves cellulose xanthate and gives rise to viscose. Viscose is usually used to spin fibres. It contains about 6.5-9% cellulose (in its xanthate), 6.5-7.5% sodium hydroxide, and about 2.5% bound sulphur. The rest of the viscous is water with a few impurities.
  4. To regenerate cellulose, wet the filament by forcing viscose through spinnerets.
  5. Finishing and drying.

Sometimes, viscose may be modified with surfactants and modifiers to produce high-strength, structurally homogeneous fibers.

Viscose Properties

How a fibre is formed will greatly affect its physical and mechanical properties. You can make the fabric shiny or matte, heavy or light, smooth or textured. 100 percent viscose is semi transparent, glossy and looks like silk. Special matting chemicals are used to reduce natural gloss.

There are many pros to the fabric:

  • It is soft and pleasant to the touch
  • Cool in summer and warm in winter
  • Well-drapable
  • Antistatic
  • Easy to dye
  • Dyeing technology allows maximum colour penetration into fibres
  • It doesn’t fade if it is correctly dyed
  • Lighter than cotton
  • It retains twice as much moisture as cotton
  • Dry conditions make it extremely durable
  • Excellent at retaining body heat
  • Needs no special recycling
  • Non-allergenic
  • Hygienic

While there are less cons than pros, it is important to consider them all.

  • This fabric is susceptible to wrinkles
  • It might shrink or deform during washing.
  • Mildew-resistant
  • It can be damaged by high temperatures, water and ultraviolet radiation. These fabrics are often infused with chemical antioxidants and UV filters to protect viscose fibres.


Types of Viscose, Their Features and Application

This technological process allows for many different types of viscose fibers.

Type ViscoseFeaturesApplication
100% natural viscoseWhat’s great:Softtenderwell-drapableSilky and lustrousquite durable in a dry stateLightweightIt’s not all that bad:Wearing is a common occurrencePoor recovery of creasesWater damage is easyFabric absorbs body oils and moisture, which can cause discolouration and weakness.Baby clothing: Blouses and shirts, skirts, pants, and shirts
 sun-proofbacterial-proofSummer dresses and shirts
Modal ™/PolynosicWhen wet, remains strongExtremelyUnderwear, sleepwear
 Lightweightcolour retentionViscose is more durable than viscoseResilientSportswear, lingerie, towels, and sleepwear
Lyocell/Tencel(tm),What’s great:SoftabsorbentVery strong in wet and dry conditionsResistant to wrinkleswell-drapableCan simulate silk, leather, and suedeAbsorbs and releases waterCooler than linenExcellently dyeableResistant to abrasionMoths are not interested in itCotton creases more than cottonAntibacterialIt’s not all that bad:Deformable — Can either stretch out, or shrinkStaple fibers can be used for casual wear, denim, and towels.The Filament Fibres can be used to make a variety of women’s and men’s clothes.
Viscose jerseystretchyFor kids, sweatshirts, T-shirts and jerseys
Viscose containing elastaneElastic, so it does not limit your movementBodycon dresses, skirts, shirts, trousers
Slinky viscoseFlowyBlouses, skirts, and dresses that are bodycon and flowy
CuproWhat’s great:BreathableDrapablecurve-huggingIt’s not all that bad:Stains easily removedLining
Cotton & viscoseWhat’s great:Durable when dryIt’s not all that bad:Water damage proneDresses, jackets, skirts, tops, trousers
Viscose stapleResilientnon-wrinklingwell-drapableShirts, blouses long skirts and romantic gowns
Lining viscoseWhat’s great:moisture-absorbingnon-deformableControversial:SlipperyMay contain polyester and cottonOuterwear, hats
Quilted viscoseCosy and warmButton-down shirts and dresses, as well as leggings and jackets

Viscose vs. Cotton Silk — What is the Difference?

Fashionistas who don’t like fabrics may find it difficult to choose between fabrics with similar patterns but different fibre types. Before you give your favor to any of these fabrics, what are the things that you should consider?

  1. Viscose. Although technically it’s not a natural or synthetic fibre, there are many amazing features to this option. It feels soft, light, and drapable on your skin. Avoid exposing it to water.
  2. Cotton. This fabric is popular because it is soft, breathable and durable. It also comes in many weave types. You can make it silky smooth and fine by choosing long staple types, such as Egyptian Giza 45-87, 88, Sea Island, or Supima.
  3. Silk. Its amazing features are indirectly demonstrated by the fact that its production technology was kept secret for over 1,000 years. This cost many Chinese lives who tried to share it with other countries. The unique properties of this fibre are legendary for their outstanding thermal regulation, heavenly touch against the skin, antistatic properties and strength. Silk can be made in many weave types and is a popular choice for skirts, blouses and tunics as well as evening dresses or prom dresses.

What kind of viscose is the hottest trend for 2018? Fashionistas have the option to choose viscose clothing that has a subtle glance and wicker texture for a summer dress, or wider trousers.

Jill Stuart’s body-skimming viscose gown is a great example of the dress concept.

The viscose and silk blend lightweight trousers for men, as well as short-sleeved shirts, in bright colours such as orange, royal, green, yellow, are a great choice.

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