Viscose is a unique form of wood cellulose acetate used in the manufacture of a number of different products. This includes items for the medical industry, though it is perhaps most common as a major ingredient in the production of the fabric rayon. The process of creating this material is fairly complex, beginning with wood pulp that is treated with various chemical baths and procedures. Along with rayon, other products that contain viscose include cellophane and some types of adhesive tape.
How It Is Made
Making viscose begins with wood pulp, and manufacturers often use different sources such as bamboo. The wood cellulose is treated with caustic soda, then allowed to age, before being treated again with caustic soda and carbon disulphide. Manufacturers spin the resulting product through various mechanisms and wash it through water baths and similar methods. It is then extracted out of one or more slits to produce threads or other forms necessary in different applications. Since it begins with wood, it is not a synthetic material.
Use In Textiles
Rayon is one of the most common and popular uses of viscose, which is used for many types of clothing and other textile products. Such rayon has a silky appearance and feel, yet breathes in a manner similar to cotton weaves. In addition to being an inexpensive material to use in lightweight clothing, manufacturers use rayon for textiles such as tablecloths, furniture slipcovers, and bed sheets. Rayon also tends to drape very well, which makes it ideal for use in simple curtains as well as an ideal fabric to line more formal draperies.
Other Common Uses
Some companies use viscose to make cellophane. The initial manufacturing process for cellophane is similar to rayon, but different end procedures are used to make a stable, mostly clear, lightweight product. Common uses of such cellophane include kitchen wrap and clear sheets used to wrap plants, gift baskets, and other projects. Other companies also use it to make certain types of semi-clear adhesive tape.
Certain forms of viscose, sometimes referred to as cellulose xanthe, are ideal for the creation of dialysis membranes. Medical equipment manufacturers also make other medical tools using this material. One major benefit of such products is that they are soft and supple to the touch, making them ideal for sensitive medical items.
The development of viscose has made it possible for many people to enjoy a wide array of quality textiles in their homes, without paying a lot of money for a luxurious look and feel. These garments often require less cleaning than some other types of cloth. Anyone cleaning this material should follow the manufacturer's instructions on the garment or product label. They can also be quite durable, though this depends a great deal on the manufacturer and how the garment or textile is made.
While viscose breathes like cotton and has a feel that is pleasing to the touch, there are some drawbacks. One disadvantage to textile products made with rayon is that the items can often wrinkle easily, and many garments made from this material cannot be machine-washed or dried. The process used to make this material can also create a great deal of pollution. While some manufacturers have made considerable efforts to ensure clean production, there may still be companies that create pollution and toxic chemical waste during production.