Is Viscose Fabric Stretchy? (All You Need to Know)

Elanor E. Gary
Viscose fabric is an incredibly versatile textile that has been used in the fashion industry for decades. But does this fabric stretch? Read this blog to learn more about viscose fabric, whether it stretches, and how to care for it.

If you have a piece of viscose fabric in your possession, you may be wondering whether it has any stretch to it. Honestly, you are not alone. This is a common concern for many consumers around the world. In fact, one of the most common questions people ask about viscose fabric is if the fabric is stretchy.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of viscose fabric and answer the question on everyone's mind, “Is viscose fabric stretchy?” So keep reading to find out everything you need to know about this popular fabric.

Table Of Contents

What Is Viscose Fabric?

Viscose is a semi-synthetic fabric made from mainly the wood pulp of pine or beech trees. However, it is sometimes produced from bamboo pulp. The manufacturing process involves dissolving the cellulose in the wood pulp in a chemical solution and then extruding the solution to create fibers. These fibers are then spun into yarn and woven or knitted into fabric.

The first-ever viscose was manufactured in the late 1800s. The fabric quickly became a popular alternative to real silk as it had a similar soft and silky texture but was much more affordable. In addition to its softness, viscose fabric is widely known for its lightweight and breathable properties, which makes it a great choice for summer clothing.

Viscose fabric is used to create a wide range of products, including:

Does Viscose Fabric Really Stretch?

Pure 100% viscose does not stretch. Even though some types of viscose fabric may have a very small amount of stretch, the fabric is generally not known for its stretch properties. In fact, most viscose materials can only stretch up to 2% or 3%.

However, if you want your viscose fabric to stretch, you should consider blending it with materials that have better stretchability, such as elastane or spandex. This can add some stretch to the fabric, but it is important to note that it may also impact the thinness of the fabric. Synthetic fabrics are basically thicker than viscose, and adding them to viscose fabric will leave you with a slightly thicker fabric than the original.

What Is the Process of Viscose Production?

Here are the steps involved in producing viscose:

Step 1: Pine, spruce, or eucalyptus trees are debarked and then ground into wood pulp using chemical or mechanical methods

Step 2: The pulp is dissolved in sodium hydroxide to create an alkali solution

Step 3: Excess liquid is removed from the alkali solution by passing it through rollers

Step 4: Pressed sheets are formed

Step 5: Pressed sheets are shredded to form white crumbs

Step 6: White crumbs are treated with carbon disulfide to create cellulose xanthate

Step 7: Cellulose xanthate is dissolved in a solution of sodium hydroxide to produce a viscose solution

Step 8: The viscose solution is filtered to remove impurities and air bubbles

Step 9: This solution is then extruded through spinnerets to create fibers

Step 10: The viscose fibers are spun into yarn ready to be knit or woven into viscose fabric

How to Stretch Viscose Fabric?

As we’ve mentioned above, pure viscose fabric does not stretch very much on its own. However, if you want to add some stretch to your viscose, there are a few ways to do so:

Stretching the Fabric with Water

If you notice that your viscose fabric is suddenly shrunk after washing, you can try to stretch it back to shape by getting it wet again. Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Fill a clean sink or basin with cool water

Step 2: Place the fabric in the water and let it soak for five minutes

Step 3: Remove the fabric from the water and lay it flat on a clean towel without wringing or twisting, as this can damage it

Step 4: Gently roll it up to remove some of the water

Step 5: carefully stretch the fabric and let it air dry


Ironing is another method that can be used to stretch viscose fabric. Here are some steps to follow:

Step 1: Turn your apparel inside out and place it on a flat ironing board

Step 2: Set your iron to low heat setting

Step 3: Hold your iron close to the fabric. You should then press the Steam button to release steam onto the viscose fabric

Step 4: Flip the apparel and repeat step 3

Step 5: Once you are done, turn off the iron

Step 6: Stretch your warm fabric gently by hand to the desired size

Using Conditioner or Shampoo

Did you know that baby shampoo and hair conditioner relaxes the viscose fibers for easy stretch? That’s right! Using small amounts of baby shampoo or hair conditioner is another way to stretch viscose garments. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Put some cool water in a clean sink or basin

Step 2: Add a tablespoon of hair conditioner or baby shampoo and mix well

Step 3: Immerse the fabric in the water and let it soak for a few minutes

Step 4: Remove the garment and lay it flat on a clean towel

Step 5: Roll it up to remove excess water

Step 6: Gently stretch fabric by pulling it by hand to achieve the desired stretch

How to Care for Viscose Fabric?

Viscose fabric is a delicate and soft material that requires proper care to maintain its quality and longevity. Here are some tips on how to care for your viscose fabric:

Final Thoughts

Viscose fabric is a well-known fabric and has been praised by many for its soft texture, lightweight, and breathability. While pure viscose fabric does not stretch, some types of viscose may have small amounts of stretch due to the addition of other fibers like elastane. However, there are ways to stretch viscose fabric, including using water, ironing, and using hair conditioner or baby shampoo.

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