Polyester vs. Viscose – A Compact Comparison

Last Updated on April 13, 2023

Polyester vs. Viscose: Let’s talk about the two most common materials – viscose and polyester. We have repeatedly come across opinions that viscose and polyester are “bad” and only cotton is “good,” and in general, these two materials are the same “synthetics.” Is it so? Let’s figure it out!

Polyester vs. Viscose
Image Source: canva

When buying a brand new coat or jacket in a store, we often think about which lining fabric is better: polyester or viscose. In most cases, designers use polyester as a lining for stylish branded items, and this is not just.


Let’s start with polyester. It is based on polyester fibers – a product of oil refining, which is obtained artificially. Due to the characteristics of polyester fibers, this material can be thin and light, and vice versa, rough and durable.

Main Advantages:

  • Strength
  • Durability
  • Does not wrinkle
  • Products dry quickly and do not deform from water.


  • Electrifies and stores static electricity
  • High density, which makes things not very pleasant to the body, especially when worn in hot weather
  • There needs to be more data on whether this material is harmful or not, so it is not recommended to wear polyester products constantly.

Cotton, viscose, and elastane fibers are added to polyester materials to eliminate negative properties. For washing polyester, you should choose a delicate mode and a temperature of 30 – 40 degrees. Spin no more than 600 rpm.

Image: Polyester Fabric
Source: Shutterstock

Polyester cannot be boiled and washed in hot water, Polyester cannot be boiled and washed in hot water, which can damage the fibers and cause the material to become discolored or yellowed.

This material also deteriorates when using bleach, especially chlorine-based products, and may be damaged when dried on radiators, heaters, or in direct sunlight. Polyester clothes dry quickly and often do not require ironing, but if they do, it is better to do it at a medium temperature. As we can see, it is enough to follow simple washing rules for a thing to last a long time.


Viscose is a natural fiber obtained by artificial means. The basis of this material is cellulose, a substance found in wood. Viscose can be 100% viscose, or it can contain additives, synthetic or natural.

Main Advantages

  • 100% viscose is the most pleasant to the touch, delicate but fragile, suffers from water, and almost does not stretch and wrinkle.
  • Adding elastane to the fabric makes the fabric more elastic.
  • Viscose has increased strength and wear resistance with the addition of polyester.
  • Viscose with the addition of cotton also makes the material more durable and does not reduce environmental properties.
  • Viscose does not cause an allergic reaction;
  • To the touch, viscose is more pleasant than polyester;
  • Viscose will not electrified like polyester.


  • Prone to shrinking and stretching
  • Wrinkles easily and requires frequent ironing
  • Can lose its shape over time
  • Not as durable as some other materials

properties of viscose

Image: Viscose Fabric
Source: Shutterstock

The properties of viscose, depending on the additive, may vary, but 100% viscose:

  • Pleasant to the body
  • Warms in the cold and cools in the heat
  • Drapes beautifully
  • Does not electrify
  • Does not shed
  • Breathable
  • Does not tolerate direct sunlight
  • Wrinkle
  • Wrong washing may shrink and deform

How to care for viscose products to avoid trouble?

It is necessary to wash on a delicate mode at a temperature not exceeding 30 degrees, use mild detergents, wring out at low speed in a washing machine, and if you have to wring out by hand, do not twist, but rather wrap it in a terry towel to remove excess moisture.

It is better to dry on a flat surface, avoiding direct sunlight.

What kind of fabric is viscose and polyester?

A blended fabric of viscose and polyester is called polyviscose; if cotton and elastane are also present in the composition, polyviscon is obtained.

Such fabrics are used for sewing school uniforms and other uniforms – they are very durable, almost do not wrinkle, and easily tolerate frequent washing.

Do viscose and polyester look the same?

No, they do not look the same. Viscose is a semi-synthetic material similar to cotton, while polyester is a fully synthetic material with a shiny, plastic-like appearance.

Viscose tends to have a softer and more breathable feel than polyester, which can be more durable and resistant to wrinkles. The best way to tell the difference between the two materials is to look at the label on the garment or to feel the fabric to determine its texture and quality.

Polyester vs. Viscose –  Difference between polyester and viscose?

Viscose does not cause an allergic reaction; viscose is more pleasant to the touch than polyester; Viscose does not electrify, unlike polyester.

Which is better viscose or polyester?

So what to choose, viscose or polyester? If you’re looking for soft and breathable fabric, viscose may be the better choice. However, if you need a fabric that’s durable and easy to care for, polyester may be the better choice. 

Naturally, when choosing clothes by composition, it is better to give preference to products made of viscose. It is much more comfortable and wears better, especially in hot weather.

However, it is better to choose outerwear made of polyester since this material is much more convenient to care for, practically does not wrinkle, dries faster, and is easier to wash.

Sportswear should keep its shape well and be wear-resistant; this can provide a high percentage of polyester in the material. It turns out that both fabric types cannot replace each other because they have different properties.

However, polyester is less breathable than viscose and can feel less comfortable in hot or humid conditions.

Each type of clothing requires certain characteristics, which means its own type of fabric, so be bold if you see polyester on the label of any clothing in the composition of the material.

When polyester is better than viscose?

  • Polyester is stronger than viscose; you will never tear the lining of your coat.
  • Polyester is cheaper than viscose, allowing clothing manufacturers to reduce costs without risking product quality.
  • Modern synthetic materials allow the material to breathe; the fabric, with the effect of “cool and dry,” absorbs moisture and lets air through. Thus, a product with a polyester lining will not be hot in summer weather and warm enough in cold weather.
  • The choice in the section of polyester fabrics is greater than in viscose. 
  • Any pattern can be printed on polyester by sublimation printing, thereby giving the product a stylish and fashionable look, which cannot be done on viscose.

Is polyester warmer than viscose?

In terms of warmth, polyester is generally considered to be warmer than viscose. This is because polyester is a synthetic material designed to trap heat and keep you warm, while viscose is a natural, more lightweight and breathable material.

However, the warmth of both materials can also depend on the specific fabric type and the garment’s thickness. So, it’s important to consider the specific use and context when choosing between polyester and viscose for warmth.

Is polyester and viscose good for summer?

Polyester and viscose can be good options for summer clothing, but it depends on the specific fabric blend and construction.

Polyester is known for being lightweight and moisture-wicking, which can help keep you cool and dry in the summer heat. Viscose, on the other hand, is breathable and comfortable against the skin.

Polyester vs. Viscose for summer
Image Source: Shutterstock

However, it’s important to note that some polyester and viscose blends may not be as breathable or comfortable as other fabrics, so checking the specific fabric blend and construction before purchasing is important.

But, it’s important to consider these synthetic materials’ environmental impact and opt for sustainable and eco-friendly options whenever possible.

Does polyester or viscose make you sweat?

Both polyester and viscose can make you sweat, but for different reasons. Polyester is a synthetic material that does not breathe well, which means that it can trap heat and moisture against your skin, leading to sweating.

Viscose, on the other hand, is a semi-synthetic material that is made from wood pulp. While it is more breathable than polyester, it still does not wick moisture away from your skin as well as natural fibers like cotton or linen.

So, both polyester and viscose can make you sweat, especially in hot and humid conditions. If you want to avoid sweating, it’s best to choose natural fabrics that are breathable and moisture-wicking.

Is polyester or viscose shiny?

Viscose is typically more shiny than polyester. Viscose has a natural sheen to it that gives it a silky appearance, while polyester can have a more matte finish. However, the level of shine can also depend on the specific weave or finish of the fabric. It’s always best to check the label or ask the manufacturer for more information about the specific fabric you’re interested in.

Remember, both polyester and viscose can be made to have a shiny appearance, but it depends on the specific manufacturing process and finishing techniques applied to the fabric.

What does viscose and polyester feel like?

Viscose, also known as rayon, has a soft and silky feel, similar to cotton or silk. It drapes well and has a natural sheen. However, it can also be prone to wrinkling and shrinking if not cared for properly.

Polyester, on the other hand, has a smooth and slightly shiny texture. It is often used in clothing for its durability and wrinkle resistance. It can feel synthetic and less breathable than natural fibers like cotton or wool. Some people also find it to be static-prone.

Is polyester and viscose itchy?

Polyester and viscose are generally not considered itchy fabrics. But can sometimes be itchy, but it really depends on the individual and the quality of the fabric. Some people are more sensitive to certain fabrics than others, and lower-quality fabrics may be more likely to cause irritation.


Viscose is known for its softness and smooth texture, often compared to the feel of silk or cotton. It is typically not itchy and is considered comfortable to wear. However, if viscose is blended with other fibers, such as wool, it might become itchy for some people, depending on their sensitivity to the blended material.


Polyester is a synthetic fabric that can be manufactured to have a smooth or textured feel. In most cases, polyester is not itchy, but some people may find lower-quality or coarser polyester fabrics to be less comfortable against the skin. 

If someone has sensitive skin or is prone to allergies, they may experience some irritation or itchiness from certain polyester fabrics.


It’s always a good idea to check the fabric content and do a touch test before purchasing clothing made from these materials. Also, washing the garment before wearing it can help soften the fabric and reduce any itchiness.

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