Fabric Knowledge

What is the difference between Rayon and Viscose? ( Everything here)

There are a lot of good synthetic fabric these days , one of them is called viscose.  It is smooth, soft, and skin-friendly. Viscose fibre has a silky texture. It is obtained by dissolving, refining and denaturing plant straws(cellulose) such as reeds. Therefore, viscose fabrics are green textiles, ecological and skin safe.

How is viscose made?

Plant straws and cotton linters are rich in cellulose. After they are chemically treated with sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide (so viscose fibre is not 100% eco-friendly), they can obtain a fibrous substance called viscose fibre. It will be dissolved in a solvent and then sprayed from a very tiny nozzle to form a kind of filament that resembles spider silk. Long fibres are so called viscose, and short fibers are so called rayon. So artificial here refers to artificial modification, not artificial synthesis(like Polyester, nylon etc) .

The different

Viscose and rayon are of the same root and origin. Someone said that rayon is just the American way to call viscose(they are actually the same thing). This is not correct.

If you do the composition test, yes, they both have the same raw ingredient, however, structure wise, the viscose fibre has a long fibre structure, while rayon is a short fiber structure.

What does this mean?


when the factory making the fabric, They will combine many rayon fibers together to form fiber bundles (Threads). The threads are relatively long and bright, and do not have tiny short fibers and hairiness like rayon yarns. ( See below the 2nd from left, the long fibre).



The benefit:

  1. Viscose fabric is smooth and bright, has a silky texture,
  2. Suitable for a classy and vibrant style.
  3. Excellent in breathability and perspiration, light and cool, so it is comfortable to wear. So it is very suitable for spring and summer collections.
  4. The viscose fabric is also environmentally friendly and skin safe.

The weak point:

  1. The viscose fabric cannot be made too soft, otherwise the splitting slip of the fibre will not meet the standard. (easy to pilling).
  2. viscose fabrics are generally light weight, which is good for spring and summer clothes, but not suitable for autumn and winter clothes.
  3. The viscose is not as eco friendly as other synthetic fibre like Tencel, Modal.


The benefit:

  1. Rayon fabric is smooth, has a silky texture,  relatively softer and less bright.
  2. High colour vibrant and lustre, good dyeability, and great colour fastness.
  3. It’s alkali resistance and moisture absorption are similar to cotton. It has a higher wet absorb rate than viscose fibre.
  4. The rayon fabric is also environmentally friendly and skin safe.

The weak point:

  1. Not acid-resistant, and its resilience and fatigue resistance are relatively poor. After wearing it for a long time, it will lose its elasticity and fluffiness, and there will be a feeling of stiffness.
  2. If you wash it often, it is easy to fade, so the colour will become darker and old later, and the clothes will look old. And it is best to wash by hand, gentle and quick washing is best.
  3.  The wet mechanical strength is low. When you wash it for the first time, it will shrink and the size will become smaller.
  4. The viscose is not as eco friendly as other synthetic fibre like Tencel, Modal.


Our viscose product is 100% from Lenzing viscose ( LENZING™ ECOVERO™ )

LENZING™ ECOVERO™ fibers are derived from sustainable wood and pulp, coming from certified and controlled sources following the stringent guidelines of the Lenzing Wood and Pulp Policy.

LENZING™ ECOVERO™ fibers have been certified with the EU Ecolabel, a label of environmental excellence awarded to products and services meeting stringent sustainability requirements throughout their life-cycle: from raw material extraction to production, distribution and disposal.

LENZING™ ECOVERO™ fibers can be robustly identified in the final product, assuring users that it contains genuine ECOVERO™ fibers.

They are almost indistinguishable from mulberry silk in terms of appearance, feel and style, and are the most ideal substitute for mulberry silk. The fabric is more cost-effective.

Megan valero

About Megan

eco sustainable natural fabric and exclusive print for the fashion and dressmaking industry wholesale supplier.

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