All You Need to Know About Is Viscose Stretchy

When it comes to fabric choices, stretchiness is a quality that many individuals value for comfort and flexibility. If you’re considering viscose for your next clothing project, you may be wondering: Is viscose stretchy? 

In this article, we unravel the truth about viscose’s stretch potential. Known for its softness and draping qualities, viscose offers a luxurious feel. However, when it comes to stretchiness, viscose alone does not possess inherent elasticity. Join us as we explore the characteristics of viscose and delve into how this versatile fabric can enhance your wardrobe, even without natural stretch.

Salient Points

  • Viscose isn’t inherently stretchy like spandex, but it can have a slight natural stretch.
  • The stretchiness of viscose varies based on factors like fabric weave and blend with other materials.
  • Viscose blends with elastane (spandex) tend to be more stretchy than pure viscose.
  • While not as elastic as some fabrics, viscose can still provide comfortable movement in clothing.

Properties of Viscose

Viscose is a versatile material used in clothing production, known for its softness, breathability, and smooth texture. Here are its key properties:

  • Softness: Viscose fabric feels gentle against the skin, making it comfortable to wear for extended periods.
  • Breathability: Due to its cellulosic nature, viscose allows air to pass through, preventing heat buildup and keeping the wearer cool.
  • Absorbency: Viscose has high moisture absorption, making it ideal for clothing worn in hot or humid climates as it can help wick sweat away from the body.
  • Drape: The fabric has an excellent drape, meaning it hangs elegantly and flows smoothly, enhancing the garment’s appearance.
  • Versatility: Viscose can be blended with other fibers like cotton, polyester, or elastane to enhance its properties or create unique textures and finishes.
  • Strength: While viscose is not as strong as some other fibers like polyester or nylon, it still offers reasonable durability for everyday wear.
  • Color Retention: Viscose takes dye well, resulting in vibrant and long-lasting colors, which makes it suitable for a wide range of clothing styles and designs.
  • Biodegradability: Unlike synthetic fibers, viscose is biodegradable, meaning it breaks down naturally over time, reducing its environmental impact.

How is Viscose Made?

Viscose, a popular material used in clothing, is made from natural sources like wood pulp or cotton linters. The process of creating viscose involves several steps. First, the cellulose is extracted from the plant material through a chemical process involving alkali and acid treatments.

Then, the cellulose is dissolved in a solution to create a thick viscous liquid. Next, this liquid is forced through tiny holes, a process known as spinning, to create filaments. These filaments are then treated with chemicals to solidify them into fibers. Finally, the fibers are spun into yarns and woven into fabric. This process allows for the creation of soft, breathable fabric that is comfortable to wear.

Different Types of Viscose

There are several types of viscose, each with its own unique characteristics:

TypeDescriptionExample Use
Regular ViscoseThe most common form of viscose, made from wood pulp treated with chemicals to produce a semi-synthetic fiber.Everyday wear such as t-shirts, dresses, and blouses.
High Wet Modulus Viscose (HWM)Enhanced version of regular viscose, with improved strength and durability, achieved through a different manufacturing process.Sportswear, linings, and outerwear where more robustness is required.
Lyocell (Tencel)A type of viscose made through a more environmentally friendly process using a closed-loop system, resulting in a softer and stronger fabric.Bedding, denim, and activewear for its eco-friendly and durable properties.
ModalAnother variation of viscose known for its exceptional softness and moisture-wicking properties, ideal for sensitive skin.Underwear, loungewear, and towels for its luxurious feel and comfort.

Each type of viscose offers unique benefits, catering to different preferences and needs in the clothing industry. Whether it’s regular viscose for everyday comfort or modal for luxurious softness, there’s a type of viscose suitable for various clothing applications.

Unveiling Fabric Behavior | Is Viscose Stretchy?

Is Viscose Stretchy?

Viscose is a type of fabric commonly used in clothing. When it comes to stretchiness, viscose doesn’t possess inherent stretch like spandex or lycra, which are known for their elasticity. However, viscose can sometimes have a slight natural stretch due to its fiber structure. This means that while it may not be as stretchy as spandex, it can still have a bit of give.

The amount of stretch can vary depending on factors such as the weave of the fabric, its blend with other materials, and any treatments applied to it during manufacturing. For example, a viscose blend with elastane (spandex) will likely be more stretchy than pure viscose. So, while viscose isn’t typically considered a stretchy fabric, it can still offer some comfortable movement depending on its composition.

Is Viscose Stretchy?

Factors Affecting the Stretchiness of Viscose

Viscose fabric is known for its softness and comfort, but its stretchiness can vary based on several factors.

1. Fiber Composition:

Viscose is made from cellulose fibers, which can be blended with other fibers like spandex or lycra to enhance stretchiness. A higher percentage of spandex or lycra results in a more stretchy fabric.

2. Fabric Construction:

The way viscose fibers are woven or knitted into fabric affects its stretchiness. Knitted viscose tends to be more stretchy than woven viscose due to the inherent stretchiness of knitted fabrics.

3. Finishing Processes:

Chemical treatments during manufacturing can influence the stretchiness of viscose. Certain finishing processes can either increase or decrease the fabric’s stretchability. For example, stretch-enhancing finishes can be applied to make viscose more elastic.

4. Fabric Weight:

The thickness or weight of the viscose fabric can impact its stretchiness. Generally, lighter weight fabrics tend to be more stretchy compared to heavier ones.

5. Environmental Factors:

Humidity and temperature can affect the stretchiness of viscose fabric. High humidity can cause the fibers to swell, making the fabric more stretchable. Conversely, low humidity can make the fabric stiffer and less stretchy.

Imagine two viscose t-shirts, one made with a blend of 95% viscose and 5% spandex, and the other made solely of viscose. The spandex blend shirt would likely be more stretchy and conform better to body movements compared to the 100% viscose shirt.

Understanding these factors can help consumers choose viscose garments that meet their comfort and performance needs.

What Type of Viscose Blends are Stretchy?

When it comes to clothing, stretchiness is a desirable quality for comfort and flexibility. Viscose, a popular fabric known for its softness and draping properties, can be blended with other materials to enhance its stretchiness.

Type of Viscose BlendDescription
Viscose-Elastane BlendCombining viscose with elastane, commonly known as spandex or lycra, creates a blend that offers excellent stretch and recovery. This blend is often used in form-fitting garments like leggings, activewear, and fitted tops.
Viscose-Polyester BlendBlending viscose with polyester provides a moderate level of stretch along with increased durability and wrinkle resistance. This blend is suitable for various types of clothing, including dresses, skirts, and shirts, where a balance of stretch and structure is desired.
Viscose-Nylon BlendThe combination of viscose and nylon results in a fabric that offers good stretch and strength. This blend is often used in athletic wear, undergarments, and hosiery due to its ability to provide comfort and support during movement.

What Happens to Viscose if You Wash It?

Unlike many natural fibers, viscose tends to shrink and lose strength when exposed to water and heat. Washing viscose garments in warm water or using a tumble dryer can lead to significant changes in their size and shape. The fabric may shrink, resulting in a tighter fit or distorted proportions.

Additionally, viscose fibers can become weaker when wet, making them more prone to tearing or stretching out of shape during washing or wearing. Therefore, it’s recommended to hand wash viscose garments in cold water or use a delicate cycle on the washing machine, along with a mild detergent. Air drying flat is preferable to using a dryer, as it helps maintain the garment’s original shape and size.

By following these care instructions, you can help preserve the quality and longevity of your viscose clothing.

How to Stretch Viscose Fabric?

Viscose fabric, known for its softness and breathability, can sometimes lose its shape over time or when washed. Stretching viscose fabric can help restore its original shape and size.

  • Prepare the fabric:
    • Begin by washing the viscose garment in cold water.
    • Avoid using hot water or harsh detergents as they can damage the fibers.
  • Soak the fabric:
    • Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water.
    • Submerge the viscose fabric in the water and let it soak for about 30 minutes.
    • This allows the fibers to soften and become more pliable.
  • Stretching process:
    • Gently remove the fabric from the water and squeeze out excess water.
    • Lay the damp fabric flat on a clean towel.
    • Gently tug on the fabric from all sides, stretching it slightly.
    • Avoid pulling too hard to prevent damaging the fabric.
  • Air dry:
    • Allow the stretched fabric to air dry completely.
    • Avoid using a dryer as the heat can shrink the fabric.
  • Test the stretch:
    • Once dry, check the fabric to see if it has regained its shape and size.
    • If necessary, repeat the stretching process until the desired stretch is achieved.

Pros and Cons of Viscose


  • Affordability: Viscose is relatively inexpensive, making it accessible for many consumers.
    Softness: It has a silky feel, making garments comfortable to wear.
    Breathability: Viscose is breathable, allowing air to flow through the fabric and keeping the wearer cool.
    Versatility: It can mimic the texture of natural fibers like cotton, silk, or wool, providing versatility in design options.
    Drapability: Viscose fabric has good drape, allowing it to hang elegantly and flow gracefully over the body.
    Absorbency: It absorbs moisture well, making it suitable for summer clothing.


  • Wrinkling: Viscose is prone to wrinkling, requiring careful handling and ironing.
    Shrinkage: It may shrink when washed, necessitating special care during laundering.
    Durability: Viscose fabric tends to be less durable compared to some other fabrics, wearing out more quickly with frequent use and washing.
    Sensitivity to Moisture: Excessive moisture can weaken the fabric, leading to pilling or damage.
    Environmental Impact: The manufacturing process of viscose involves chemical treatments that can be harmful to the environment if not properly managed.
    Limited Strength: Viscose fibers are weaker than some natural fibers like cotton or linen, making them less suitable for heavy-duty garments.

Viscose Vs Nylon Vs Polyester Vs Elastane

Viscose, Nylon, Polyester, and Elastane are common materials used in clothing manufacturing, each offering unique properties. Let’s compare them in terms of comfort, durability, breathability, and stretchability.

ComfortSoft and smooth, offering a luxurious feel against the skin. Suitable for lightweight and breathable garments.Smooth texture, but can sometimes feel less comfortable against the skin, especially in hot or humid conditions.Smooth, but not as soft as viscose. Provides good comfort and is often used in activewear due to its moisture-wicking properties.Very soft and stretchy, adding comfort and flexibility to garments, especially in fitted clothing like leggings and sportswear.
DurabilityLess durable compared to other synthetic fibers. Prone to shrinking, stretching, and wrinkling if not properly cared for.Highly durable and resistant to abrasion, making it suitable for heavy-duty and outdoor clothing.Highly durable and maintains its shape well over time, making it suitable for everyday wear and activewear.Moderate durability. While elastane itself is not very strong, it is often blended with other fibers like polyester for added strength.
BreathabilityBreathable and suitable for warm weather due to its moisture-absorbing properties.Less breathable compared to natural fibers like cotton or viscose. Can trap heat and moisture, leading to discomfort in hot conditions.Breathable and wicks moisture away from the skin, making it suitable for activewear and sportswear.Breathable due to its stretchy nature, allowing air to flow through the fabric. However, it is often blended with other fibers, which can affect its breathability.
StretchabilityLimited stretch compared to elastane. Offers some flexibility but not as much as elastane.Limited stretch. While nylon is stronger than viscose, it doesn’t offer as much stretch as elastane.Limited stretch. Although it has some elasticity, it’s not as stretchy as elastane.High stretchability. Elastane is known for its exceptional elasticity, providing garments with flexibility and the ability to stretch and recover their shape.

How to Take Care of Viscose?

Viscose is a versatile fabric often used in clothing, but it requires proper care to maintain its quality and longevity. Here’s how to do it effectively:

  1. Hand Washing:
    • Fill a basin with lukewarm water.
    • Add a mild detergent specifically designed for delicate fabrics.
    • Submerge the viscose garment and gently agitate the water.
    • Let it soak for about 10-15 minutes.
    • Rinse the garment thoroughly with cool water until all soap residue is removed.
    • Avoid wringing or twisting the fabric, as it can damage the fibers.
    • Lay the garment flat on a clean towel and roll it up to remove excess water.
    • Reshape the garment and lay it flat to air dry away from direct sunlight.
  2. Machine Washing (if necessary):
    • Use a gentle cycle and cold water.
    • Place the viscose garment in a mesh laundry bag to protect it from abrasion.
    • Add a small amount of mild detergent.
    • Avoid mixing with heavy items that can cause friction and damage.
    • Remove promptly after the cycle ends to prevent wrinkles.
    • Follow the same drying process as hand washing.
  3. Ironing:
    • Turn the garment inside out to prevent shine and protect the fabric.
    • Use a low to medium heat setting on the iron.
    • Place a pressing cloth or a thin cotton towel over the garment to avoid direct contact with the iron.
    • Gently press the iron over the fabric, avoiding heavy pressure.
    • Steam can also be used to remove wrinkles, but do not hold the iron in one place for too long.
  4. Storage:
    • Hang viscose garments on padded or broad-shouldered hangers to maintain their shape.
    • Avoid overcrowding in the closet to prevent creasing.
    • Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent discoloration.
    • Consider using garment bags for extra protection, especially for long-term storage.


In conclusion of Is viscose stretchy, we discussed that while viscose offers a host of desirable qualities such as softness, breathability, and beautiful drape, it is not inherently stretchy. Viscose fabric lacks the elasticity found in stretchier materials like spandex or elastane. 

However, it’s worth noting that certain viscose blends may contain a small percentage of stretch fibers to provide a degree of stretchiness. This blend can offer enhanced comfort and flexibility. So, if you desire stretch in your viscose garments, be sure to check the fabric label or product description for information on added stretch fibers. Embrace the luxurious feel and versatility of viscose, and pair it with other stretchy fabrics if desired, to create stylish and comfortable outfits.


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Frequently Asked Questions

How does Viscose compare to other fabrics?

Viscose has a unique combination of breathability and colourfastness, making it perfect for keeping you feeling comfortable while looking sharp. It’s ideal compared to other fabrics as it offers just the right balance between style and function.

Is Viscose durable?

Viscose is a durable fabric when properly cared for. Following washing tips and care instructions can extend its life even further. You’ll feel comfortable knowing your favorite garments are made from this reliable material, allowing you to look great and belong with the latest fashion trends.

Is Viscose environmentally friendly?

You may be wondering if viscose is environmentally friendly. It’s produced through green production processes and sourced ethically, so you can feel good about wearing it. Plus, it’s an easy way to add style and a sense of belonging to your wardrobe!

What is the cost of Viscose fabric?

The cost of viscose fabric varies depending on production methods and efficiency. It can be a great value for those looking for an affordable option with excellent quality. With careful selection, you’ll be sure to find something that fits your budget and needs.

Is Viscose wrinkle-resistant?

Smooth as silk, viscose is known for its wrinkle-resistant qualities. With proper care, this fabric can withstand the test of time and keep clothes looking sharp. Consider using a gentle detergent and low heat when laundering your viscose garments to ensure their longevity. Treat it well and you will enjoy luxurious looks that last!

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