V is for Viscose

Posted on 21 December, 2018

V is for Viscose

Viscose is a popular fabric for corporate clothing and fashion clothing, but what exactly is it? 

In the late nineteenth century viscose was known as artificial silk, the word viscose, or rayon came into use in 1924.  Viscose isn’t just found in our clothes — it’s also used in the manufacturing of upholstery, bedding, carpets, cellophane and even sausage casing!

How is Viscose made? 

Viscose is made from the “cellulose” or wood pulp, from fast growing regenerative trees such as eucalyptus, beech and pine as well as plants such as bamboo, soy and sugar cane. The cellulose material is then dissolved in a chemical solution to produce a pulpy viscous substance which is spun into fibres to be made into threads.

Is Viscose sustainable? 

As a plant-based fibre, viscose is not inherently toxic or polluting. However, because of the growing fast-fashion industry, some of the viscose on the market today is manufactured cheaply using energy, water and chemically-intensive processes that impacts on workers, local communities and the environment.

Read more about other fibres in our advice centre.