Does Viscose Fabric Shrink? Things You Need to Know


Viscose Fabric is made from natural fibers, which gives it a soft and breathable quality. If you don’t take care properly, viscose fabric may shrink. After experiencing the benefits of this fabric, you will love this fabric. It has a beautiful drape and luxurious feel that can match even the finest silks. Ensure you do not expose viscose fabric to heat and moisture because this fabric is prone to shrinking.

Keep the manufacturer’s care instructions in mind to avoid shrinkage. The best way to clean this fabric is to wash it or use a gentle machine cycle with cold water. Avoid wringing or twisting the fabric; instead, gently squeeze excess water before laying it flat. If ironing is necessary, use a low heat setting or steam without direct contact with the fabric.

That is perfect for those hot summer days when you want to stay cool and comfortable. It also has great moisture-wicking properties, which prevents you from feeling sweaty or sticky. What sets Viscose fabric apart from other fabrics is its ability to retain shape after multiple washes. Viscose fabric does not shrink or lose its form like some other fabrics do over time.

The goal of this article is to cover every aspect of viscose fabric and how it can be washed properly, without shrinking.

What Is Viscose Fabric?

Viscose fabric, or rayon, is a popular textile material made from cellulose fibers made from wood pulp. It is often used as an alternative to silk due to its similar drape and smooth texture. Viscose fabric has gained popularity in the fashion industry because of its versatility and affordability.

Let me explain it in simpler terms. Viscose fabric is basically a man-made fiber that feels soft and comfortable against your skin. It is commonly used to make clothing items like dresses, shirts, and even underwear.

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Viscose Fabric Facts

  • Viscose fabric is incredibly soft and comfortable to wear. Clothing items like dresses, shirts, and pajamas can be made from this material due to its silky smooth texture.
  • The fabric is highly breathable, and air can easily pass through it. Viscose material does not suffocate or sweat you even when it is hot outside.
  • Viscose fabric drapes beautifully and has a luxurious appearance. It has a natural sheen that enhances any outfit, especially formal wear.
  • You will be impressed by how lightweight the viscose fabric is. It doesn’t weigh you down or restrict your movements, making it ideal for flowing dresses and loose tops.
  • There is no need to worry about care or maintenance with this fabric. Most viscose garments can be machine-washed or hand-washed without any issues.
  • Viscose fabric is also known for its ability to absorb dyes well, which results in vibrant colors that won’t fade easily over time.

What is Viscose Fabric Made of?

It is made from plant fibers derived from wood pulp or cotton. That is how it works: they take these fibers and dissolve them with chemicals to form a viscous solution. Then, this solution is forced through tiny holes called spinnerets to create long threads. A viscose fabric is formed by solidifying these threads, either chemically or mechanically.

Viscose Fabric

Now, I know this sounds a bit technical, but what you need to know is that viscose fabric is made from plant-based materials that go through a series of chemical treatments and processing to transform into soft and breathable textiles.

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Types of Viscose Fabric

Viscose is an extremely versatile and widely used fabric made from cellulose. There are several different types of viscose fabric, each with its unique characteristics and uses. Let’s take a closer look at each type:

Viscose Jersey

Clothing and accessories often use viscose jersey fabrics. It is made from a blend of wood pulp and synthetic fibers. With its lightweight, breathable design, the fabric feels soft against the skin and hangs beautifully.

One of the great things about Viscose Jersey is its flexibility. You can find it in various thicknesses, from thin and stretchy to thicker and more structured. You can use it from flowy summer dresses to cozy winter sweaters. It is also easy to take care of. You must put it in the washing machine and hang it to dry.

Viscose Rayon

Viscose Rayon is a fabric that looks and feels like silk without the high price tag. If you are looking for a fabric that conveys elegance and sophistication, Viscose Rayon is worth considering.

You can use this fabric to create a wide range of clothing items, including dresses, tops, scarves, and shawls. This garment is made of a soft, smooth fabric that is comfortable to wear.

In terms of colors, viscose rayon comes in a wide range of vibrant shades that will catch your eye. You can choose bold and bright hues or more delicate shades, there is something for everyone. Colors won’t fade easily even if you wash your clothes more than once.

Viscose Fabric

While Viscose Rayon has many advantages, it also has some disadvantages. It tends to wrinkle easily, so you may need to iron or steam your clothing frequently to keep it looking clean.

Viscose Velvet

A viscose velvet fabric is a soft and luxurious fabric made from plant fibers. It also contains natural oil that enhances the material’s durability and helps maintain its structure. The thing that I like most about Viscose Velvet is that it comes in many different colors, which will help you to find the right shade.

Another advantage of Viscose Velvet is its very little possibility for creases. It means you do not have to worry too much about wrinkles or crumpling when wearing or using items made from this fabric. You can be confident that a Viscose Velvet dress or a Viscose Velvet cover for your furniture will always look elegant and refined.

Viscose Taffeta

It is made from cellulose fibers and natural oils. There are similarities between this fabric and the viscose velvet fabric we discussed earlier, but it has a different texture and appearance.

The great thing about viscose taffeta is that it combines the softness and drape of viscose with the smoothness and sheen of taffeta. You can use viscose taffeta to make flowing evening gowns or structured blouses.

Viscose Silk Screen

Next, we have Viscose Silk Screen fabric, mostly cellulose fibers, with a few other fibers included. To put it simply, they spin these fibers into yarn, color it, spin it, and then cut it into fabric that you can actually wear. It has a silky smooth feel to it, which makes this fabric very comfortable to wear.

Viscose Fabric

It also has a nice drape and flow, so it looks good when you put it on. Plus, since it is made from cellulose fibers (which come from plants), it is considered more eco-friendly than some other fabrics out there.

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Viscose Lycra

Viscose Lycra is a type of fabric that combines the properties of viscose and Lycra fibers. It is stronger than regular viscose fabric due to the addition of Lycra, which provides enhanced elasticity and durability. Because of this, Viscose Lycra can withstand more damage and maintain its shape.

You can choose from various colors and cut patterns for Viscose Lycra. No matter your preference, you will find a shade to suit you. And when it comes to cut patterns, you can find everything from basic solids to complex designs that add style to your garments.

Viscose Lycra might be the perfect fabric for you if you’re looking for strength, elasticity, and versatility.

Viscose Bamboo and Viscose Bamboo Sateen

Viscose Bamboo and Viscose Bamboo Sateen are types of fabrics that are made from bamboo fibers. They are known for their softness, breathability, and luxurious feel. Viscose Bamboo is a fabric that is made by processing bamboo pulp into a viscose solution, which is then transformed into fibers and woven into fabric. The silky texture and beautiful drape make this fabric ideal for dresses, shirts, and underwear.

Fabrics that have a satin finish are known as bamboo sateens. It is made using a sateen weave technique for a smooth and shiny finish. This fabric is often used for bedding, such as sheets and pillowcases, because of its elegant feel. To meet the various preferences and needs of different people, Viscose Bamboo and Viscose Bamboo Sateen come in different colors and sizes.

Cotton Viscose

Viscose Fabric

It is made from a blend of cotton and viscose fibers. The softness and comfort of this fabric make it a popular choice for clothing and home textiles. When you touch Cotton Viscose, you will immediately notice how smooth and gentle it feels in your hands.

Viscose Crepe

Do you know how some fabrics can be really hard and uncomfortable? Well, Viscose Crepe is the opposite of that. It is soft, lightweight, and drapes beautifully on your body. It has this crinkled texture that adds a touch of elegance to any outfit. Once you put it on, you won’t want to take it off.

Viscose Fabric

The best part about Viscose Crepe is that it is breathable and moisture-absorbent. If you are someone who tends to get sweaty or feels uncomfortable in certain fabrics, this one will be a great choice for you.

Viscose Sheer

The last fabric type that I want to share with you is the viscose sheer, which is also made from cellulose, but it has a unique weave that gives it the appearance of chiffon on the back side. The best thing about this fabric is that it will not wrinkle easily.

So, if you hate spending hours ironing or steaming your clothes, Viscose Sheer might be the perfect choice. Not only does Viscose Sheer have a lovely drape and flow, but it also has a lightweight and breathable feel.

Why Does Viscose Shrink?

Due to its long and thin fibers, it shrinks when exposed to heat and moisture. When the fabric is washed or soaked in water, these fibers absorb the moisture and swell up, which causes the fabric to shrink.

It can be quite frustrating when a garment made of viscose shrinks and breaks. To minimize the shrinkage, you must follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. You can avoid significant shrinkage by washing or washing on a delicate cycle with cold water. Air drying and using low heat settings on the dryer can also keep the fabric in shape.

Viscose is commonly used in various types of clothing, such as dresses, blouses, shirts, and skirts, due to its softness and ease of use. It is also used in home textiles like curtains and furniture fabrics. While viscose offers comfort and breathability, it requires extra care to prevent shrinkage.

You should always treat viscose garments gently after washing them to avoid any unpleasant surprises at the end of the wash.

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When Does Viscose Shrink or Stretch?

The shrinkage or stretching of viscose can occur when the fabric is exposed to heat, moisture, or excessive pressure. If you want to maintain the original shape and size of your viscose fabric, you must avoid these factors.

You can minimize the risk of shrinkage or stretching in viscose by taking a few steps. First of all, make sure you read the care label on your viscose garment before washing or drying it. Most often, handwashing in cold water with a gentle detergent is recommended. Use cool water or low heat during machine washes and dryings, as this can cause the fabric to shrink or stretch.

Make sure you store and handle your viscose clothing properly. Avoid wringing out wet garments forcefully and instead gently squeeze out excess water before laying them flat to dry. The best way to store viscose items is to fold them neatly rather than hanging them up, as hanging can lead to stretching over time.

As I know this paragraph will not give you a complete understanding of this process, I recommend you read ” Is Viscose Fabric Stretchy? (Top 6 Ways To Stretch It).

Does Viscose Shrink When Washed?

There is a possibility that viscose will shrink when washed. Viscose is made from cellulose fibers, which tend to shrink when exposed to water and heat. The viscose garment may shrink if you wash it without taking any precautions.

You should follow the care instructions on the garment label to avoid this. Most viscose garments require hand washing or delicate machine washing with cold water. I will recommend you use a gentle detergent specifically designed for delicate fabrics. Avoid using hot water or harsh detergents, since these can shrink the fabric.

When it comes to ironing viscose, the use of steam is generally safe and effective. But you should set your iron at a low-temperature setting and ensure your garment is slightly wet before ironing. That helps prevent any damage or shrinkage that could occur from excessive heat. If you are unsure about the probability of your garment, test a small, unnoticeable area before proceeding.

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How do You Wash Viscose to Keep it Safe From Shrinking?

Viscose can be washed in many ways without shrinking:

Wash With Hands

If you want to keep your viscose fabric safe from shrinking, the best and recommended way is to wash it by hand. It might sound like a hassle, but trust me, it is worth it. When you wash viscose in a machine, the spinning and heat can cause the fibers to shrink and lose shape. By washing viscose by hand, you have more control over the process.

Use Cold Water

The next step is to make sure the water temperature is suitable. Always wash viscose in cold water. Hot water can cause the fibers to contract and shrink, leaving you with a smaller and potentially unwearable garment.

As a result of the heat, the fibers tighten up and shrink. If you want your viscose clothes to retain their original size and shape, wash them in cold water. It may take a bit longer for spots or dirt to come out, but it is worth it in the long run to preserve your garments.

Iron At Low Heat

Make sure to iron viscose fabric at a low heat to eliminate shrinkage. That is because high heat can cause the fibers in the fabric to contract and shrink. When you use a low heat setting on your iron, you minimize the risk of damaging the fabric.

It is more likely that your clothes will appear smaller and less flattering when you use high heat, as high heat weakens the fibers and causes shrinking.

Avoid Dryer

Using the dryer is a bad idea regarding viscose, as it can shrink. Viscose is a delicate fabric that can easily shrink when exposed to high heat. You should instead air-dry your clothes. Lay them flat on a clean surface or hang them up to dry under the sun. This method will help maintain the shape and size of your viscose garments.

Another option is to use a clothes iron to remove any excess moisture after washing. Set the iron on a low heat setting and gently press it over the damp fabric. That will not only help in drying your clothes but also smoothen out any wrinkles.

Use Softener

It is highly recommended to use a fabric softener when washing viscose. It helps you to maintain the softness and drape of the fabric while also reducing static cling. Plus, it adds a pleasant scent to your clothes.

Do Not Immerse In Water

The last thing you should do to prevent viscose from shrinking is not to soak it in water when washing it. Viscose is a delicate fabric that can easily shrink when exposed to water. Instead, go for spot cleaning or use a gentle fabric cleaner specifically designed for delicate fabrics like viscose.

When you immerse viscose in water, it can cause the fibers to swell and contract, leading to shrinkage. That is why it is important to avoid soaking it completely. Spot cleaning allows you to target specific areas that need attention without risking damage to the entire garment.

If you need to clean the entire garment, consider using a gentle fabric cleaner suitable for delicate fabrics such as viscose. Follow the instructions on the cleaner and handle the garment carefully while washing and drying.

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How to Dry Viscose Fabric Clothes?

I recommend drying viscose fabric clothes in a shady place. There are a few ways which you can choose from, each with its benefits.

Drying on the Sun

The sun is a good way to dry viscose fabric clothes. Hang them outdoors for about 8 to 12 hours, but avoid direct sunlight as it may cause fabric damage. The sun will first help you get rid of any moisture remaining in your viscose clothes.

Viscose Fabric

Your clothes will be nice and dry when you bring them inside since sunlight absorbs water and dries things out. You can also prevent musty smells from developing by hanging your clothes outside, where air can circulate better.

Drying with a Dryer

It can be tricky to dry viscose fabric clothes in a dryer, so here are some tips. Always use the low setting and delicate mode on your dryer to prevent any damage to the fabric because viscose is a delicate material that can shrink or lose shape if exposed to high heat.

Read the garment’s care label before drying your viscose clothing. The instructions will explain how to maintain the fabric properly. When it suggests using an air dryer instead of a dryer, you should follow the instructions.

Make sure you take precautions while using a dryer. You should always check the lint trap before starting the machine because viscose clothing tends to accumulate loose fibers there. The second tip is to place your viscose clothing in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase before putting it in the dryer. It will prevent them from snagging or stretching out while drying.

Be careful and follow these tips to get the best results when drying your viscose fabric clothes with a dryer.

Drying on a Hanger

One of the best methods for drying viscose fabric clothes is to hang them up. It not only helps preserve the shape and structure of the garment but also allows for proper air circulation so that it dries faster.

Viscose Fabric

Here is what you can do: squeeze out any excess water after washing your viscose clothes without wringing or twisting them. After hanging them, make sure to smooth out any wrinkles or creases. Place the hanger in a shady area away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Allow the clothes to air dry completely before wearing or storing them.

Drying with a Crepe

Using a crepe can help you dry viscose fabrics. Lightly dampen the crepe and gently press it against the fabric to absorb excess moisture. This method is recommended because viscose fabric is prone to shrinking and losing shape when exposed to excessive heat or rough handling.

A crepe lets you control the moisture absorbed without exposing your clothes to high temperatures or vigorous drying methods. Due to the absorbency of crepe, the fabric dries naturally without damage.

Drying with a Steamer

You can use a steamer to dry viscose fabric clothes. Steaming not only helps in drying the clothes quickly but also prevents them from getting damaged. The following steps will help you:

The first thing you should do is hang your viscose clothing on a hanger or clothesline. It is best to spread out evenly so that steam can be evenly distributed. Let the steamer heat up according to the manufacturer’s instructions after you fill it with water. Once the garment is ready, hold the steamer about six to eight inches away from the fabric and move it up and down to ensure it penetrates all areas. Steam the clothes until they are dry.

FAQ about Viscose Fabric

Does Viscose Shrink With Every Wash?

Yes, viscose can shrink with every wash. This rayon fabric is made from wood pulp and tends to shrink when washed. A viscose fabric can shrink in size due to swells and contractions in its fibers during washing.

Follow the care instructions on viscose garments to minimize shrinkage. The process typically involves handwashing or using a gentle cycle with cold water and avoiding high heat when drying.

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Is Prewashing Necessary For Reducing Shrinkage in New Viscose Fabrics?

Prewashing viscose fabrics is necessary to reduce shrinkage. When you buy a new piece of clothing made from viscose, make sure to wash it first. Prewashing viscose fabrics helps to remove excess dyes and chemicals that can cause further shrinkage after exposure to heat and water.

How do You Care For Viscose Fabric?

With a few simple steps, you can keep viscose fabric looking great for a long time. Here Is how you can maintain viscose fabric:

  • Hand Wash or Use The Delicate Cycle: Viscose is delicate and will shrink or lose shape in high temperatures. You can either hand wash your viscose garments with a mild detergent and cold water or use the delicate cycle on your washing machine to avoid this.
  • Avoid Wringing or Twisting: Do not wring or twist the fabric after washing. It will help prevent stretching and maintain its shape.
  • Lay Flat to Dry: Lay your viscose garments flat on a clean towel rather than using a dryer.
  • Iron on Low Heat: To make viscose fabric wrinkle-free, iron it on a low heat setting while it is still damp. Be sure to place a cloth between the iron and the fabric to protect it from direct heat.
  • Store Carefully: Keep your viscose garments away from direct sunlight and fold them neatly when storing. As a result, discoloration will be prevented, and quality will be maintained.

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Does Viscose Shrink in Hot Water?

Hot water can shrink viscose. Viscose is a type of rayon fabric that is made from natural materials such as wood pulp or bamboo. While it can be a comfortable and breathable fabric, it is also known to have poor resistance to heat and water.

When you expose viscose to hot water, viscose fibers can undergo shrinkage due to the relaxation of their molecular structure. You may experience shrinkage when washing or drying viscose clothing in hot water.

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How Much Does Viscose Shrink?

Viscose is a tricky fabric for shrinkage because companies use slightly different chemical processes on their viscose fibers. However, viscose generally tends to shrink when exposed to heat and moisture. There is a good chance your viscose garment will shrink if you wash it on a high-temperature setting or dry it.

It depends on the brand and manufacturing process and how much it shrinks. Some viscose garments may only experience minimal shrinkage of about 2-3%, while others can shrink up to 10% or more. That is why you should always check the care instructions provided by the manufacturer before washing your viscose clothing and consider handwashing or air-drying to minimize the risk of excessive shrinking.

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I hope this article has helped you better understand why your viscose fabric may shrink and how to prevent it from shrinking. By understanding the characteristics of viscose and following proper care instructions, you can minimize the risk of shrinkage. You should always check the label for specific instructions and consider hand washing or using a gentle cycle.

It is also recommended that you not dry the garment at high temperatures and reshape it while damp so that drying can help maintain its original size. The following tips can help you enjoy your viscose garments without worrying about shrinkage.

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