Does Viscose Fabric Shrink?

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Searching for a cheap but quality dress is not an easy task. This is especially true when you’re looking for a dress that will fit well with your body type. In the past, I have had to worry about purchasing a dress that was not tight enough around the waist or one that was too tight on my breasts. Luckily, I found viscose fabric and it has been absolutely perfect! 

The benefits of this material are numerous as it’s environmentally friendly (like most silk), very versatile in its use since it can be dyed, provides stretch minimizing creases or wrinkles, does not fade easily, and is easy to care for. The viscose fabric has been the best material I’ve found for my dresses as the price is great, comes in a wide variety of design options, and does not shrink in the wash.

Does viscose fabric shrink? This is a question that I often get from users. The short answer is no. Viscose fabric, like rayon and jersey, is a man-made fiber that doesn’t shrink when washed. This means that the type of fabric you choose to sew your garments in is not important when it comes to taking care of them in the laundry. The only thing you need to be cognizant of when washing your viscose fabrics is how much detergent you use and whether or not it contains bleach.

What Is Viscose Fabric?

This material is a man-made fiber that is made from cellulose (plant sugars). It comes in many types and usually has the word ‘viscose’ in its name; such as Viscose Jersey, Viscose Rayon, etc. Viscose fabric has many of the same properties as silk and cotton. The advantages of using viscose fabric over silk or cotton are its low price and easy maintenance. Many people like viscous because it has the same look and feel of silk but does not cost as much. Because of this, it is a great choice for those who are just starting out sewing or someone who is on a budget.

Viscose Fabric Facts

Environmentally friendly– Many man-made fabrics are known for being green because they are made from recycled materials such as plastic bottles and old soda bottles. Viscose fabric uses cellulose found in plants as its main source of material and its eco-friendly properties make it an environmentally friendly choice.

What is viscose fabric made of?

Viscose fabric is made of cellulose, which is a plant’s natural structural component. When plants are cut down they are left in such a way that they can be harvested. We usually don’t think about the fact that all the materials we use are products from plants. 

This plant which is called “hemp” absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and helps to pull our planet back from the brink of environmental disaster. The cellulose found in the hemp plant is what makes viscose fabric a green choice. It is made from renewable resources, does not cause pollution and it’s easier for the environment.

Viscose fabric has many of the same properties as silk, both in its look and feels but at a fraction of the cost.

Types of Viscose Fabric

The many different types of viscose fabric are there to give you that luxurious feel of silk but at a fraction of the cost. These different kinds are made from cellulose and not animal products.

Viscose Jersey

This is a very common type of viscose fabric that is made by mixing different types of cotton with preservatives and then spinning it into a yarn. This is what gives the fabric its stretchiness. It comes in a variety of colors and varies in its flatness.

Viscose Jersey does not shrink much but it does have the possibility for creases when taking a bath or traveling in the car. When creasing is present it will usually have a diagonal line on the surface.

Viscose Rayon

This viscose fabric is also made from cotton and preservatives but has some other additives used to give it that silk-like quality. Also, it is spun into a yarn. It comes in a variety of colors and it is not as flat as a jersey but still a little bit better than terry fabric.

Viscose Velvet

This viscose fabric is made of cellulose with a natural oil for its structure. It comes in many colors and can have creases depending on how it was washed. This type of fabric will not shrink in the wash and has a very little possibility for creases in the washing machine or dryer.

Viscose Taffeta

This is a viscose fabric that is made from cellulose with natural oil. It comes in many different colors and is very similar to velvet in softness and feel.

Viscose Silk Screen 

This is a viscose fabric made from cellulose with some additional fibers added. They are then spun into yarn before being dyed, woven, and finally cut into the fabric for washing and wearing. It comes in many different colors and cut patterns.

Viscose Lycra

This is a viscose fabric made from the same cellulose that other fabrics are made from but is stronger due to its lures. It comes in many different colors and cut patterns. It is very similar to rayon in quality but lends more of silk feel to the garment.

Viscose Bamboo & Viscose Bamboo Sateen

These are kind of like rayon but they are made from bamboo or a blend of viscose with rayon. The viscose bamboo fabrics come in many different colors and sizes. The viscose bamboo sateen fabrics come in many different colors that look beautiful on a jacket, sweater, or blouse.

Cotton Viscose

This is a viscose fabric that is made from cotton and has the same qualities as it. The only difference is that it will have a very soft but more of a cotton feel to it than the smooth silk-like touch you get with pure viscose.

Viscose Crepe

This is a viscose fabric that is made from both cellulose and cotton. It comes in many colors and has a very soft feel.

Viscose Sheer

This kind of viscose fabric is also made from cellulose but it has a different weave to it. It comes in many different colors and looks like chiffon on the back side of the material. It does not wrinkle very easily but when it does, it will have diagonal wrinkles visible on the surface.

Why does viscose shrink?

Since viscose fabric is made from plant sugars (cellulose) it will shrink when washed. But since it shrinks less than natural fabrics such as silk and cotton, you can use a washing machine or dryer that uses cold water.

If you do not have access to a cold water washing machine, or if your washer does not have a setting for washing on cold, then use the warm/cold setting closest to the cold setting. It will take longer to dry this way and wrinkles may result.

Viscose Fabric is commonly used for apparel, home decorating, and children’s wear. Due to the high price of silk, viscose has become a viable alternative. It is often used as an alternative to silk because it looks similar to the natural fabric but has a more affordable cost.

Viscose fabrics are soft and feel the same as silk but are cheaper. The new technology gives many colors like light pink and black that do not come out in silk or cotton products.

When does viscose shrink or stretch?

In order to show the difference between viscose from silk, it’s first important to understand how viscose shrinks or stretches. When choosing a color for your garment, you will select a color that is closest to the color of the fabric you want.

If you’re making a blouse and choose black viscose for that, it will fit well but mean that when you wash it, it will shrink. But if you made a blouse out of black silk, it will not shrink as much as the viscose.

Viscose fabrics are sturdy and will not stretch too much. They give you plenty of room to move and do not stretch out beyond recognition. It also has less elasticity than silk or polyester so it does not stretch out too much.

When viscose is washed it becomes more like the properties of cotton and therefore more likely to wrinkle when washed in the washing machine or dryer in an appropriate setting.

Does viscose shrink when washed?

Viscose fabrics have the same degree of shrinkage and stretch as other fabrics. It is isotropic which means it has the same percentage of shrinkage in the dryer or wash stage. Since it shrinks less than natural fabrics such as silk and cotton, you can use a washing machine or dryer that uses cold water.

If you do not have access to a cold water washing machine, or if your washer does not have a setting for washing on cold, then use the warm/cold setting closest to the cold setting. It will take longer to dry this way and wrinkles may result.

If you want to get rid of wrinkles, the best recommendation is to iron it with steam. It will work the same way for all fabrics, so you don’t have to worry about fabric type.

Viscose fabrics are very delicate. They can be damaged easily by heat, so use a low temperature when ironing or drying if needed.

How to wash viscose to keep it safe from shrinking?

there are different tips to wash viscose fabric to keep it safe from shrinking:

Wash with hand

Wash viscose clothes by hand to avoid shrinking. By washing it by hand you can avoid the risk of damaging your viscose clothes and keep them looking great for a long time.

You can wash viscose clothes by hand to avoid damage and help prevent shrinkage. Whatever your choice is, remember to use cold water because it will take a longer time to dry, and also keep in mind that you should iron the fabric anyway so that it doesn’t damage.

Don’t use too hot water

Do not use warm water at high temperatures, always use cold water when washing viscose clothes. When washing it on cold temperature, take into consideration that it will take longer than usual to dry and may also leave creases.

Iron at low temperature

When ironing viscose, always iron it on cotton or linen to avoid damaging the fabric. After washing and ironing it, do not put it in the dryer because the heat of the dryer can damage it.

Avoid dryer

If you want to dry your clothes, you should dry them under the sun, on a dryer, or ironing. it will take more time to dry than other clothes, but you won’t damage your clothes so it’s worth it.

You can use a washing machine to wash viscose clothes, but you have to use cold water and use an extra care setting. in high temperatures of more than 30 degrees, you can damage the fabric. so make sure that the water is under 30 degrees when washing your viscose clothes in a washing machine. Also, make sure not to put too much soap on your clothing because it will damage even more.

Use softener when washing

when washing viscose clothes, you can use a softener to make them softer. it will help your clothes be less damaged and keep them looking new longer.

Do not immerse in water

When washing viscose clothes, do not immerse them completely in water or water temperature will be absorbed by fabric and make it shrink. it’s better to dip the viscose clothes in cold water than to put them in hot water.

How to dry viscose fabric clothes?

It is important to dry your viscose fabric in a shady place. There are different methods that you can use to dry your viscose clothes. Try the following:

Drying on the Sun

You can use the sun to dry your viscose clothes. Place your clothes on a clothes rack and allow it to dry in the sun for about 8–12 hours. Avoid drying your viscose clothes in direct sunlight because it may damage the fabric if it is exposed too long to heat.

Therefore, ensure that you place them where there is ample shade when you are drying them.

Drying with a Dryer 

You can also use a dryer to dry your viscose clothes. Turn the dryer to a low setting and make sure that it is set on delicate mode. Make sure that the dryer is empty of any other items before you place your viscose clothing inside. Allowing the clothes to tumble in a dryer will help to remove any wrinkles. If you do not have access to a dryer, you can also use your home iron or a flat surface such as a table or countertop, and allow them to air-dry instead.

A flat surface will also help you to iron your clothes and get rid of wrinkles.After drying your viscose clothes, store them in an area with low humidity to ensure that they do not wrinkle.

Drying on a Hanger

You can also use a hanger to dry your viscose clothing. Simply drape the clothes over a clothes rack or hanger and allow it to air-dry overnight or until they are completely dry.

When drying your viscose clothes on a hanger, use a hanger with wide hooks and avoid metal hangers because they can damage your thin viscose clothing.

Drying with a Crepe

You can also use a crepe to dry your clothes. Make sure that the crepe is lightly dampened to prevent shrinkage. Place the clothes in a plastic or paper bag before you put them in the crepe for about 2–4 hours.

If you are using a paper bag, you can use the middle of the bag to flatten out the crepe.

Drying with a Steamer

You can also use a steamer to dry your viscose clothes. A steamer that has been used for cooking food will work well. For example, if you have an 8-cup rice cooker, place your viscose clothes inside it with the bottom facing up and cover it with a lid. Let it cook for about 30 minutes and then remove the lid. Repeat the process in about 15–30 minutes until the clothes are dry enough to handle.

Always pick out your viscose clothes through a hanger before putting them in the steamer to avoid getting the bottom of your clothes damaged.

FAQ about viscose fabric

Does viscose shrink after every wash?

If your viscose clothes are dry enough, you can fold them up and put them away in a drawer or closet. If they are not dry and wrinkled, you can also iron them to remove all wrinkles. You should always remove all wrinkles as soon as possible because if you don’t, it will make your viscose clothing shrink after every wash.

How is viscose different from silk?

Silk is a natural fiber that comes from an insect (the larva of a moth). The silkworm has a very specific diet and that is what makes the silk so beautiful; all the fibers are almost pure, making them smooth and shiny. Viscose fabric isn’t really created by nature; it’s created in factories using natural ingredients such as cellulose, which is derived from wood pulp or cotton.

What is viscose fabric for?

There are many uses for this type of fabric such as Dresses, Costumes, Lingerie, Blouses, Nightgowns, Rompers, Velvet Skirts or Pants, Neckties, and more.

What will viscose fabric not work for?

This material is not suitable for clothing that needs to have strong robustness to it. Because of its delicate nature, it is not good when being used during extreme sports such as skateboarding or skiing.

How to make your viscose fabrics last longer.

When wearing your wedding skirt, it’s easy to pull the top of the fabric when you reach the top of your thigh. The skirt is likely made with viscose and in these tight areas, it stretches out and becomes sheer. Viscose fabrics can be pulled in these high areas because they are made of very delicate material. What you can do is to draw a line down the back with a pen, so you know where to keep your hands when you wear it. Also, never place the skirt in places where it can become damaged. Keep it in a delicate place or hang it up on a nice hanger and make sure to let the viscose fabric dry out before storing it away.

How to care for viscose fabric?

When storing your garments, always make sure they are wrapped in acid-free tissue paper to prevent any damage to the fabric. You can also store them in airtight plastic bags and avoid storing them with other pieces that may cause damage.

When you take your garment out of storage, you will want to stretch it out and let it air-dry before wearing it again.

Is viscose a good fabric?

Viscose is an excellent material for fabrics because it’s very soft, has a lot of stretches, and is also lightweight. The fibers of this type of fabric are very delicate and will react to conditions such as extreme heat or cold. Viscose fabrics are not suitable if you need strong robustness to the garment.

When buying clothes, always buy pieces with care. If you notice any tears or holes, when you pull it on, the fabric will start to fray revealing the delicate tissues beneath.

Can viscose fabric be dyed?

Yes, you can dye your viscose fabric. You can use a standard dye such as RIT dye but make sure not to use RIT dyes that are made specifically for polyester fabrics. The color that you want to achieve when dying your viscose garment can be achieved with a coffee or tea stain dye.

Final Thoughts

Viscose fabric is a very elegant and shiny fabric that many people are used to. It is often used to make fashion items because of the soft feel it gives off, especially when it comes together with cotton.

When washing viscose you should use cold water because it will take longer to dry if you wash it in Hot water. When it comes to drying, you can either hang them or put them in the dryer; although you should check the clothes after drying because you should make sure that it is not damaged before wearing them.

Once you get used to drying and washing your viscose clothes, you’ll feel more at ease knowing that they will last much longer than cotton. If you’re ever in doubt about what to do when washing your own clothes, remember not to launder them too often as they will stretch and shrink every time.



I have been working as a seamstress since I was 12 years old, and I would be happy to teach you what I know. I, along with the rest of my team, investigate numerous sewing, quilting, embroidery, and fabric related how-to guides, and present our findings to you.

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