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What is Viscose Yarn? + 24 Knitting Patterns

Learn all about the viscose yarn properties so you can use your skein to its fullest potential.

Updated September 15, 2020
What is Viscose Yarn

The longer we knit, the more fiber types we start to notice on the skeins of yarn that catch our attention. Wool, acrylic, tencel, cashmere... what are we to make of all of these different kinds of fibers, and, more importantly, does it matter? Different fibers are better suited for different purposes due to their unique qualities. Some fibers are cheap and hardy, others are warm and moisture-wicking. Some are derived from animals or plants, and some are manmade.

Viscose falls somewhere between 'natural' and 'manufactured.' Some American knitters out there may better know viscose as rayon, which is mostly true. Viscose is derived from trees (more specifically the cellulose), so you would think this was a natural fiber along the lines of bamboo or cotton, but the process of manufacturing viscose yarn involves a whole lot more chemicals and interference for that to be true.

What are the Viscose Yarn Properties?

Viscose actually behaves quite a bit like cotton, as it's very absorbent and breathable. This along with its lightweight characteristic and hardiness makes it a great fabric for warm weather wear. Since it's so cheap to produce, it's cheap to the consumer, as well, but it won't be very helpful for people who are concerned with staying warm, because it does not insulate well. People who live in warmer areas will find viscose is their best friend, but people who live where there are harsh winters and mellow summers, or people who are more concerned with the environment, may use this fiber less.

What Can I Knit With Viscose Yarn?

Knit Tops

Tees and tanks are the perfect use for viscose yarn. Since the yarn is absorbent, summertime sweat won't leave you uncomfortable, and that's if you sweat in the first place—since it's breathable, you may not need to worry about that, at all.

Knit Shawls

Shawl knitters everywhere know that the yardage involved in knitting large, intricate wraps can make it get very expensive very quickly. Rather than waste warming wool yarn on knit shawls, knit your light and lacy shawls with cheaper (yet hardy) viscose.

Kitchen Knits

The absorbent quality of viscose yarn makes it wonderful for kitchen knits such as towels, coasters, and dishcloths. You'll even find it makes a great fiber for a bathroom rug or washcloth! Anywhere where water spills frequently is a great place for viscose to be.

Knit Baby Clothes

Since viscose yarn is washable and breathable, it's perfect for baby clothes. You don't want the little one making a fuss because she feels too stuffy, and you definitely need to be able to pull the clothes off and chuck them in the washing machine if she has an accident!

Up Next:

All About Tencel Yarn

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Party Time Sweater

Hit the town in this swanky sweater pattern. You're guaranteed a good time in this Party Time Sweater. Make this sweater your go-to… Continue reading: "Party Time Sweater"



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