Lyocell vs Viscose – What’s the difference?

With the developments in textile and chemical technologies, the need for use of traditional, regular fabrics has gone down, as synthetic fabrics have replaced these traditional, “plant-based” materials.

Synthetic fabrics are more durable and cheaper than traditional fabrics. Because of their fiber structure, they can be used for a myriad of applications.

Lyocell vs Viscose

The main difference between Lyocell and Viscose is that Lyocell has better liquid absorbing properties and is usually used as a chemical absorbent. On the other hand, Viscose is a synthetic fabric that is used as the main substitute for natural silk. It is very similar to Nylon in structure.

Lyocell vs Viscose

Lyocell is a synthetic fabric that is commonly used in the textile and chemical industries. It is derived from the cellulose obtained from wood pulp.

Thus it is a “plant-derived” synthetic material as chemical treatment is required for the purification of the material as well as to stabilize the structure.

Viscose is a fabric manufactured from cellulose. It is a synthetic fabric and it closely resembles Nylon in its properties.

It is very commonly used as the main substitute for natural Silk because of its similarities in both appearance and texture. It is usually used in the garment and textile industries.

Comparison Table Between Lyocell and Viscose

Parameters of Comparison Lyocell Viscose 
Definition Lyocell is a synthetic, plant-derived fabric that is used as a substitute for cottonViscose is a synthetic fabric used as the main substitute for natural silk
Absorbent properties Lyocell has high absorbing properties and is used as a chemical absorbent Viscose is not a good absorbent 
Texture Lyocell is a soft material, very similar to cotton in appearance and touch Viscose resembles Nylon in its texture  
Environment friendly Lyocell is more environment friendly Viscose is not environment friendly 
Applications Lyocell is typically used as a chemical absorbent and hence it finds application in healthcare Viscose is mostly used for making garments in textile industries 

What is Lyocell?

Lyocell is a synthetic fabric that is very commonly used as a substitute for cotton. It is a plant-derived synthetic fabric as it is made from the cellulose obtained from wood pulp.

The cellulose has to be treated to make the structure firm as well as to purify the material.

The texture of Lyocell is very soft and it resembles cotton in its appearance and touch.

Hence it is very commonly used as a dressing material for treating wounds.

Lyocell has excellent absorbing properties and is most commonly used as a chemical absorbent in different industries such as healthcare and general chemical.

Along with good absorbing properties, it also has good draping properties compared to other synthetic fabrics.

As it is a plant-derived synthetic fabric, it is more environmentally friendly in its production than other synthetic fabrics.

It is derived from cellulose obtained from wood pulp and the chemical process required for the treatment of the cellulose is not harmful to the environment.

In garment manufacturing, because of its high absorbing properties, Lyocell is mostly used for making activewear and other sportswear garments.

The fabric is very light and soft to the touch, which makes it ideal for gym and athletic wear. 

What is Viscose?

Viscose is a fabric manufactured from cellulose and is known for its silky texture. It is a synthetic fabric that is based on plant cellulose.

The cellulose is treated with sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide to make the cellulose structure firm and clean. 

The material is very similar to nylon in its appearance and composition and it also has good shear resistance.

Due to this, it is used in many industries, from healthcare to general chemical, as well as garment industries.

It is most commonly used in garment and textile industries as the main substitute for silk.

As it has a silky appearance and touch, it is typically used in garment industries for making light and silky apparel products.

It is also highly durable and is resistant to most chemical washing liquids and compounds.

As it is structurally similar to Nylon, it can be used for making nets and wire-mesh products as well.

The biggest advantage of using Viscose is that it is very cheaply available.

The manufacturing process is not complicated, but it is slightly hazardous to nature. As it is a cheap fabric, it is an affordable alternative to pure silk and can be used for making imitation silk apparel.

Main Differences Between Lyocell and Viscose

  1. Lyocell is a synthetic, plant-derived fabric that is used as a substitute for cotton. Viscose is a synthetic fabric used as the main substitute for natural silk
  2. Lyocell has high absorbing properties and is used as a chemical absorbent. Viscose is not a good absorbent
  3. Lyocell is a soft material, very similar to cotton in appearance and touch. Viscose resembles Nylon in its texture
  4. Lyocell is more environment friendly. Viscose is not environment friendly
  5. Lyocell is typically used as a chemical absorbent and hence it finds application in healthcare. Viscose is mostly used for making garments in textile industries
Lyocell vs Viscose – Whats the difference

Conclusion

Synthetic fabrics and polyesters are cheap and durable alternatives to natural, plant-based fabrics.

Many synthetic fabrics are plant-derived fabrics as they are made using plant products such as cellulose. 

Both Lyocell and Viscose are cellulose-based synthetic fabrics.

They are manufactured from wood cellulose but the manufacturing process for both fabrics is different.

Along with the manufacturing processes, the fabrics also differ in their applications.

Lyocell is a soft fabric and hence it is mostly used as a substitute for cotton, whereas Viscose is a slightly rough fabric and is mostly used as an alternative to natural silk.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014305704001715
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014305702001325
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