It is not very uncommon to see fabrics that are made to mimic the properties of cotton fabrics in fabric stores today: a considerable number of materials are made with this natural fiber. This is inevitable, though, considering how durable and the level of comfort provided by the fabric.
Manufacturers understand how much consumers cherish this natural fiber, so a blend of the fabric will be enough to make up for their profit. Viscose, a semi-synthetic fabric, is one of the many fabrics made with cotton.
Like many other fabrics made with the same material, they also enjoy some form of popularity. Because they share almost the same properties as cotton, they are usually compared.
I seek to achieve the same here by comparing cotton vs viscose in this helpful article to make them easily distinguishable.
What is Viscose?
Viscose is a kind of Rayon fabric that is made from a combination of synthetic and natural fibers (wood pulp). They are commonly referred to as semi-synthetic fabric.
Originally, silk was produced to serve as a cheaper alternative to silk and as a result, they are designed to have similar drape and smoothness to this luxury material.
What is the difference between Cotton and Viscose?
Although both fabrics — Viscose, and cotton are almost at the same level regarding breathability. However, both are different in the manner in which they keep us comfortable in them.
Regarding breathability, cotton will make a better option among the two as cotton tends to absorb moisture better and is capable of removing them from the skin, thereby making the wearer more relaxed and comfortable during hot seasons.
On the other hand, viscose can equally keep you cool, but they do this by draping moisture away from the body.
Unlike cotton, which tends to absorb moisture, viscose allows them to evaporate. When viscose fabric gets wet, its breathability is reduced, and as a result, you may get warm and sweaty in them.
At first, when you buy some cotton fabric, they are usually very stiff; however, with time, they get softer as you wash them so we can consider softness as part of the qualities of cotton fabric.
You can also find some cotton fabrics, for example, Flannel, that feel soft right from the start.
Unlike cotton, viscose usually appears silky, smooth, and soft right from the day of purchase.
Unfortunately, after several washes, viscose tends to lose its softness because it is prone to pilling and also loses its strength when it gets wet.
When it comes to dyeing, both Viscose and Cotton can be easily dyed. Also, they can both hold onto the coloring for a long time.
However, after several washes, cotton fabric tends to lose its dye, whereas viscose is not vulnerable to fading and would not lose its color no matter how much you wash them.
Due to the production processes and the risk associated with harvesting cotton, this natural fiber is usually more expensive than viscose.
Both viscose and cotton can be used for the same purpose, but one is better than the other concerning the quality they both share, which is why there may be sought differences in their usage.
Since viscose bears some semblance to silk, they are more useful in making floaty summer dresses as they drape very well.
This fabric is also commonly used in making full-flowing windows and cooling bedsheets.
Cotton, on the other hand, is more versatile as it can be used for making all sorts of clothes and upholstery. This fabric can be used for window dressing, bedding, upholstery fabric, and baby clothes.
Is cotton or viscose better?
It may be challenging to know which is a better fabric, cotton or viscose, because both materials have their advantages and disadvantages.
When choosing between the two, the key determinant will be your preference and the budget you are trying to work with.
If you are more concerned about durability, then cotton will make the better option for you, and if your preference is the smoothness of the fabric, then viscose will be the right fabric choice for you.
Is viscose more breathable than cotton?
No, viscose is not more breathable than cotton.
Regarding breathability, both fabrics are rated high in that regard. However, since cotton is a natural fiber fabric while viscose is a semi-synthetic fabric, cotton usually rates higher.
Which is cheaper, cotton or viscose?
Viscose is much cheaper than cotton fabrics.
When you go to the fabric market today to compare the prices of natural fabrics with synthetic fabrics, you will discover that most natural fabrics are more expensive than fabrics made with synthetic materials. This, to some extent reflected in the price difference between viscose and cotton fabrics.
Also, because of the process involved in making cotton fabrics and considering some qualities like durability, breathability, and absorbency level of cotton, they are usually sold at higher prices compared to viscose in the market.
Can you iron viscose and cotton?
Yes, you can iron both viscose and cotton. After washing your viscose and cotton fabric, you can iron them to eliminate wrinkles that may result from washing.
However, unlike cotton, which can tolerate heat, viscose should be ironed with a low heat setting: ironing viscose on heat can damage the fabric.
Are viscose and cotton good quality fabrics?
Yes, both viscose and cotton are suitable quality fabrics. Whether you buy viscose or cotton fabric, as long as they are used for the right purpose, both will serve you for a long time.
Although cotton is believed to be the most durable of the two, it will last longer than most other fabrics if viscose is well maintained.
Does viscose or cotton wrinkle easily?
Both fabrics are susceptible to wrinkle, but because viscose feels softer than cotton, they tend to wrinkle more easily.
The good news is both materials can be ironed to get rid of their wrinkles.