Produce plant fabrics made from chemical fibers
In many ways, natural fabrics are better for the environment. Natural fabrics and fibres come from plants and animals. They are often touted as ecofriendly alternatives to the chemically-intensive procedures involved in synthetic fabric production. But if it takes nearly three thousand litres of water to produce just one cotton t-shirt, is it really more sustainable? From the Pakistani region in B. It may be light and breezy but cotton is not all white and fluffy.VIDEO ON THE TOPIC: Hemp fiber processing
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- Synthetic fiber
- Man-made fibre
- Plant Fibres for Textile and Technical Applications
- What Is Viscose? 6 Facts About This Misunderstood Fabric
- Production of Banana Fiber Yarns for Technical Textile Reinforced Composites
- Ramie Fibre Processing and Value Addition
- A-Z GLOSSARY OF SUSTAINABLE FIBRES
- Natural Textile Fibers
Fabric comes in all shapes, sizes, weights, and constructions. It can be natural, synthetic, or manufactured. Some fabrics have more stigma than others.
In this blog post, we will be asking the question; what is viscose? A textile, which might be a little misunderstood. Perhaps you have heard of viscose, or maybe you know it better as Rayon. This is the term for viscose in the United States.
But what actually is it? Viscose is a type of rayon. What this means in English? Viscose is the generalised term for a regenerated manufactured fibre, made from cellulose, obtained by the viscose process. As a manufactured regenerated cellulose fibre, it is neither truly natural like cotton, wool or silk nor truly synthetic like nylon or polyester — it falls somewhere in between. Chemically, viscose resembles cotton, but it can also take on many different qualities depending on how it is manufactured.
So, what is this fibre of many faces? To really understand what viscose is, we need to understand how it is made and what it is made from. If a fibre is manufactured, then it is made from cellulose or protein.
Cellulose is a carbohydrate and the chief component in the walls of plants. There is a difference between synthetic and manufactured fibres, which makes a difference in their sustainability.
Viscose is made from wood pulp, making it a cellulosic fibre, like cotton or linen. It is often regarded as only partially manmade. Manufactured fibres derive from naturally occurring cellulose, or protein, while synthetic fibres do not — they are completely manmade. Because they require extensive processing to get to the finished result.
Because viscose is made from renewable plants, it is frequently cited as being environmentally friendly, and sustainable. But is this actually the case? Viscose is the oldest manufactured fibre, first being produced in as a cheap alternative to silk. Viscose production generally begins with wood pulp, and there are several chemical and manufacturing techniques to make it. To create viscose, and make it stand up to regular wearing and washing, it must be chemically treated.
The recycled wood pulp is treated with chemicals such as caustic soda, ammonia, acetone, and sulphuric acid. We therefore have a fabric, which comes from a natural and sustainable source, but that is made with chemicals. Because viscose is made from cellulose, there is an argument to say that it is a more sustainable fibre then other synthetic fibres, such as polyester.
Viscose is increasingly being manufactured using the Lyocell process. This uses N-Methlymorpholine N-oxide as the solvent. This method produces little waste product, making it far more eco-friendly. Viscose has a myriad of brilliant qualities, which makes it a popular fibre to work with.
Thanks to its characteristics, several industries use it, to create a wide range of products. These all sound great, but there are some slightly less positive traits to viscose. However, none of these are particularly negative. A little care during wearing and washing, will make these traits obsolete. Viscose is probably the most misunderstood of all fibres, manmade or natural. It is not a natural fibre, but nor is it synthetic. In regards to the use of chemicals in the production of viscose, as fabric technology advances, many manufacturers are making considerable and positive efforts to ensure clean production.
As we continue to strive for a green-friendly world, increasing work is being put into the sustainability of fibres such as viscose. Viscose has many desirable qualities, which makes it a wonderful fibre to work with in many ways. Because of its unique versatility, many industries use viscose, from fashion, to the medical profession, to everyday items in the home.
You can print your designs on viscose in just a few simple steps. You can get your hands on a discount voucher for viscose printing if you order a test print first , plus it means you get to see for yourself just how easy it is. We would love to know your thoughts on viscose. Do you love it, or are you wary of it? Let us know in the comments below. I love viscose, both to wear and to sew with.
It is comfortable, cool, drapes well and looks great. Clare thank you for this blog. Increasingly buying clothing that will be breathable comfortable non static and not likely to cause rashes, cotton was my go to fabric, but clearly designers see the benefits of viscoses other qualities as its increasingly used often with cotton.
Thankfully this combination on the comfort front, means that even the closest fitting underwear is problem free. So yes some heavy chemicals used in manufacture but if I see it on a fabric label along with cotton and wool, it will be tried. Not so for acryllic, nylon and other synthetic fabrics. This blog was incredibly informative.
I always thought they were two different entities. Thank you so much for clarifying in plain English. Hi Rob, thanks for your question.
Funnily enough I have just written a short letter to White Stuff, clothing company who are appearing to make more use of viscose! I hate viscose, mainly because it does not like me! After years of teaching textiles, I feel qualified enough to understand where manufacturers are coming from cheaper fabric production costs etc but I will always really, really value true natural fibres for their multifaceted, sustainability and quality.
Thanks so much for your comment and sharing your views on viscose Janet. It is interesting how a fabric can cause so much divide in opinions, where the pros and cons can stack in either way depending on the person. Which natural fibre do you find you wear and use the most? Is there a fibre or fabric that you would like to see discussed on the Contrado blog?
I completely agree, although not synthetic, the chemicals used to process this fabric are environmentally harmful! As to what links some may take, to make this fabric more environmentally friendly is a play on words. Wonderful blog! Glad there is someone like me I can only wear cotton, silk and wool, all other fibres make me sweat and nothing keeps you as warm as wool. I thought viscose is natural. Thanks to your blog this is clarified now. Still not sure if I do not harm to my skin sleeping in the pyjama.
But as it is breathable it should be ok, or? Since sometime I am not wearing anything synthetic direct on my skin and I do not miss it….
Hi there! After reading about the chemicals used in making viscose I was wondering how well the chemicals are washed out of it before using it to make clothing? Is it dangerous to wear? I have Fibromyalgia and it makes my Skin extremely sensitive to rough materials which makes me have to buy rayon, modal, and soft polyester cotton blends.
I have returned to dressmaking as I have to wear natural fabrics. I long to wear the draping and more fashionable fabrics than many cottons. Some patterns need to have draping fabric. I am surprised that you say viscose is breathable and takes body heat away from the body as I have not found this.
Is there a great variety of qualities of viscose out there please. What should I look for and avoid when buying viscose Please? I find the Viscose knits jersey, tee shirts etc are extremely hot but the woven Viscose fabrics are very breathable.
Hi Ann, Thanks for your comment. In regards to cleaning, it is normally quite easy to keep viscose looking its best. I wanted to learn more about this fabric because I just wore a blouse made from this fabric. I love the softness but was disappointed when I became too warm while wearing it. Good information provided. I wear garments made from this both summer and winter. To make their particular fabric, Lenzig use white beechwood.
Dear Claire, In our region South of the Netherlands we are looking for more sustainable cloth production here. We have quite many poplar trees. If the use op chemicals is in a closed circuit the production might become more sustainable.
Last crucial question: are the ecological footprints measured of cotton, nylon, silk, bamboo, wool and viscose? Kind wishes, Jan.
Read more. All textiles are made up of fibres that are arranged in different ways to create the desired strength, durability, appearance and texture. The fibres can be of countless origins, but can be grouped into four main categories. Natural fibres, with the exception of silk, have a relatively short fibre length, measured in centimetres.
We know it can be difficult to understand exactly what sustainable fashion means, and the material your clothing is made from plays a BIG role in its environmental impact. There are a lot of different sustainable fibres and fabrics out there, many of which are on this list. It's a list in progress, and when new fibres enter the market we will continue to update them here. Alpaca Wool Alpaca wool is made from the fleece of the South American alpaca, although often softer than sheep's wool and also hypoallergenic. Alpaca require no pesticides or antibiotic treatment when raised for wool, making their lustrous and durable fleece naturally organic.
Plant Fibres for Textile and Technical Applications
What Is Viscose? 6 Facts About This Misunderstood Fabric
All textiles are made from fibre, which can be either natural or manmade. As the name suggests, natural fibres are sourced from plants and animals which naturally thrive in our environment. On the other hand, manmade fibres require human effort to create and are manufactured using chemical processes in factories. Textiles with vary in characteristics depending on the fibres used to make them. If you look at the label of any finished garment, you can tell whether natural or synthetic fibres were used to make it.
Man-made fibre , fibre whose chemical composition , structure, and properties are significantly modified during the manufacturing process. Man-made fibres are spun and woven into a huge number of consumer and industrial products, including garments such as shirts, scarves, and hosiery; home furnishings such as upholstery, carpets, and drapes; and industrial parts such as tire cord, flame-proof linings, and drive belts. The chemical compounds from which man-made fibres are produced are known as polymers , a class of compounds characterized by long, chainlike molecules of great size and molecular weight. Many of the polymers that constitute man-made fibres are the same as or similar to compounds that make up plastics, rubbers, adhesives, and surface coatings.
Production of Banana Fiber Yarns for Technical Textile Reinforced Composites
Fabric comes in all shapes, sizes, weights, and constructions. It can be natural, synthetic, or manufactured. Some fabrics have more stigma than others.
Fiber production in Senica has almost a century-old tradition, started in Under the brand name Slovak Silk, company originally produced viscose textile fiber, which was interrupted by the Second World War. After recovery for decades the company played a very important role in textile industry producing viscose, later polyester yarns. Modern spinning lines were installed in and new production program has been launched. Chemical fiber plant manufactures man-made fibers based on PTA, with utilization for different applications of technical fabrics. The production assortment consists of two main types- high modulus low shrinkage and high tenacity yarn, with or without rubber adhesion activator.
Ramie Fibre Processing and Value Addition
In the last few months, I have received several questions through the blog regarding natural textile fibers. Evidently, from the perspective of fashion consumers and professionals in the industry, there is a close relationship between these fibers and responsible, sustainable textile production; therefore they seek information on the topic. This situation has led to the next two articles of the blog on this issue. In this first article, we will analyze in particular natural fibers of animal and vegetable origin. If you are interested in learning more about natural textile fibers and sustainable fashion, I suggest that you read the second entry of this blog link at the bottom of the page. Natural, plant-based textile fibers come from seed hair, such as cotton; from foliage, such as sisal; from the stem, such as linen; and some fibers come from shells, such as coconut. Among the most widely used in the textile industry, important and recognized, we can list the following fibers:. Also known as Manila Hemp, abaca comes from leave sheaths around the stem of the plant of abaca, a species of banana.
A-Z GLOSSARY OF SUSTAINABLE FIBRES
Ramie fibre comes under bast fibre category, which can be classified as underutilised fibres. The high potential of ramie fibre is not fully exploited due to various techno-economic reasons. It is one of the strongest natural fibres having rich cellulose content. Apart from textile uses, ramie fibre can be utilised for the production of various diversified products.
Natural Textile Fibers
Innovation in textile has brought alternative plant based fibers such as bamboo into the spotlight and as a replacement to petrochemical based synthetic fibers. Bamboo as a raw material is a remarkably sustainable and versatile resource but the manufacturing process is where the debate really gets heated and the sustainability and green image of bamboo is tarnished. The claims may not always portray the products authenticity and true environmental impact. By far, viscose process is predominantly used to create fibers from bamboo but the properties of natural bamboo fibers in such bamboo viscose products have been lost.
Natural fibers have been used as an alternative to synthetic ones for their greener character; banana fibers have the advantage of coming from an agricultural residue. Fibers have been extracted by mechanical means from banana tree pseudostems, as a strategy to valorize banana crops residues. To increase the mechanical properties of the composite, technical textiles can be used as reinforcement, instead of short fibers. To do so, fibers must be spun and woven. The aim of this paper is to show the viability of using banana fibers to obtain a yarn suitable to be woven, after an enzymatic treatment, which is more environmentally friendly.
Eman is a writer and textile engineer. She obtained her bachelor's degree in textile sciences from the Faculty of Applied Arts. Synthetic fibers are man-made fibers. Most of the synthetic fibers are made from polymers produced by polymerization. Synthetic fibers are manufactured usually from oil, coal or natural gas.
A textile  is a flexible material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibers yarn or thread. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool , flax , cotton , hemp , or other materials to produce long strands. The related words " fabric "  and " cloth "  and "material" are often used in textile assembly trades such as tailoring and dressmaking as synonyms for textile.