Cotton and viscose materials can both be used to manufacture clothing that are very similar. It’s difficult to choose between these two because they’re so similar in terms of comfort and style. What’s the difference between cotton and viscose?
The manufacturing method is the fundamental distinction between cotton and viscose. Unlike synthetic fibers, cotton is a wholly natural product. Blended wood pulp and chemicals are used to make viscose fiber. An artificial silk fabric is created by combining natural and synthetic materials. Looks and feels like a genuine piece of art.
We’ll take a closer look at each fabric’s characteristics in this piece. Cotton vs. viscose: Which is better? Read on to discover the pros and cons of each. When you compare them, you’ll be able to see the differences more clearly.
Cotton vs Viscose
Cotton and viscose can be used interchangeably, but their characteristics are vastly different. Throughout history, cotton has been a popular choice for all kinds of clothing.
Because of its capacity to wick away moisture and breathability, it remains a popular choice in hot climes.
However, viscose is semi-synthetic. Synthetic fibers have both the benefits and drawbacks of natural fibers. Let’s look at a comparison table to see what the primary differences are.[table]
Tendency to shrink
or a delicate hand washEasily damaged by water
|Durability||Strong and durable
gets stronger when wet
|Suffers a loss in durability when wet|
|Sustainability||100% cotton is biodegradable
The manufacturing process takes a lot of water
The manufacturing process uses toxic chemicals and lots of water
|Texture||Soft against the skin||Looks like silk but feels like cotton.
Soft but can feel cold against the skin
|Type of Fiber||Natural||Semi-synthetic|
What Is Cotton?
Cotton has long been the fabric of choice for making clothes. In a wide variety of weights and weaves, cotton is widely used all over the world because of its longstanding reputation of being incredibly soft, snug, and cuddly next to the skin.
It’s also a long-lasting fabric .’s Denim and other heavier-weight cottons are noted for their durability. Work clothing made from them are top-notch. Summer dresses call for light-weight materials, like gingham.
100 percent cotton materials are still the most popular choice for adaptable and comfortable apparel for every occasion because they are natural, hypoallergenic, and incredibly breathable.[table]
Types of Cotton
Cotton is made from three main kinds of fiber. These fibers are used to produce high-end, premium goods. In mid-quality and everyday apparel, medium-staple fibers are used. Carpets use short-staple fibers, which are the most common type. Compared to the other possibilities, these fibers are of a lower grade.
Blending cotton with different fabrics is also possible. Polycotton is the most common combination of polyester and cotton. If you need scrubs that are easy to care for and ready to wear right from the dryer, this is the mix for you.
For added comfort, you can also use spandex or lycra in cotton clothing to achieve a slightly stretchy fit. Cotton has a tendency to be a stiff material, so adding a little lycra to make a garment more pliable and comfortable is a good idea.
What Is Viscose?
Viscose is a semi-synthetic fabric made from a combination of natural wood pulp and chemicals. In terms of both drape and feel, viscose is an excellent substitute for silk at a lower price point.
A comparable semi-synthetic fabric, rayon, is used to simulate silk in this fabric. Viscose, on the other hand, may seem like silk, but it actually feels like cotton. The fabric’s versatility is a major factor in its popularity.
Developed in 1883, viscose is inexpensive to produce and may be used to make everything from gowns to coats and carpets. Easy to dye and resistant to fading, it is a cloth.
For sportswear, this fabric is both breathable and absorbent. Blends with cotton, polyester, and stretchy materials like spandex are all possible with this fiber.[table]
Types of Viscose
Velvet is a type of viscose that is within the rayon umbrella family. The term “viscose” can also refer to rayon or viscose that has been spun from viscose.
Each of the three rayon fabrics has its own unique characteristics. Model, viscose, and lyocell are all derivatives of cellulose, which is harvested from wood pulp and used to make other materials. Each kind is given its own distinct set of features by going through its own set of processing steps.
Similar processes are used to create model and viscose fibers. However, after spinning, the model fibers are stretched. As a result, model fibers have a length of longer, finer and lighter than viscose.
Lyocell’s manufacture is more environmentally friendly because it uses an organic, nontoxic ingredient. Lyocell is the most environmentally friendly rayon, because to the fact that the compound may be reused.
How Is Cotton Made?
To make cotton, you need to remove the outer layer of the seed’s cocoon. The boll refers to this. The cotton plant need sunlight, adequate moisture, and minimum exposure to frost in order to thrive. As a result, tropical and subtropical regions are the greatest choices.
Cotton production is a labor-intensive process. To begin with, the cotton is harvested in two distinct ways. The boll is either removed from the plant or the plant is harvested in its whole. Bale after bale, the cotton is left to dry in the fields after harvesting.
Cotton fiber is separated from the remainder of the plant using a machine called a cotton gin. The fibers are then squeezed together and shipped to fabric mills for further processing.
The fibers are carded at the mills to remove dirt and clumps, and to generate long strands. This lengthy string of fibers is now ready to be spun into yarn. Cotton textiles of various weights are then made from the yarn.
How Is Viscose Made?
Viscose manufacturing is more complicated than cotton manufacturing. A plant’s wood pulp is used to make viscose fibers, such as bamboo. The alkali solution formed when wood pulp is dissolved with chemicals is called wood pulp.
The liquid in this alkaline solution is pushed out of it. The squeezed substance is shaped into sheets in a similar manner to how paper is manufactured. Chopping the sheets into tiny bits, called as crumbs, is the next step.
Crumbs are dissolved in a solution of sulphuric acid and other chemicals are added. Adding viscosity to a liquid. Removes any acid residue from the solution.
This is followed by a step to eliminate any air bubbles from the mixture, which could lead to weak places in the final product. Spinnerets are used to create filaments or long strands of regenerated cellulose from the solution. Fibers are spun out of the cellulose, which is then woven into cloth.
Which Is Better: Cotton or Viscose?
In the case of cotton versus viscose, it’s hard to identify which is best for a certain job. Both textiles have their advantages and limitations, so let’s take a closer look at them.
The breathability of viscose and cotton is excellent. All natural fiber-based fabrics have the same intrinsic advantages, since they are both derived from plant material, albeit from different portions of the plant.
However, cotton holds a minor advantage. It has the ability to draw heat away from your body by absorbing moisture. In hot areas, the fabric’s dampness can be refreshing.
Unlike cotton, which traps heat close to the body, viscose drapes away from the wearer. Dew can therefore form on the surface instead of being drawn in. The fabric’s breathability decreases when it’s wet. It’s possible that you’ll wind up hot and bothered.
When it comes to cotton, there are a variety of weaves and knits to choose from. There are a variety of options to choose from when it comes to protecting against the cold and letting heat escape.
To keep you warm in cooler weather, heavier weaves like denim, corduroy, and flannel can be worn. Cotton in a lighter weight is ideal for the hottest days of the year. Adding a layer of cotton can help keep you warm on the coldest of days.
Despite the fact that Viscose is a type of synthetic silk, it feels more like cotton. Viscose is a great summer fabric because of its light weight. A lot of people argue about whether or not this cloth can keep you warm.
The same may be said for viscose clothing, which can be layered like cotton. It can go up to a certain point. The fabric’s inherent drape causes gaps between your garments and your skin, resulting in a chilling effect.
Wearing something like cotton on top of Viscose (like polyester) provides higher insulation. It is possible to overheat when layering viscose because of its synthetic nature.
A few types of cotton can feel rough or stiff when you first get your hands on them. Over time, the stiffness wears away, leaving a soft garment with a well-loved appearance.
Other cotton items are already supple. Consider flannel as an example of a nice, comfortable fabric that creates a great pajama set. Cotton is well-known for its suppleness.
Viscose is very pliable and easy to work with. It has an opulent appearance and a smooth, cottony feel. Pilling is what causes viscosity to decrease. When it becomes wet, it loses its ability to withstand wear and tear. The material’s suppleness can be harmed by either of these drawbacks.
Viscose, a lightweight fabric, isn’t extremely bulky. In spite of its cotton-like feel, it is a finer imitation silk. Summer dresses, blouses, and shirts made of this fabric are recognized for being light and breezy. Its drape is a result of the fabric’s lightness.
Cotton can be found in a variety of densities. Cotton voile is thinned out to a thick canvas. The thread count per inch might vary depending on the weave. The greater the number, which is referred to as denier, the thicker the cloth will be.
Cotton and viscose do not have good moisture-wicking properties. It’s absorbed by them both. This can be both a benefit and a drawback.
When wet, viscose might lose its shape. The fibers are vulnerable to water damage. Warm weather might lead to your viscose shirt becoming stiff and uncomfortable if it absorbs moisture from your skin. Also, it can shrink.
Cotton is a sponge. Body moisture is drawn in and held in place by this product. There is a chance that the fabric will take a lengthy time to dry. Feeling chilled if the temperature is a little chillier than usual. A positive side effect of the extra moisture in your shirt is that it might help keep you cool in hot weather.
Dyed viscose is a snap to work with and retains its hues well. Even though it is frequently washed, it does not fade. Reactive dyes can be used to color viscose the same way they can be used to dye cotton.
It’s also quite easy to dye cotton. Although the color will fade, this does not necessarily mean that it is a bad thing. The fading can produce an on-trend fashion appearance, known as the distressed or well-worn style, which is gaining popularity.
Shrinkage is another characteristic shared by cotton and viscose. They’re both getting smaller. Pre-washing cotton before creating clothing is common because it shrinks the most on its first wash.
The viscose in this fabric is only partially synthetic, as synthetics often do not shrink. Viscose embraces its natural side when it comes to shrinking. Viscose, on the other hand, shrinks with each wash. As a result, dry cleaning is the preferred method of care for this fabric.
Cotton, on the whole, is more expensive than viscose in most cases. It can be expensive to process and harvest cotton. Expenses can rise because of the use of pesticides or because of a difficult year for growing crops.
In contrast, Viscose is relatively inexpensive to manufacture and does not rely as heavily on excellent weather for a flawless harvest. Though it lacks the versatility of cotton, it can be used in a variety of ways. As a result, it may be difficult to locate.
It’s not always a good idea to go cheap, though. A cotton fabric’s versatility more than compensates for its high cost in terms of how many purposes it can be put to.
Ease of Care
Viscose is the more difficult of the two materials to maintain. Water can destroy it, thus it shouldn’t be used for clothing that needs to be washed on a frequent basis. Dry washing is the greatest way to keep the cloth from shrinking.
Viscose, on the other hand, is not a fan of the heat. Getting too much sun is bad for your skin. Since it dislikes water, spot cleaning is the best option when you can’t get to the cleaners. Spot cleaning. The only problem is that even the tiniest bit of water can leave stains that are impossible to erase.
In comparison, caring for cotton is a breeze. You can wash it in the washing machine, dry it in the dryer, or let it air dry in the sun. Regular washing can improve cotton fabric, despite the fact that the first time it is washed, it may shrink. Every time you wash it, it becomes softer and less stiff.
It is possible to utilize both viscose and cotton in the same project. Floaty summer dresses can be made from viscose, which has the same look and feel as silk. Because it’s made of fake silk, it’s not a long-lasting fabric. Although it can be fashioned into sportswear, it is not suited for construction site apparel.
It’s a wonderful way to decorate your windows. Full-flowing curtains can benefit from the natural drape of viscose fabric. When it comes to bedding, viscose is just like silk in that it can be utilized to create cool, comfy sheets at a price that won’t break the bank.
Cotton has been used for decades for everything from garments to bedding to window treatments. For everything from infant garments to furniture, cotton remains the most popular material.
A wide variety of weaves, knits, and weight options ensure that you can select the perfect cotton fabric for your project. Cotton is superior to viscose in terms of strength, softness, and ease of care.
Should You Choose Cotton or Viscose?
The pros and cons of viscose and cotton are comparable. Viscose is more easily dyed and less likely to fade than other fabrics. Your garment’s colors will remain vibrant for the life of the item. The fabric has a light and airy drape. Luxury at a reasonable price: Viscose.
However, it is difficult to take care of. The cloth will wear out if it is washed too frequently. It’s possible that frequent excursions to the dry cleaner will put a strain on your finances.
Hypoallergenic cotton is a skin tonic for those with more sensitive skin. The fabric’s ability to keep you warm or cool can be determined by its denier and weave. Taking care of it is a breeze, and wearing it is even simpler. A common material that is both long-lasting and gentle on the skin.
There is a lot to consider when deciding whether to go with cotton or viscose. There are several fabrics to pick from, and which one you go with is all up to you.
It can be difficult to choose between viscose and cotton because they are so similar. Your decision should be a lot simpler now that you’re aware of the distinctions and advantages of each fabric.
Let me know what you think in the comments section below. For your next project, has this information helped you choose between cotton and viscose?
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Viscose Material Good Or Bad?
Even if it has its own advantages, consumers may be concerned about its limitations as well as its environmental impact. There is a risk that it will become stained and weaker as a result of being exposed to water and body oils. An further problem is that dry cleaning services are typically the sole way to maintain products created with this material, making them harder to keep clean without spending a lot of money.
Does Rayon Viscose Shrink?
In comparison to cotton, viscose has a weak wet strength and the fibers break down when exposed to moisture. As a result, most garments are dry cleaned because of their structural weakness, which cannot endure a wash cycle. When shopping for bedding, pay attention to the labels.