Is Viscose Rayon? Differences Between Rayon and Viscose
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Is Viscose Rayon? Differences Between Rayon and Viscose

It makes sense to ask whether viscose is rayon since the two fabrics have a striking similarity at first glance.

Is viscose rayon? No. Although the terms rayon and viscose are frequently used interchangeably for the same types of fabrics, they differ in certain ways.

The main difference between rayon and viscose is that rayon is eco-friendly and less expensive with a higher capacity of absorption, while viscose is a softer fabric with higher durability.

Below, we’ll discuss each fabric’s likenesses and distinctions as well as its advantages and disadvantages.

Is Viscose Rayon?

It is very similar between rayon and viscose. After all, rayon is merely a subset of viscose. In fact, unless they are blended with something else, you might not be able to tell much of a difference between these two fabrics.

In the lists that follow, we contrast the key distinctions between rayon and viscose.

  • Viscose looks more like silk and has a shinier sheen than Rayon.
  • Traditional rayon looks more like cotton but feels more like silk. This indicates that it is slightly more permeable and absorbent than viscose.
  • Viscose will keep you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot. Although rayon will keep you incredibly cool, it does not regulate body temperature.
  • The fabrics are manufactured differently. While rayon is not made with liquid viscose, viscose is.

Differences Between Rayon and Viscose

Is Viscose Rayon? Differences Between Rayon and Viscose

There are some differences between rayon and viscose, even though the Federal Trade Commission and some environmental organizations think they are interchangeable.


The cellulose immersion process is used to create rayon, a type of textile fabric. Contrarily, viscose is a type of textile fabric created through the cellulose xanthate process.


Viscose must be produced using wood pulp or cotton linter, whereas rayon can be produced using cellulose from a variety of plants.


Rayon is less soft than viscose in terms of softness or texture. Even though both are delicate and heat-sensitive, using a washing machine is not advised. Viscose has the appearance of silk but the texture of cotton, which is an intriguing characteristic. But rayon imitates silk and is very absorbent.


Viscose is less durable than other types of rayon because of the high caustic soda content.

Both fabrics need to be handled and maintained with care. Because of the differences in the two materials, rayon is more prone to shrinking and creasing than viscose.

See how to maintain rayon fabric and care for viscose fabric.

Is Viscose Rayon? Differences Between Rayon and Viscose

Weather Conditions

Both fabrics are permeable, but Rayon has a slight advantage because it resembles permeable silk fabric. Viscose keeps you warm even in cooler weather, while Rayon is also better for hot weather.

What is Rayon?

Rayon is a fabric made from cellulose that has been immersed during production. So, wood pulp is used to create rayon. Despite the fact that many chemicals are used to create this fabric, rayon is not a synthetic fabric. This is primarily due to rayon fabric’s development from natural polymers.

Pros of Rayon

  • Rayon is breathable and soft. For those seeking a less expensive option than pure bamboo sheets, it’s a great option.
  • Rayon blends very well with bamboo, Tencel, and cotton, so you can enjoy the benefits of these fabrics without overspending.

Cons of Rayon

  • It is not very eco-friendly. Since it is produced similarly to viscose, a lot of water and wood are required. For a more environmentally friendly choice, think about choosing rayon sheets infused with quickly expanding bamboo fibers.
  • Even though they have all been removed by the time your sheets arrive at your home, rayon fibers are exposed to hazardous chemicals during the manufacturing process.

What is Viscose?

Is Viscose Rayon? Differences Between Rayon and Viscose

Viscose is a type of fabric created by the cellulose xanthate process. Plant fibers are used to make it. Viscose is frequently thought of as a manufactured fabric; during the cellulose xanthate processing, the plant fabric is first dissolved and then chemically restored.

Pros of Viscose

  • Viscose is lightweight and breathable, which makes it a great summer fabric for people who want silk sheets but need a cheaper alternative.
  • Viscose also drapes well and feels soft and comfortable, which makes it a great choice for combining with other fabric types.

Cons of Viscose

  • Viscose wrinkles easily and may shrink or weaken when it is washed.
  • Viscose is not very eco-friendly. It can cause deforestation and consumes a lot of water during production. If you’re an environmentally conscious shopper, try to look for viscose sourced from sustainable forests.

Similarities Between Rayon and Viscose

  • Both viscose and rayon are extremely cool.
  • Both fabrics are easy to dye, making them great choices for sleepers looking for vivid colors or patterns.
  • Neither fabric is very durable, and if you don’t get a rayon or viscose blend, your sheets may be hand-wash only. Luckily, both fabrics blend well with other fibers. So pick a rayon or viscose blend if you’re concerned about care and durability.
  • Both fabrics are inexpensive, making them good picks for luxury shoppers.
  • Neither fabric is eco-friendly.

Final Words: Rayon Vs Viscose

As we’ve seen throughout this post, rayon, and viscose can initially be mistaken for one another. This makes sense because both materials are made of cellulose, are resilient, and are soft, which is why they are frequently used to make workwear.

However, they are still different fabrics and present notable differences that should be mentioned:

  • We’ve already mentioned that their manufacturing procedure is different.
  • Environmentally friendly practices are used during rayon production.


Which Fabric is Better Rayon Or Viscose?

Viscose and rayon both wrinkle and shrink easily, but viscose will stay wrinkle-free for longer. those looking for a slightly more robust sheet set. Viscose is a little bit stronger than rayon, but it is still delicate.

Is Viscose Rayon Good Quality?

Viscose is a great option if you’re looking for a lightweight material with a nice drape, a lustrous finish, and a soft feel. It can convey luxury for a much lower price point and is reasonably cheap. Additionally, it mixes well with materials like cotton, polyester, and spandex.

Will Viscose Rayon Shrink?

Viscose rayon can shrink when washed in a washing machine, if it soaks too long in the water, or is exposed to hotter temperatures.

Which is Better Viscose Rayon Or Polyester?

Make your raincoat or bag out of polyester if you want it to be resistant to the elements. Conversely, choose viscose- or cotton-based underwear if you want to be comfortable. Nobody wears polyester boxers for a reason, though!

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