Dressmaking fabric comes in all textures, patterns and weights - and are either natural, synthetic, or in the case of viscose fabric can be a combination of the two. There are so many choices on the market for dressmakers and viscose fabric is often overlooked, and even misunderstood. Here at Fabrics Galore, we do believe that this textile is often underrated in the industry, and we have a lovely range of printed spun viscose and viscose twill like the fabulous paisley print above. This is why we have put together this post to discuss this versatile fabric in more detail.
What is viscose fabric?
Viscose was first produced in 1883 as a cheaper, artificial silk. It is often seen as a sustainable alternative to cotton or polyester, as well as a cheaper and more durable alternative to silk. It is derived from the ‘cellulose’ or wood pulp from certain types of trees such as eucalyptus, beech and pine, along with bamboo, soy, and sugar cane - all of which are very fast growing. The cellulose can then be dissolved in a chemical solution to be spun into fibres, which can then be made into threads.
Although viscose is made from cellulose, it is known as semi-synthetic rather than 100% natural or synthetic due to the chemicals involved in the viscose manufacturing process, like sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide. That all sounds scary but not when it produces lovely fabric like this!
The benefits of viscose dress fabric
If you are looking for a lightweight material that is not as expensive as silk, but still has a soft, luxurious feel with a lovely drape, then viscose dress fabric is a great option. Its many desirable qualities make it a wonderfully versatile fibre to use in many ways in your dressmaking projects.
Viscose is so popular in the dressmaker's fabric stash as it hangs so beautifully and is a dream to sew with. Whether you use viscose fabric for a dress, top or skirt, the result is always stunning.
It’s less expensive to produce and feels very much like silk, but still drapes beautifully - something which is quite rare in other cheaper fabrics.
Absorbent and breathable
Viscose is also perfect for clothing throughout the summer months, as it is extremely airy. It is a very light fabric which doesn’t stick to the body, making it perfect for blouses and summer dresses. Viscose is also ideal for t-shirts and athletic wear, as it does not trap heat but still absorbs water and sweat.
Maintains shape easily
Despite not being elastic, viscose can be blended with other textiles, such as spandex, to add stretch. It allows your viscose fabric to become slightly stretchier if this is preferred. Overall, it blends really well with other fibres to help you create the perfect textile you require for your dressmaking project.
What else can viscose be used for?
As we have already touched upon, viscose fabric is incredibly versatile and is used in clothing, home fabrics and hygiene products that people use every day. As a dressmaking fabric, it is ideal for shirts, blouses and dresses, but as it’s soft and gentle on the skin, it can also be used for a variety of other disposable hygiene products. These include baby wipes, beauty masks and medical dressings - just to name a few.
Would you like to buy viscose fabrics?
Across the Fabrics Galore website, as well as in-store, we have a variety of the highest quality drape fabrics available for you to buy - including a fantastic range of pretty viscose prints. We specialise in sourcing the very best textiles for our customers, so why not take a look at our stunning drape fabric ranges we have available? Always check out our New In collection for the very latest viscose fabrics at Fabrics Galore.