What is Viscose Fabric Made Out of? Manufacturing Process

Md Mahedi Hasan

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Viscose, known as Rayon, is one of the popular fabric materials in the textile industry. Usually, viscose is a semi-synthetic fiber made from trees. It worked like a substitute for silk before due to the similarities in areas of drape and texture. In this article, we will go through the full explanation of viscose: what is viscose fabric made out of? And how it is made in brief.

What is Viscose?

Viscose refers to the highly fashionable fabric that can be used in place of cotton or polyester. It is more durable and less expensive than silk. It creates faux velvet, soft blouses, skirts, and flowy summer outfits. However, its uses extend beyond clothing; it produces carpets, furniture covers, beds, clear wrapping, and even sausage coverings.

Image: Viscose Fabric
Image: Viscose Fabric

What is Viscose Fabric Made Out of?

Viscose is made out of cellulose or natural wood pulp from trees. Here, trees are regenerative and fast-growing. As a result, there are very few options for such trees, for instance, eucalyptus, beech, or pine. If it is about plants, they can be bamboo, sugar cane, and soy. 

Image: Viscose from trees and plants
Image: Viscose from trees and plants

The cellulose material gets dissolved in a solution of chemicals to produce a pulpy substance. Then, this fleshy substance gets spun into fibers, then into threads. 

How is Viscose Fabric Made?

Wood gets turned into pulp and dissolved in a solution to make viscose. Then, it’s washed, cleaned, and bleached. This solution goes through more treatments to create fibers. These fibers are then transformed into a material called regenerated cellulose, which is spun into yarns for making textiles.

Image: What is Viscose
Image: Viscose Fabric

Viscose qualifies as semi-synthetic because it relies on several chemicals like sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide throughout its production process. There are a total of 5 steps in the manufacturing process of Viscose fabric. They are:

  • Step 01: The plant gets chipped into a wood pulp. Then, it gets dissolved in chemicals, such as sodium hydroxide, to form a brown wood pulp solution.
  • Step 02: Then, the brown wood pulp goes through the process of washing, cleaning, and bleaching.
  • Step 3: To create the fiber version, the brown wood pulp gets well-treated with carbon disulfide. Then, it gets dissolved in sodium hydroxide to create the ‘Viscose’ we all know.
  • Step 4: The Viscose Solution then gets forced through a spinneret to create filaments or regenerated cellulose.
  • Step 5: Then, that regenerated cellulose gets spun into yarn that can be woven or knit into the viscose rayon fabric. 

What is Viscose Fabric Used for?

Viscose fabric is commonly used in Clothing, Household Items, Industrial Belts, and Alternatives to Silk. Other areas of applications are:

Area 01: Airy and Draping Features of Viscose.

Viscose is well-known in fashion for manufacturing various apparel items, such as light summer dresses, skirts, blouses, and scarves.

Image: Viscose Dress and Scarves
Image: Viscose Dress and Scarves

Viscose can replicate the opulent feel of silk at a lower cost. It’s also used to make synthetic velvet for other kinds of clothing.

Image: Viscose Bed and Curtain
Image: Viscose Bed and Curtain

After that, Beyond fashion, viscose is employed in home textiles such as upholstery, bedding, curtains, and carpets due to its softness and absorbency. Its versatility extends to non-apparel products like cellophane for packaging and sausage casings. Its adaptability, soft texture, and ability to blend with other fibers make it a versatile material utilized in various products across industries, both in fashion and daily essentials.

Conclusion

Viscose as a fabric is not stretchy at all. But you can blend viscose with materials such as elastane to have a flexible composition. For clothing in summer, you can have Viscose as a breathable and lightweight material. It does not trap heat, so that you will be sweating less. All these features may denote the positive side.

But in the area of sustainability, Viscose may disappoint you. Being made from natural wood pulp, viscose hardly gets rid of the use of chemicals that are harmful to the planet. Other than that, as a fabric, Viscose as a Lyocell is one of the sustainable fabric options to have. Let us know if you have any clothing from viscose. 

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