Viscose Vs Cotton: Which One Is The Best to Use?
Updated: March 21, 2020
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Are you tired of wearing dresses which make the summer even harder for you?
Choosing the wrong kind of fabric can lead to such situations since many of them restrict your skin from breathing in hot weather.
You can make your summer days better by going for more natural and lightweight fabrics like rayon and cotton.
They are well-known for their ability to make the hot days bearable. But viscose vs cotton, which one of them would be the ideal solution for you? Let’s find out below!
What Is Viscose?
Viscose is a common variant of the rayon fiber which is popular for being manufactured from natural sources. Agricultural products and wood are processed to create the regenerated cellulose fiber.
For instance, wood or bamboo pulp is dissolved and then processed with sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide to produce viscose.
This fabric can come in many forms imitating other natural fibers like cotton, silk, wool and linen.
You will see it mostly being used for making widely used outfits like dresses, coats, shirts, jackets and shorts. Sometimes, industrial products like tires, carpets, upholsteries and disposable wipes are also made from viscose material.
So, is viscose material good or bad? I think its depends on who using it and where he used. Because in the cold weather viscose is super comfortable.
Advantages of Viscose
Like almost every natural fiber, viscose is capable of providing a soft and silky feel to the clothing. One of the major reasons behind its popularity is this comfort of fine texture. That is why you will often see it being included in the manufacturing process of carpets, linings, coats and wipes.
Someone ask is viscose breathable? My answer is yes.
Any outfit made out of viscose proves to be a great option for summer. That is because this fabric is very breathable in structure. Air can pass in and out of it very easily.
As a result, your body does not need to hold on to the perspiration. So you can feel cool and breezy in the hot summer days by donning something made with viscose.
We all want to look fabulous at any party by wearing something smooth and shiny. Which fabric guarantees such glamorous appearance without fail?
No points for guessing - the answer is silk. It has been the first choice of elites for any red carpet look. The reason behind is its richness which comes at a very expensive cost.
But does that mean you can never look glamorous and stick to your budget at the same time?
Viscose can be a viable solution to your situation. It looks and feels like silk but is available at a much lower price point! So you can enjoy some economical luxury with this low-key glitzy fabric.
Viscose is the perfect fabric to choose for draping. Its interesting structure allows the multiple folds to stick close enough together for a beautiful view, but not so much that they cannot be manipulated according to your preference. Because of this aspect, viscose is often used for manufacturing curtains.
Easy to Dye
It is very easy to dye viscose. The consistency of this fabric allows the color to stay intact permanently. So you can paint the fabric made out of viscose yarns in any color you want. They will be quite susceptible to the dyeing process and absorb the colors well.
Disadvantages of Viscose
Only Dry Cleaning
You cannot wash a viscose clothing with any method other than dry cleaning. That is because, putting it through other washing processes can render the clothing unusable. Machine drying like in the usual washing machines can twist the fabric and disfigure its threads.
Viscose has low resilience which makes it wrinkle very easily. This can happen when it comes in contact with water or high temperatures. Both of these factors can ruin its elasticity and stability. That is why we recommend to not iron it or let the fabric get wet too often.
Because of its huge demand, the fashion industry has adopted a faster process to manufacture viscose in large quantities. This intense process requires heavy chemicals which can harm the factory workers.
Toxic chemicals get into the air and surrounding water bodies when the original wood pulp is processed. One of them is carbon disulphide which has been known to cause skin conditions, cancer, coronary heart diseases and birth defects.
As a result, the organization named Made-By Environmental Benchmark has scored viscose with D and E grades for sustainability.
Adverse Environmental Effects
Surprisingly, despite being obtained from a natural source, the fabric of viscose actually contributes to polluting and harming the environment.
Along with making the air and water toxic for humans, viscose production also encourages rapid deforestation across the planet.
It has been informed that pulp from ancient and endangered forests have been the source of about 30% of viscose produced for fashion.
This has led to the suffering of many endangered species and indigenous communities, as well as the destruction of other animals’ habitat. So viscose production is not encouraged for securing environmental health.
Prone to Spots and Mildew
Since viscose absorbs water, oils and similar liquids easily, any clothing made out of it is much more prone to forming spots and mildew than other alternatives.
Besides, treating those spots can make things worse by permanently marking those areas. It is better to use viscose in fabric blends because of this aspect.
What is Cottons?
Cotton is another soft and silky fabric obtained from natural sources. They grow as white fluffy balls of nearly pure cellulose on the cotton shrubs. To turn these fluffs into a fabric, the fiber is spun into threads. From the Indus Valley civilization till today, the use of cotton is prevalent everywhere.
Advantages of Cotton
Wearing any outfit made of cotton will make you feel comfortable. Its soft and delicate texture is enough to take away your physical stress.
Whenever you need to relax or sleep, just put on a cotton dress and dive right into bed. Because of this comfort, cotton is used extensively to make pullovers, T-shirts and undergarments.
Fit for summer
We all struggle with the sweat of summer. It is vital to wear the right fabric in this season to survive the hot days. Cotton is an ideal solution for summer clothing since it allows maximum ventilation. Its texture lets in a lot of air thus enabling circulation. In consequence, possibility of dark and damp areas reduces.
Among all the fabrics procured from natural sources, cotton is one of the most purely natural options. It can be produced without involving any synthetic compound. So for those of you who want an all-natural garment, investing in a cotton outfit will be the best option for you.
Many fibers which originally come from natural sources still pose a threat to the environmental well-being. Their manufacturing process include complex steps involving harmful chemicals.
However, cotton is free from all that. Its simple production process makes the fabric renewable, biodegradable and sustainable.
Cotton is cultivated in many places on the planet which differ starkly in atmosphere and environment. As a result, we have been blessed with a wide variety of the same fabric.
Cotton now occurs naturally in white, pink, green and brown. Each of them comes from a distinct place like Egypt, India, Africa, Australia and Mexico. So the fashion industry doesn’t need to manipulate cotton to grow it in different colors. Nature already does it for them.
If you have a sensitive skin, cotton is the perfect fabric for you since it is hypoallergenic. Even though the fibers of cotton are spun tightly, they don’t produce static electricity. As a result, garments made out of cotton don’t irritate sensitive skin and keeps you free from allergies.
Because cotton is so easy to cultivate in even the harshest environments, it comes at a pretty inexpensive price point. That is why you can get many comfortable dresses, shorts, undergarments and coats in cotton without breaking the bank. You will have a wide range of economical shopping choices in any season.
Disadvantages of Cotton
Shrinking and Resilience
You need to make sure that the cotton garment of your choice really fits you since this fabric tends to shrink down easily. Especially when it comes in contact with water, the fabric contracts and becomes too small. Because of its low resilience, the clothing may never get back to its original shape again.
Prone to wrinkles
Clothes made out of pure cotton are more prone to wrinkles than most other alternatives. Every time you wear it, you will notice wrinkles forming in one or more areas of the dress. To combat this situation, remember to iron or press the garment as soon as you get back home after packing or long wear.
Every natural fiber is an easy victim of discoloration. It can lose its charm by forming mildew over the fabric texture. Besides, its original color can get lighter or more blurry every time you put it in the dryer.
To avoid this situation, turn them back to front before putting in the washer and choose the shortest cycles available on the machine settings.
Difference Between Viscose Rayon and Cotton
Both viscose and cotton are mostly used to produce comfortable garments. They exhibit similar properties when it comes to texture and ventilation. Choosing either will get you a soft luxurious feeling against the skin.
Cotton is heavily used to make t-shirts, robes, towels, socks, undergarments, bed sheets and more. On the other hand, viscose is mostly used in dresses, blouses, jackets, curtains and carpets.
Cellophane is the reflective transparent sheet you often see in food packaging or home deliveries. These sheets are manufactured by adding viscose into a mixture of sodium sulfate and dilute sulfuric acid. After passing through several layers, the ultimate product of cellophane comes out.
As the name implies, this oil is produced by using the leftover cottonseeds. Once refined properly, you can use cottonseed oil just like other vegetable oils. Salad dressing and mayonnaise are the most common uses of cottonseed oil. It exhibits a unique flavor and has a moderate amount of fatty acids.
Even though both of the fibers originate from cellulose, cotton is usually manufactured more naturally when compared to viscose. Cotton is obtained from cotton flowers while viscose needs the wood pulp to dissolve in strong alkaline chemicals. As a result, cotton is more environment-friendly than viscose.
Cotton and viscose exhibit very similar texture. They both are soft, lightweight and comfortable on the skin.
You can rely on either of them to give you some relief on scorching hot summer days. Their breathability allows air to pass through the dress and cool down your skin.
The only difference between these two is that cotton is slightly fluffier while viscose tends to stay flat.
It is easier to manufacture colorful cotton clothes than viscose. That is because cotton naturally occurs in multiple colors like white, green, brown and pink. To bring more color to viscose, you will need to put it through dyeing process. Both viscose and cotton are ideal for dyes.
Viscose and cotton react differently when they come in contact with water. Cotton tends to get stronger while viscose becomes weaker. That is why we recommend to only dry clean viscose to maintain its original texture and consistency. On the other hand, cotton can be cleaned using washing machine any day.
Bottom Line - Which One is For You?
From the primary viscose vs cotton comparisons, cotton seems to be the better option since it is more natural, environment-friendly and hypoallergenic.
However, it does come at a higher price point than cotton. Even though this difference is not too stark, the people running on right budgets may still prefer viscose over cotton for bulk purchases.
Apart from these factors, both cotton and viscose are good options for summer clothes. They keep you cool and comfortable with its soft, silky and breathable texture. Besides, you can dye either to get your desired shade.
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