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.
Rayon is a textile fabric that is manufactured through the cellulose immersion process, while viscose is a textile fabric variant that undergoes the cellulose xanthate process. Manufacturers use both rayon and viscose to make household and clothing textiles, especially curtains and sheets.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Rayon
– Definition, Features
2. What is Viscose
– Definition, Features
3. Similarities Between Rayon and Viscose
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Rayon and Viscose
– Comparison of Key Differences
Fabric, Rayon, Textile, Viscose
What is Rayon
Rayon is a textile fabric that undergoes the production process of cellulose immersion. Therefore, rayon is made out of the wood pulp. Although lots of chemicals are used to manufacture this fabric, rayon is still not considered a synthetic fabric. This is mainly because rayon fabric is a developed version of natural polymers.
In contrast to viscose and other cotton textiles, rayon possesses a higher capacity for absorption. This is why we often find rayon fabric in the furnishing sector, where manufacturers most frequently use rayon in making bed sheets, blankets, and curtains. Manufacturers also use rayon for the production of bandages and surgical masks in the medical sector. Compared to viscose, rayon has the ability to absorb any liquid quickly; this is why rayon bandages help to keep wounds dry.
The process of manufacturing Rayon fabric is eco-friendly as it requires fewer toxic chemicals and less energy. This makes rayon vastly available and costs less in the market. Nevertheless, rayon is a less durable fabric as water solvent ultraviolet radiation usually damages the polymer chains easily. This makes rayon fabric less resistant to weather and quickly decays in the earth. Furthermore, rayon is one of the best hypoallergenic fabrics due to its penetrable nature that allows the air to circulate through it.
What is Viscose
Viscose is a textile fabric variant produced through the process of cellulose xanthate. It is made out of plant fibers. Viscose is often considered a manufactured fabric; during cellulose xanthate processing, the plant fabric gets dissolved first and then it is restored through chemical processes.
Compared to rayon and other fabric textiles, viscose has a softer texture. It is therefore popular in the production of shirts, coats, jackets, pants, dresses, and linings in the clothing industry. Manufacturers often use this fabric for disposable wipes due to its softness. We can also use viscose fabric to wipe and clean the touch-screen surfaces of cell phones and other electronic devices.
We cannot label the viscose production process as an eco-friendly one as it demands lots of toxic chemicals and high energy. Therefore, compared to rayon, viscose is very expensive in the local market. However, viscose is highly durable than rayon, and most water solvents or ultraviolet radiation cannot damage polymer chains of viscose fabric easily. Therefore, we can say that viscose is very resistant and lasts for a longer period. In addition, compared to rayon, viscose is not very penetrable, and there is a chance that it may become allergic to some people.
Similarities Between Rayon and Viscose
- Both viscose and rayon are textile fabrics.
- Viscose is also a rayon variant, although they are not identical.
- Manufacturers use both rayon and viscose to make household and clothing textiles, especially curtains and sheets.
Difference Between Rayon and Viscose
Rayon is a textile fabric that is manufactured through the cellulose immersion process. Viscose, on the other hand, is a textile fabric variant that undergoes the cellulose xanthate process.
Manufacturers make rayon out of the wood pulp, and viscose out of plant fibers.
Viscose is higher in softness than rayon.
Rayon fabric is less durable in nature, unlike viscose, which is highly durable.
Rayon possesses a higher capacity of absorption than viscose.
Moreover, rayon is more cost-effective than viscose.
In conclusion, the main difference between rayon and viscose is that rayon is more eco-friendly and a less expensive fabric with a higher capacity of absorption, while viscose is a softer fabric with higher durability.
1. Fox-Suliaman, Jasmine. “What Is Rayon.” Who What Wear, 13 Apr. 2022.
2. “What Is Viscose? Understanding This Popular Rayon Type.” Amerisleep, 5 Dec. 2021.