Is Viscose Fabric Stretchy? (Top 6 Ways To Stretch It)


While making different items from viscose fabric many people must wonder did viscose fabric stretch? Simple answer to that question is that sometimes viscose fabric stretches but unlike the other fabric viscose stretch is very small. Viscose is a type of rayon fabric made from wood cellulose fibres. It can be made to be elastic, but not always. Generally, it is not stretchable.

Well, you can stretch Viscose even when it becomes old or frayed because, unlike regular cellulose, its chemical makeup makes it more resistant to stretching out of shape and tearing apart. Here we will be discussing the way viscose fabric is made and how much stretchability it has. Read the full blog to get your answer about how we can stretch viscose fabric from different methods.  

What is Viscose Fabric?

Viscose is a highly-textured fabric that possesses an elasticity similar to cotton. This textural property, along with its drape and lightness, makes it perfect for tops, dresses, and lingerie.

Viscose is made from cellulose fibres dissolved in water and solution to create cellulose pulp which is then spun into yarn.

The viscose process starts with bamboo or wood pulp bleached and dried before combined with synthetic polymers such as polyvinyl alcohol.

This synthetic polymer is dissolved in water and then mixed with other additives such as metals such as zinc and copper. The viscous solution is then placed through rollers that remove the Viscose’s solids. This process creates a highly stretchable yarn.

The viscose process has created an amazing fabric with wide colours and designs. Viscose can be made into ten different deniers, which are graded on their strength and thickness.

Depending on the denier, the texture may be very rough or smooth, allowing for garments to possess a variety of looks depending on their texture. Viscose is also made into various weaves, including twill, satin, Jersey, etc. 

Viscose is often confused with silk in regards to its drape and texture. Other common misconceptions include that it can be made into various fabrics while silk can only be used in one.

Viscose has several uses, including the fabrication of clothing, upholstery, body lines, and even an insulator for bedding and children’s clothing. 

Since its inception, Viscose has hardly lost popularity despite competition from other fibres such as cotton, modal, and polyester rayon.

Does Viscose Fabric Stretch?

It is a common misconception that viscose fabric stretches just like regular cotton. Poly vs. Cotton. While both fabrics are made of natural fibres, they possess different properties. Let’s take a closer look at some differences between Viscose and cotton. Viscose is one of the most popular and versatile fabrics in the world. First manufactured in 1894, it has seen a steady growth from its popularity as a rayon alternative to silk during the Great Depression to its current popularity as a staple in fashion and clothing because of its drape, texture, colour, and versatility. 

It is produced from softwood bark or bamboo but has been re-engineered for modern uses. Viscose fabric is relatively strong, thus retaining its shape despite being stretched. This can be achieved by using different levels of strength.

Straight-cut pieces have a low level of strength, and the material will stretch out of shape easily. However, knitted pieces can retain their original shape while retaining their elasticity. The weave pattern also has an effect on the elasticity of the material as well. For example, a twill weave has more elasticity than a satin weave because it can hold its shape more quickly depending on how tightly it is wound up and then knotted together.

What is Viscose Fibre Made of?

Viscose fibre is made from Viscose spun from organic or inorganic materials, such as wood cellulose and synthetic substances. Viscose is one of the most versatile fibres in the world. It has a strong drape, texture, colour, and versatility with the high moisture-wicking ability and is breathable. Because it can resist creasing and wrinkling through a steamer or clothesline when dried, it’s possible to extend its life compared to other textiles like cotton. The flexibility allows for easy use making viscose fabric great for many applications, including clothing, household items, industrial belts, silk alternatives, and so on.

The viscose by-product derives from the cellulose of wood, which is traditionally used as a raw material for rayon. It also has a high tension, which gives it an excellent mechanical and physical structure. The three significant components of viscose fibre are the rayon fibre, the regenerated cellulose fibre, and the resin binder.

The fibre obtained is divided into two categories: PURU and PURU-HITO. The first category refers to the production of spun yarn with synthetic materials such as polyester and polyamide. The second category refers to the production of spun yarn with regenerated cellulose fibre added. Additionally, the thread is broken down into two categories:

Rayon fibre obtained from hardwood pulp and a polyethylene additive is known as PURU-KOMI. Rayon fibre obtained from softwood pulp and a polyethylene additive is known as PURU-HITO. Due to its chemical makeup, viscose fabric can withstand a wide range of temperatures and can be used in most seasons. It is naturally resistant to mould, mildew, dirt, and stains. However, if you are concerned about creasing or wrinkling, you might want to take extra precautions.

Top 6 Ways to Stretch Viscose Fibre

In commercial production, the stretchability of the viscose fibre comes from the continuous process of breaking down the viscose fibre, which produces a more delicate fibre. To completely prepare the raw material, it also has to be spun through a spinneret. This includes spinning it into a yarn and then drawing it on a bobbin.

This way, the finer fibres can be drawn out and processed to make a uniform viscose fibre. This is achieved by coagulating solutions in water and acids that are used to dissolve some of the rayon molecules. The water is allowed to flow through these solutions with an exit port; thus the spinning process is known as extrusion in this case. 

In household methods, the viscose fibre can be stretched to 3-5% but not more. The one condition required for viscose stretching is that the fibre must be moist/wet. Viscose fibre is not basically much more stretchy, but it can be stretched up to some extent. methods that can be used to stretch viscose fibre are as follow

  1. Water viscose
  2. Iron viscose
  3. Steam viscose
  4. Use shampoo or conditioner
  5. Use starch or gum arabic
  6. Tumble dry Viscose

Water Viscose

This is one of the most common ways to stretch viscose fabric as it does not involve chemicals (and is readily available at home).

If you need to stretch viscose fibre, you can do so by soaking your viscose fabric in warm water. The viscose fibre will become soft and moldable due to the heat.

You can also try this method of stretching viscose fibre without soaking it in warm water but filling a bucket with hot water and then dipping your viscose fabric into it for about 5-10 minutes until the fibre becomes soft and moldable. Take out your wet viscose fabric from the bucket and let it dry before using or further processing it.

Iron Viscose

The ironing process is done using a low temperature. It involves using a specialised ironing board, which can also be used to press fabrics together. Ironing may require wearing clothes made of viscose material as they will melt at a very high temperature and get ruined. 

To stretch viscose fibre, you need a good steam iron with lots of steam and a high-temperature setting. To stretch viscose fibre, you need to make it wet or moist. First, wash the Viscose with a mild shampoo or conditioner and rinse it completely. You can then put the Viscose in a water bathtub and leave it overnight. When you get up the following day, your fabric should be very pliant and ready for stretching.

To have a well-stretched viscose fibre use the steam ironing method. Just buy a good steam iron and a pair of good quality glue sticks, or you can even use starch for the same purpose.

In this case, in addition to stretching your viscose fibre, you can also make it stronger by high heat and pressure and removing all the creases from your fabric. So every time you need to wash your viscose fabric, just remove it from the washing machine, apply steam, and keep pressing on it with an iron until your fibres become soft and moldable. 

Use Shampoo or Conditioner

This is another method of stretching viscose fabric. In this case, you can also try using a good-quality shampoo or conditioner to stretch this fabric. This method works well with both Viscose as well as cotton fabrics.

The main disadvantage that makes the manufacture of viscose fibre more expensive than rayon is that it requires a lot of chemicals for its production process. You can also use your shampoo or conditioner to stretch viscose fibre. Fill a container with water and add some amount of shampoo or conditioner to it.

Dip the viscose fabric into the water until it becomes moist, and place a wet towel on top of the viscose fabric. Cover the container with a lid and leave it overnight. You can then stretch the viscose fabric by using the steam ironing method.

Steam Viscose

You can also try the steam ironing method to stretch viscose fibre. Here you will need warm water, a steaming cloth, viscose fabric, and excellent quality iron. Take your viscose fabric and put it in a bucket of warm water. Then leave it there for about 5-10 minutes, remove it from the water, and press with an iron for about 5-10 minutes until the viscose fabric is soft. 

Some techniques, such as steam stretching or ironing, can soften viscose fibres quickly by increasing their temperature. This is sometimes only useful to correct a few creases but may still be less expensive than polyester production methods because of reduced processing time.

It is essential to pay attention to some crucial factors while stretching your viscose fabric so that you are not left frustrated with half-stretched viscose fabrics.. if you have tried all four methods of stretching your viscose fabric but still find that it does not stretch as much as you want, then try the following tips below.

Use Starch or Gum Arabic 

Starch or gum arabic can also be used in order to stretch viscose fabric. In this method, you need to combine your viscose fabric with starch or gum arabic in a very specific ratio and then use the mixture when ironing it. You can easily buy starch or gum arabic at a local market, but if you do not have access to it, it is still possible to make a mixture at home. Take your viscose fabric and mix 5 parts of starch with 2 parts of water. Then iron the viscose material using high heat and pressure until it becomes soft. 

Starch is a chemical compound that is made from cornstarch. It is a thickening agent used in cooking and in many industrial processes such as making paper. However, the most common use of starch is for laundry detergent, where small amounts are used to thicken the liquid detergents. Sometimes it is used as an ingredient in other products such as rubber cement and envelope glue.

Gum arabic is a natural product that comes from the gum tree. It has many different uses, the most common being its use in the production of some types of pharmaceutical drugs. It also has several benefits for cosmetic products, but it can also be used for food processing.

Tumble Dry Viscose

This is another technique where you will be required to tumble dry your viscose fabric in your appliance for an extended period of time in order to make it soft and moldable again. After that, you can stretch the viscose fabric like any other fabric.

What is Viscose Bamboo Fabric?

Viscose bamboo fabric is a very popular and widely used versatile synthetic textile. It is manufactured from softwood bark or bamboo but has been re-engineered for modern uses. Viscose fabric is relatively strong, thus able to retain its shape in spite of being stretched.

This can be achieved by using different levels of strength. Straight-cut pieces have a low level of strength, and the material will stretch out of shape easily. However, knitted pieces are able to retain their original shape while retaining their elasticity. The weave pattern also has an effect on the elasticity of the material as well.

Viscose bamboo fabric is made the same way Viscose is made; only bamboo fibres are used instead of wood. Its remarkable strength and durability make it a natural and sustainable choice for those seeking eco-friendly clothing.

Bamboo fabrics are soft to the touch without being too light. They are cool in summer, warm in winter, and easy to care for. That’s why viscose bamboo fabric is so popular among consumers looking for comfort and sustainability.

Viscose is a popular natural fibre fabric that offers this unique sheen that can be achieved through either the use of dyes or a special coating applied to the material.!

Dyeing cloth fabric is relatively easy to do, and many people choose to dye their own clothes to save money. You must select a safe, generic dye for fabric – many different dyes can be hazardous if used on the wrong material. A good rule of thumb is not to use fabric that was made by another company. You should also choose a shade that matches your clothing’s colour scheme or buy clothes with the dyed parts sewn later.

Is Viscose Summer Fabric?

Viscose cotton doesn’t shrink or wrinkle and is suitable for casual wear in cooler months. It can often be found at discount stores, which means it is a good investment piece that can last a while. As with many natural fabrics, it’s more expensive than synthetic ones, but there are environmentally conscious ways to make that cost worth it.

Buying second-hand clothing and using natural products like wool wash and a biodegradable detergent is an easy way to do this. For example, the use of Viscose comes from natural resources, so buying vintage pieces or used clothing is an excellent way of going green without too much extra effort.

A summer version of viscose fabric is made from bamboo instead of wood. Viscose bamboo fabric is a synthetic product, so it has some advantages and disadvantages compared to natural viscose fabric.

The price difference between viscose bamboo fabric and natural viscose fabric is negligible in terms of cost.

Consequently, many companies are unwilling to produce only natural viscose textile in summer since it would be too costly. Viscose bamboo fabric customers often focus on its qualities such as moisture-wicking and anti-bacterial properties that make it very useful in sportswear because they fight against perspiration, bacteria, and odour while keeping the skin cool and dry.

Is Viscose Breathable?

Viscose is a breathable fabric, which means it can absorb moisture from the outside and release it into the inner layers of the fabric. When you breathe on your viscose garment, it will puff up but return to normal once you remove your arm. Viscose can be so breathable because of its structure. Viscose fibres have a large internal surface area with very few dense threads. When faced with high humidity, these fibres are very hydrophilic and can absorb two to four times their weight in moisture from the surrounding air.

However, Viscose cannot be considered breathable in the same way that cotton is a breathable fabric for its cotton fibres. Viscose fibres do not naturally have the same extensibility as cotton and thus are not able to absorb as much moisture before it reaches the outside of the garment.

The weight and shape of each viscose fibre directly affect how much moisture it can hold. The heavier and more rounded these fibres are, the heavier their weight when exposed to humidity from degrading cellulose, leading to a higher rate at which they can absorb moisture.

How to Clean Viscose Fibre?

Viscose fibre is synthetic, and the cleaning method is different from natural fibre.

If you want to use water to clean viscose fabric, we recommend using cold water. The coldwater temperature must not be too high.

Otherwise, it will increase the shrinkage rate during the drying process. If you clean it with hot water, many harmful substances in hot water will penetrate into the fabric and cause negative effects on its quality.

The detergent used to clean viscose fabric should be mild and gentle. It can not be too strong or hard because it will damage the viscose fabric. If you want to clean it well, it will require more detergent, or the fabric may be faded.

When washing the viscose garment, please use a soft brush to dry between the layers because the elasticity of viscose fibre is very high. It can not be folded and ironed to avoid needle holes and other damage to clothes.

Viscose fabric is very high in shrinkage when it is wet. So after cleaning it with water, please dry it quickly by patting gently with a towel. Then the fabric will be shrunk when you place your hand on it.

After cleaning viscose fabric, it has more fibre tension, and the amount of fibre resistant to shrinkage is relatively small. Therefore, when drying it after washing, please use a soft brush to dry between the layers because the elasticity of viscose fibre is very high. It can not be folded and ironed to avoid needle holes and other damage to clothes.

Viscose fabric’s thread is very soft and fine, which can easily get caught by the needle. If you are going to sew a viscose fabric garment by yourself or somebody else with a sewing machine, you need to be careful against this thread getting caught in the wrong place.

Viscose Fabric Cleaning Tips

When cleaning viscose fabric, use cool water and little soap (1-2 drops); warm water will cause excessive shrinking. Add a splash of colour to your wardrobe with viscose fabric. This knitted fabric is both comfortable and versatile. You can use it in the spring, summer, or winter, and it can be used in various ways.

Viscose fabric is fantastic for making basic sweaters, tops, and dresses. These garments are both elegant and easy to wear. You can add a splash of colour to your wardrobe with viscose fabric available in different colours such as pink, yellow, purple, or green.

These colours are very vibrant on the skin as well as very eye-catching. It is also possible to create swirls from the same material, which will be great for winter outfits and stylish and attractive.

FAQ about Viscose Fabric Stretchy or Not

How to Care for Viscose Fabric?

Synthetic fabric is susceptible to direct sunlight, light rain, and perspiration. Do not expose your viscose garment to these elements. Hand or Machine wash gently (30 degrees Celsius), do not soak. Do not use bleaching agents or strong detergents; do not wring out the garment. Hang it in the shade to dry naturally, removing any excess water by gently patting it with a towel before laying it flat on a drying rack for drying.

Does Viscose Fibre Shrinks?

Yes, viscose fibre is a shrinkable fabric. However, it does not shrink as much as cotton because it is synthetic. But viscose fibre can still shrink and expand when exposed to heat or water. The shrinking phenomenon happens in a particular manner, which is why you will find it familiar with the wrinkle effect of cotton. The normal fabric shrinks during the drying process. However, there is no ironing effect on the fabric. So after the drying process, the fabric will be shrunken and wrinkled just like cotton.

Is Viscose Fibre Absorbent?

In the case of viscose fibre, it is very easy to be absorbed by water and air. In the case of water, when washing a viscose fabric by any means such as hand or machine, the Viscose will absorb up to 30% of its weight. As far as size is concerned, it can easily be absorbed, which is seen in a wet cloth. However, the absorption will slow down if you dry it a little. The way of drying can also influence how much the viscose fibre would be able to absorb water.

Does Viscose have an Odour?

Viscose has no smell when it’s being produced and stored properly. However, it does have an odour once you open the package. It is said that viscose breathable fabrics have better airflow than regular Viscose. This article says that the combination of cellulose and acrylic fibres in the fabric creates a breathable fabric.

What is Viscose Acetate Fabric?

Viscose acetate fabric is a semi-synthetic, extremely lightweight textile that can be used in lieu of heavier fabrics. By experimenting with the manufacturing process, viscose acetate fabric can be heat-treated to reach new heights of durability and elasticity. Piling patterns are created by weaving yarns into the warp and weft fibres of the fabric with an alternating pattern. The yarns are then bonded with a UV-resistant acetate coating and sewing thread for a durable, uniform shirt.

Does the Viscose Stretch when Washed?

Yes, when Viscose is washed and dried at a higher temperature than usual, the fabric is shrunken, which creates a gentle springiness in the fabric. The original size of the fabric will return to its original size after an hour or two.

How to Reduce Yellowing in Viscose Fabrics?

Yellowing occurs when fabrics are exposed to extreme temperatures that disrupt their chemical reactions. Yellowing is common with dyes and pigments, which often have chemical stabilisers that prevent fading by absorbing UV light. However, when these chemicals fail, the fibres will turn yellow. Viscose has a moderate amount of “memory” when it is washed. It’s not very elastic while wet, but it maintains its shape.

Can you Wash a Viscose Sweater?

Yes, you may safely machine wash your viscose sweater and hand wash your viscose dress or pants. There should be no problem if the garment is completely dry before putting it on after washing. Under normal wear conditions, any kind of cleaning will not cause any problems to the fabric. 

Does 100% Percent Viscose Material Stretch?

100 percent viscose fabric does stretch but in a limited capacity. Viscose fabric is a kind of natural fibre with a high proportion of regenerating fibres, which means that the fabric tends to be more flexible. It can only stretch to a certain extent.

What are the Disadvantages of Viscose Fibre?

Viscose fibre is not a disadvantage but an attribute that distinguishes this fibre from others, such as cotton and wool. Synthetic fibre has been accused of causing rashes and discomfort in some cases. Synthetic fabrics have also been accused of being slippery on the skin and lacking breathability though this can be corrected by increasing the amount of yarn used or adding cotton to absorb moisture.

Final Thoughts

To summarise, natural fibres are often more popular because of their breathability, resilience, and unique texture. Nevertheless, synthetic fibres can be beneficial in specific applications, for instance, when insulation is required or water resistance is necessary. Although it doesn’t “breathe,” Viscose is pretty much like a natural fibre. It has been used in lingerie and luxury clothing for decades and will continue to be popular for years to come.


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