What is Viscose Knit Fabric?

What is Viscose Fabric?

There are many different types of fabrics. They come in all sizes, shapes, constructions, and weights. These fabrics may be synthetic, natural, or they may be produced in a factory. One fabric that you might not understand is called viscose, which is a fabric that many people don't understand that well. Here’s what you need to understand about it.

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What is Viscose?

This fabric is often called rayon in the United States.  it was originally known as artificial silk and in that latter part of the nineteenth century around 1924, the name rayon came into effect. The fabric is called viscose because of the way it is manufactured.  An organic liquid is used to make both cellophane and rayon. Viscose is a term used to describe a fiber that's gone through a regenerated manufactured process. it's made from cellulose obtained by a viscose process. This fabric falls between a truly natural fabric and a synthetic one.

It’s quite low cost and it’s popular because of its many qualities. It’s used in a wide range of products like tire cords, feminine hygiene products, velvets, and other products. The fabric resembles cotton when you look at it on a chemical basis but takes on various qualities which all depend upon the manufacturing process used to create the fabric. It’s considered the oldest produced fabric and goes back to 1883 and was used as a cheaper alternative to silk fabrics.


Making the Fabric

To create the viscose fabric, wood pulp is used. It goes through various manufacturing and chemical processes to get the finished product. To help it stand up to regular washing and day to day use, the wood pulp is treated with various chemicals like ammonia, caustic soda, sulphuric acid, and acetone. The finished fabric is sustainable and naturally produced but needs to be treated with chemicals so it’s sturdy, so there is a bit of controversy with it. Today, in many circles we use N-Methlymorpholine N-oxide which is part of the Lyocell process to create viscose and this is eco-friendlier and there is very little waste product made.


Positive Fabric Characteristics

  • Can be used in numerous products
  • It breathes and drapes well
  • It retains its color
  • It is absorbent
  • Won' trap body heat
  • Smooth fabric
  • Strong
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Low cost
  • Doesn’t build up static


Negative Fabric Characteristics

  • May shrink some when washed
  • It tends to wrinkle easy
  • Light exposure can deteriorate it
  • Can be damaged by mildew
  • Fibers will weaken when they get wet



Many consumers tend to look at this fabric in a negative light due to the chemical process it goes through to create it. Many manufacturers today are looking into new methods to create the fabric so it’s more environmentally friendly. Since The fabric had many desirable qualities, despite some drawbacks, it has good versatility and it being used to create more products. It’s used in the medical profession as well as the fashion industry to create a wide variety of items. As the method for producing it advances, it may become more widely adopted.