Rayon and Viscose - what’s the difference?

You’ve seen our fabrics labelled as rayon or viscose but you’re not sure what the difference is? Which is better for your project? How should you pick? Well read on for our guide of how we label these fabrics at Our Social Fabric.

Rayon and viscose are both are man-made fibres from plant-based materials. They are both soft, drapey fabrics that are great for sewing garments. 

They differ mainly in their manufacturing processes. 

A rayon fabric

 

Rayon can be made from bamboo or wood cellulose. Viscose, modal, lyocell and bamboo are different types of rayon.  

Viscose is rayon made using the viscose process. For this reason, it might be referred to as viscose rayon. Viscose is made from wood cellulose.

 

A viscose fabric

 

So which one to pick? Rayon and viscose share many of the same properties, including drape and they both take dye well - hello great prints!

When you see one of our fabrics labelled as rayon expect it to be silky, have lots of drape and be lighter weight.

When you see viscose, you can expect it to have good drape, be a bit more durable and have less of a silky feel in the hand. 

Whether you pick rayon or viscose be aware that they can both shrink quite a bit so always remember to prewash!

Want to try some for yourself? Shop our rayon and viscose fabrics here

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