Viscose Rugs Need Extra Care: Very Popular, Very Problematic!

Unlike silk, which is a high-end, protein-based fine fiber that comes from silk worm cocoons, Viscose is a man-made, plant-based cellulosic fiber with a soft, luxurious feel often used as a more cost-effective silk substitute.

Art Silk, Mercerized Cotton, Coconut Silk, Banana Silk, and Bamboo Silk are a few of the more common terms being used to name the faux-soie Viscose fibers in the industry today.

Watch a short video about Viscose rugs.

Silk and Viscose have very different structural characteristics that respond differently to professional cleaning, spot cleaning, UV light, and daily use. Viscose is a delicate fiber with a low tolerance for wear and abrasion that should only be used in areas expected to receive very low traffic. The fibers are very moisture sensitive and actually become weaker when wet. Because it is an extremely soft and absorbent fiber, Viscose tends to hold onto moisture for a long time. It will often turn yellow, feel brittle to the touch, and become permanently discoloured. Next-generation fibers of Viscose, like Tencel, have not yet solved this issue.

Not all is lost if you fall in love with and purchase a rug with Viscose fibers!

  • Be proactive. Treat your new rug with a stain resistant treatment, such as FiberProtect before any permanent damage has a chance to occur.
  • Do not attempt to spot clean or wash your rug at home. We have dedicated, controlled procedures and methods in place specifically built around Viscose fiber care.
  • Colour Restoration. Should your rug be exposed to direct sunlight, we have the technology to match and reintroduce dyes and colour if needed, in case of a colour loss issue.

Please call or email us if we can answer any questions you may have about your Viscose fiber textiles!