Key Difference – Viscose vs Cotton
Viscose and cotton are two types of fabrics that have many similar properties since they are made of cellulose. However, there is a distinct difference in the production of viscose and cotton, which makes them different. The key difference between viscose and cotton is that cotton is a natural fiber whereas viscose is a semi-synthetic fiber.
What is Viscose?
Before looking at the different characteristics of viscose, let’s first look at the difference between viscose and rayon since there is some confusion over these two terms. Although the terms viscose, rayon, and viscose rayon are often used interchangeably, viscose is only one type of rayon. Other types of rayon include modal and lyocell.
Viscose is produced from a plant-based material known as cellulose. Although it is made from woody plants, it is not entirely a natural fabric. Viscose is typically considered as a semi-synthetic fabric. Although both cotton and viscose primarily contains cellulose, there is a considerable difference between viscose and cotton. Cellulose in cotton is grown during five to six months time whereas cellulose from trees, which are used to manufacture viscose, takes years to grow. Trees are chemically processed to remove everything except the cellulose during the production of viscose.
Although viscose is a low-cost fabric, it has many desirable qualities possessed by luxurious fabrics. It is soft, breathable and drapes well. Viscose is also highly absorbent and does not trap body heat.
What is Cotton?
Cotton is a natural fiber that is produced from the soft, fluffy substance that surrounds the seeds of the cotton plants. This substance is primarily made of cellulose.
Cotton fabric is soft, light, breathable and ideal for warm weather. However, cotton garments require a high level of maintenance since they tend to wrinkle and tear easily. It can be used make various garments such as shirts, t-shirts, dresses, blouses, lingerie, socks, etc. It can be also used for other household applications such as bed sheets, towels, table clothes, etc.
Although cotton is not as durable as most synthetic fabrics, cotton fiber is much stronger than rayon fiber. This fiber also increases in strength when it gets wet. This is why cotton is used to clean and absorb blood. Cotton is a widely used material in medicine.
What is the difference between Viscose and Cotton?
Type of Fiber:
Viscose: Viscose is semi-synthetic fabric.
Cotton: Cotton is a natural fabric.
Strength of the Fiber:
Viscose: Viscose fiber is not as strong as cotton fiber.
Cotton: Cotton fiber is stronger than viscose fiber.
Strength when Wet:
Viscose: Viscose fibers lose strength when they are wet.
Cotton: Cotton fibers gain strength when they are wet.
Viscose: Viscose is not used in medical applications.
Cotton: Cotton is used to clean and absorb body fluids.
“Orange Cotton Yarn” by Denise Krebs (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
“Viscose Yarn” by Charles (CC BY-ND 2.0) via Flickr
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