Try to answer the following without consulting the Internet:
Is viscose a natural or synthetic fiber?
What’s the difference between viscose and rayon?
Name two products made with viscose.
Viscose may have been called a ‘future fiber’ but realizing that potential will require a massive educational effort in all corners of the apparel industry, concerning its technical performance, design attributes and sustainability. This was the conclusion of a half-day workshop co-convened by Sateri, the world’s third largest viscose producer, and Li & Fung, with the support of the Fung Academy.
The workshop brought together more than 50 participants from Li & Fung, Sateri, and textile fabric mills and suppliers from China, Korea and Vietnam to explore the future of viscose. The day began with a basic intro to the fabric, followed by presentations on design, performance and sustainability, followed by freeform discussions at tables around these topics.
For the record, and to answer the above: the textile viscose is produced from the cellulose of wood and is therefore completely natural and biodegradable. It is, practically speaking, the same as rayon and can be used in any number of products including women’s wear, sportswear, home textiles, socks, accessories and underwear. It has been called a fiber of the future because its production uses less water than cotton, less oil than synthetics, and forests can be renewed and need not compete with agricultural land. There are questions about the chemicals used to extract the cellulose from the wood and in the production process, which can be environmentally destructive if not handled correctly.
Rob Sinclair, President of Supply Chain Solutions at Li & Fung, who helped to organize the workshop said, “Li & Fung is ideally positioned to support collaborations to educate and build awareness of viscose as an alternative fiber. Today we convened a number of players on the upstream side, and we will now connect this to our customers. We saw competing mills and textile producers be very open and eager to learn and collaborate. They get it that collaboration can help expand the pie for everyone.”
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