The Fibre Garden : Viscose/Rayon
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Viscose fibre is a type of Rayon, very similar in look and feel to the viscose type of Bamboo. This is categorized as a “semi-synthetic” fibre, being manmade from plant sources, in this case wood pulp from various kinds of trees. The wood is ground and dissolved, then extruded into very fine filaments before being cut and combed into top/roving. The fibre is soft and lustrous and used for weaving a wide range of commercial textiles including blouses, shirts, dresses, jackets and many other garments.
This is suitable for spinning by itself or blending with wool and other fibres. It is beautiful as a wet-felting embellishment on top of a wool foundation. Viscose is not at all a new fibre, having been invented and manufactured since the 1890s, yet people are generally not that familiar with it and often assume it is a polyester made from oil hydrocarbons.
With a staple length of around 5 to 6 inches, Viscose is easy to spin or blend. When used as a felting embellishment the wool when it shrinks will pull the Viscose fibres into delightful squiggles for a unique surface texture.
Dyers can use fibre-reactive dyes on Viscose, and it dyes beautifully into a whole range of colours much like Tencel takes dye.
From Dyeing House Gallery in Italy