What is viscose?

Viscose is a semi-synthetic fabric developed from regenerated cellulose. The cellulose used here is retrieved from wood pulp, making viscose a natural fiber.

Viscose, also known as rayon in many areas, was first produced in the 19th century as a better alternative to natural silk fiber.

What are the characteristics of viscose?

Identifying a viscose fabric is easy if you know the characteristics correctly. So, let’s look at some characteristics of this semi-synthetic fiber.


Like many other natural fibers, viscose is also breathable as it is created from wood pulp. A viscose fabric will be light, letting air pass easily in hotter times.


Viscose has a high absorbency level. Because of this, it soaks faster and can absorb colors easily while dyeing or printing designs on the fabric.


Viscose was developed as an alternative to silk. It provides a softness similar to silk, making the fabric quite comfortable to wear and touch.

How is viscose produced?

Producing viscose is complicated, but it can be done in a manufacturing unit. Let’s examine how viscose is produced.

Extracting Cellulose

Extracting cellulose is the first step in producing viscose. Here, the cellulose is extracted from wood pulp or any other plant material that contains cellulose.

Alkaline Treatment

To obtain alkali cellulose, the extracted cellulose is alkaline treated. Sodium hydroxide, commonly known as caustic soda, is used during this process.


The alkali cellulose obtained in the previous step is mixed with carbon disulfide to create cellulose xanthate. This is then dissolved in sodium hydroxide, resulting in a viscose solution.


Now, the viscose solution is extruded through an acid bath, where the solution gets converted to a solid fiber.

Spinning and Finishing

The last step in this process is spinning the fibers into yarns and washing and dyeing as needed.

Where is viscose used?

Because of its softness and resemblance to silk, viscose has many different uses. Below are three areas where viscose is used heavily.


Viscose fabric is used to create sportswear, lingerie, dresses, etc.

Industrial Use

Medica gauges, filtration materials, wipes, and other industrial items are made from viscose fabric.

Home Textiles

Towels, curtains, etc., can be based on viscose due to its soft and smoother finish.