The majority of people love stretchy clothing. This is because stretchy clothing is comfortable and easy to wear.
They fit well around your body and don’t pinch anywhere, which makes them much preferred compared to stiff clothing that can be uncomfortable to wear for an extended period of time.
However, not every fabric creates stretchy clothing, so it is important to understand what different fabrics look and feel like when creating a wardrobe.
Viscose is a material that many people love to include in their wardrobe, but not many people are aware of how it behaves.
Therefore, we have put together the ultimate guide on viscose to help you understand what it is, how it feels, if it stretches, etc, to help you decide whether it’s a fabric you want to include in your everyday attire.
Read on to find our ultimate guide to viscose and discover everything you need to know!
What Is The Viscose Material?
Viscose is considered to be a sub-fabric of rayon. It bears a close resemblance to more natural fibers such as wool, cotton, and silk, but it is created when you treat wood pulp with certain chemicals.
After this process is complete, the viscose is made into fibers and then turned into threads ready to be weaved.
Viscose is neither totally manufactured nor totally natural, it sits somewhere in the middle as a semi-synthetic fiber.
Viscose is more environmentally friendly than fibers that are totally synthetic, such as polyester because it is 100% plant-based.
Additionally, despite the significant chemical processing involved in making viscose, manufacturers are trying to find ways to produce fewer chemical byproducts and make them more sustainable.
When Was Viscose Invented?
The first time anyone used the word “viscose” was in 1884 when Charles Goodyear patented his new process for creating artificial silk.
This process was later improved upon by Leo Baekeland who developed what would become known as rayon.
In 1912, he began producing rayon yarns that were made from wood pulp. These yarns were called “Bakelite”.
Later on, in 1926, DuPont introduced their own version of rayon, which they named “Dupont Rayon”.
What Does It Feel Like?
Many people describe viscose as feeling luxurious and soft, so it makes for the perfect material for clothing that comes in direct contact with the skin.
Viscose is also described as being breathable and lightweight, so it is also great to wear during the summer and the warmer months, or for athletic attire.
It is also considered to be a great option for summer bedding since it will not trap any heat.
Viscose is known for its draping quality, so it is considered to be an excellent substitute for linen and silk.
This is reinforced by how soft it is, and how it has a shine that is directly comparable to silk.
Additionally, it is a great substitute for silk because it is a cheaper material, so many more people can afford it!
Finally, viscose is the type of material that can keep its form and shape well for an extended period of time. So, it will be able to maintain its gorgeous look even if you’ve had it for a while.
However, it is important to note that viscose should not sit in direct sunlight to dry or otherwise, because it can decline in quality when exposed to light.
What Is Rayon?
Rayon is another type of semi-synthetic fabric that was invented in the early 1900s.
It is made from cellulose and is treated with a caustic soda solution to create a fiber called “cellulose acetate”. This fiber is then spun into thread and woven into fabrics.
Like viscose, rayon is not entirely synthetic; however, it is much less processed than viscose.
Because of this, it is often referred to as a “natural fiber”. However, it is still considered to be a man-made product.
Is Viscose A Stretchy Material?
Generally, no. Viscose is not stretchy, particularly if the garment in question is 100% viscose.
Additionally, if you try to stretch the viscose yourself, by using heat, water, or any other method, then you risk damaging the garment beyond repair.
Is There A Way To Stretch Viscose?
Viscose will sometimes stretch naturally after a little wear and tear due to body heat.
However, if stretchy viscose is something you want, it is better to purchase garments that combine viscose with a different fabric (one that is stretchy, of course.)
By doing this, you are ensuring that the viscose material will be able to stretch while maintaining its other qualities and integrity.
Another way to obtain stretchy viscose is to buy a viscose garment that is woven loosely, as opposed to tightly.
This is because loosely woven clothing can stretch slightly more without being damaged, but it is still better to avoid stretching it too much.
If you really want to try and stretch your viscose, then you can take the risk, but the results may not be optimal.
To stretch the viscose, it should be wet. You should try to stretch the garment in question once you have removed it from the washer.
Try to stretch it in every direction to make sure it is evenly stretched. Even if the material does stretch, it will only be a slight change.
If you’re feeling cautious about stretching your viscose garment but want to try, then you could test it out on a smaller piece of the fabric before trying to stretch a bigger part.
By doing this, you are testing out the material and seeing if it can stretch, and the damage – if any – will be minimal.
Remember it is always best to read the instructions that come with a garment before you try to wash, care for it, or stretch it.
How To Take Care Of Your Viscose Garments
Viscose can be quite difficult to take care of, so if you want tips on how to do this well, you can find them here!
Washing And Drying
When viscose gets wet, its fibers weaken. Therefore, it is much more prone to damage and you should ensure you take care of your viscose garments when it comes to cleaning them.
Usually, we recommend cleaning your viscose garments by hand washing them with a mild laundry detergent in cold water.
This is the best way to ensure the fabric does not become damaged in-between wears.
When it comes to rinsing, do not twist or wring the fabric, because this will stretch the fibers in a damaging way.
To rinse your viscose garments, you should gently squeeze the water out in sections. Find a clean towel and put the garment down on top of it.
Gently roll up the towel, which will remove the excess water, and then you may go ahead and lay it out to dry.
A problem many people experience with viscose is wrinkling.
To remove wrinkles in your viscose clothing, you can choose between going over it with an iron on a low heat, preferably one that is designed especially for silk.
Alternatively, you can use a steam iron. These are the best ways to remove wrinkles in the viscose without causing damage to the fabric.
Making Your Own Viscose Clothing
If you want to make your own viscose clothing, then this is possible with sewing! Viscose is a fine fabric, so you must ensure that you have a fine, sharp needle at hand.
This way, you can avoid creating any large holes in the fabric. You also need to make sure that your needle is sharp because it needs to be able to puncture the material.
This is an important step because it will affect how your clothing looks overall.
If you want to make stretchy viscose clothing, then you should blend the fabric with polyester threads or a polyester blend.
When it comes to sewing, you must ensure you are careful when pinning the fabric layers together because the fabric can and will slip.
It is best to use a walking foot to help feed the fabric through the sewing machine.
You can then choose between using a regular stitch or another type of non-stretching stitch.
Before starting on your garment, it is wise to test out the stitch length and tension on any spare fabric you have to avoid damaging your actual project since the material you are working with is extremely delicate.
Once you have sewn together your viscose item of clothing, you can move on to hemming. You only need to use a single fold, so the process should be simple.
The following method will create a neat hem that will compliment your light clothing. To hem you viscose material, do the following:
– First, you’ll want to fold the hem.
– Next, press with an iron so you make a clean fold.
– Once that is complete, you can sew using a straight stitch.
And done! How simple!
More Tips On Making Your Own Viscose Clothing
If you’re new to sewing, then it can feel complex. So, we have created some tips to aid you to make beautiful viscose garments! Read below for more.
Washing The Fabric
Before you can even think about sewing it is wise to pre-wash the viscose.
This is because viscose shrinks after being washed, so by pre-washing it, you are getting the best size for the clothing you are making.
After washing the viscose fabric you may see some wrinkles, so don’t forget our ironing tips above to remove them!
Now you can start drafting some beautiful patterns!
Cutting The Fabric
You should always be cautious when cutting this fabric because it is so lightweight.
To cut the fabric, we recommend placing it on a flat surface, using a heavy object to hold it down and maintain the shape you want it to.
Now you can feel free to cut the pattern with confidence!
Cleaning Up The Edges
Because viscose is woven, it is extremely prone to fraying. So, it is a good idea to clean up the edges before the fraying travels up the fabric and ruins the final look.
So, before you sew, you should use an overlocker or a serger to clean the edges.
If you don’t have either of these things, then you can prevent fraying by using a zigzag stitch with a sewing machine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Viscose Body-Hugging?
No, viscose is not a body-hugging material.
It makes garments that tend to drape and hold its structure well, but unless the cut is already shaped to your body, then it is not going to hug it or be form-fitting.
Is Viscose A Good Quality Fabric?
Yes, viscose is a high-quality fabric that holds its shape well and has a smooth finish. It also doesn’t wrinkle as much as cotton does, and is considered to be environmentally friendly.
Is Viscose With Linen Stretchy?
Viscose is not inherently stretchy, and will only stretch if blended with stretchy material. Since linen is not considered a stretchy material, then viscose blended with linen will not stretch.
Is Viscose Stretchy With Nylon?
Nylon is a very strong, durable, and stretchy fiber, which means that it will likely stretch more than other fibers like viscose.
When blended with viscose, it should make the garment stretchy. However, viscose mixed with nylon will still give off a soft hand and won’t stretch too much.
Viscose is a plant-based material that is considered to be a type of rayon. It is semi-synthetic and considered to be environmentally friendly.
Viscose is a great alternative to silk because it drapes beautifully, is very lightweight and breathable, and has a similar feel to it.
Viscose is not known for being very stretchy unless blended with other fabrics such as polyester or a polyester blend.
You can attempt to stretch it while wet, but we do not recommend this because you risk damaging the material altogether.
Additionally, viscose is a material that needs a lot of special attention and care.
You can find tips above on how to wash, dry, and iron viscose, as well as advice on how to make your own viscose clothing, which should prove helpful.
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