The popularity of viscose fabric in the fashion industry can be attributed to its softness, comfort, versatility, breathability, drape, cost-effectiveness, dyeability, and sustainability. These properties make it a preferred choice for a wide range of fashion applications, from clothing to home textiles, and it continues to be widely used by fashion designers and consumers alike. Keep in mind viscose can shrink but many people confuse about this that’s why they ask do viscose shrink?
Yes, viscose fabric can shrink, like many other types of fabric, has the potential to shrink when exposed to certain conditions, such as heat, agitation, and moisture. Viscose fabric can shrink when it is washed in hot water, dried in a high-heat setting, or exposed to excessive agitation during washing or drying. The shrinkage can occur in both length and width, and it may vary depending on the specific type of viscose fabric.
What is Viscose Fabric Actually Is?
Viscose fabric, also known as rayon, is a type of semi-synthetic fabric. Viscose fabric is known for its soft and smooth texture, and it is often used as a versatile and affordable alternative to natural fibers like cotton or silk.
Viscose fabric was first developed in the late 19th century as a way to create a silk-like material using a more economical and readily available source of cellulose. It was initially called “artificial silk” or “rayon” and was used as a substitute for silk in the production of various textiles, including clothing, upholstery, and household items. One of the notable characteristics of viscose fabric is its ability to mimic the drape and sheen of silk, making it a popular choice for clothing such as dresses, blouses, and linings.
The Shrinkage Factor of Viscose:
Viscose fabric, also known as rayon, can be prone to shrinkage if not properly cared for. There are several factors that can contribute to the shrinkage of viscose fabric, including:
Viscose fabric has a high absorbency rate and can easily absorb moisture from the environment or during washing. When the fabric becomes wet, the individual fibers can swell, causing the fabric to shrink as it dries. This is particularly true for viscose fabric that has not been properly pre-shrunk during the manufacturing process.
Heat can also cause viscose fabric to shrink. High temperatures, such as those in hot water during washing or in a dryer, can cause the fibers in the fabric to contract and shrink. It’s important to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer, which often recommend washing viscose fabric in cold water and avoiding high-heat drying.
Agitation during washing or drying can also cause viscose fabric to shrink. Vigorous washing or drying, such as heavy agitation in a washing machine or tumble drying on high heat, can cause the fibers to compress and contract, resulting in shrinkage.
Viscose fabric can also shrink when subjected to mechanical stress, such as twisting, pulling, or stretching. This can occur during washing, drying, or when the fabric is worn or handled roughly. Mechanical stress can cause the fibers in the fabric to deform and contract, leading to shrinkage.
Lack of Proper Pre-shrinking:
If viscose fabric has not been properly pre-shrunk during the manufacturing process, it may be more susceptible to shrinkage. Pre-shrinking is a process where the fabric is treated to reduce its tendency to shrink when exposed to moisture, heat, or mechanical stress. If the fabric has not undergone this process, it may be more likely to shrink when exposed to these factors.
How Viscose Shrink with Example?
Let’s say you have a viscose dress that you’ve recently purchased. You love how it fits and looks, but after the first wash, you notice that it has visibly shrunk. Here’s how it could have happened:
Moisture: You washed the viscose dress in warm water, and the fabric absorbed moisture during the wash. The individual viscose fibers swelled as they absorbed water, causing the fabric to expand temporarily. However, when you hung the dress to air dry, the moisture started evaporating, and the fibers began to contract as they lost water. This contraction resulted in the fabric shrinking, and the dress ended up smaller than its original size.
Heat: You decided to tumble dry the viscose dress in a high-heat setting to save time. The high heat caused the viscose fibers to contract, resulting in the fabric shrinking. Viscose fabric is sensitive to heat, and exposure to high temperatures during washing or drying can cause it to shrink.
Preventing Tips of Viscose Fabric from shrinking:
Here are some tips to prevent viscose fabric from shrinking:
Follow care instructions: Always read and follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer on the garment label. These instructions provide specific guidelines on how to care for the viscose fabric and avoid shrinking.
Hand wash or use gentle cycle: If possible, hand wash viscose fabric or use the gentle cycle on your washing machine. Avoid using hot water, as viscose fabric is sensitive to heat and can shrink when exposed to high temperatures.
Use mild detergent: Use a mild detergent specifically formulated for delicate fabrics when washing viscose. Harsh detergents can cause the fabric to shrink or lose its shape.
Avoid tumble drying: Air drying is the best option for viscose fabric. Avoid tumble drying or using high heat settings in the dryer, as this can cause the fabric to shrink. If using a dryer, use a low heat setting or hang the garment to dry instead.
Handle with care: Avoid aggressive agitation or mechanical stress when washing or handling viscose fabric. Gentle handling and minimal friction can help prevent the fabric from shrinking.
Pre-shrink before sewing: If you plan to sew with viscose fabric, it’s a good idea to pre-shrink it before cutting and sewing. This involves washing and drying the fabric using the recommended care instructions to allow for any potential shrinkage before sewing the garment.
By following these tips and taking proper care of viscose fabric, you can minimize the risk of shrinking and help maintain the integrity and shape of the garment.
Drying can be harmful for the viscose fabric. Drying can make the viscose fabric color dull and can make it to shrink.
Cold water can shrink viscose but less than hot water. Hot water is more dangerous to this kind of fabrics.
Viscose can get shrink upto 20% in hot water and 10% in cold water.
It’s important to note that different types of viscose fabric may have varying levels of shrinkage, as it can depend on factors such as the quality of the fabric, the manufacturing process, and the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. To minimize shrinkage, it’s recommended to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer, such as washing in cold water, avoiding high heat drying, and avoiding excessive agitation or mechanical stress.
It’s also a good idea to pre-test any washing or drying methods on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric before applying them to the entire garment to avoid potential shrinkage issues.