Does Rayon Look Cheap?

Can Synthetic Look The Same As Expensive Fabrics?

Written by Kate Holmsy. Updated on Can Synthetic Look The Same As Expensive Fabrics

Everyone wants to dress well. Wearing good-looking garments made of fabrics that are stylish and affordable – isn’t that a dream of each of us?

Fortunately, the market today is filled with artificial materials like rayon that allow us to dress up and don’t spend a fortune on new apparel.

But does rayon look cheap?

To dispel your doubts, we prepared this article.

Why Rayon Is Still A Point Of Concern?

Even though rayon is half-natural and it is way less harmful compared to other synthetics, and it feels much better on the skin, some people still doubt when deciding what fabric their next apparel will be made of.

Perhaps, it is all about the fact that this material is predisposed to wrinkles and shrinking, and getting wrinkles out of rayon may take some time and effort. Anyone would prefer a fabric that doesn’t need to be treated with extra care and accuracy, let’s consider that! 

Or, maybe, the reason is that rayon production still uses chemicals and some of them can be quite harmful causing skin irritations, allergy, headaches, and even issues with our organs.

Whatever it is, we suggest you be careful and consider your own needs: if you know that your skin is very sensitive to what you’re wearing, then probably it’s better to shift for the all-natural fabrics.

Anyway, quite many people wear rayon constantly and they’re still alive and doing well.

The Viscose Fibre LineThe Viscose Fibre Line

Related: Does Rayon Shink?

How to Care For Viscose Fabric?

When we choose the fabric our clothes will be made of, it is very essential what maintenance and care instructions this type of fabric comes with. Few people will gladly choose demanding and delicate materials like silk since they should be treated with specific caution.

Speaking of rayon, this fabric is pretty hard to take care of! First of all, it can shrink in the washer, so the easiest (and recommended) way to wash rayon/viscose is by hand using it. Also, rayon requires using a mild detergent and cold water only.

This is why buying rayon items is often doubted by people. They simply don’t want to bother about washing this material! 

How to Care For Viscose Fabric
Stan_pit via VistaCreate

Is Viscose Environmentally Friendly?

If you only wear clothes made of environmentally-friendly fabrics, rayon is not your option at all! Producing rayon is a highly polluting process! It releases many toxic chemicals into the air and waterways surrounding production plants. 

Is Viscose Environmentally Friendly
Stan_pit via VistaCreate

Is Viscose Biodegradable?

Is viscose biodegradable? This is not an easy question to answer. See, 100% viscose yarn is typically made from 100% cellulose, which is biodegradable, unlike synthetic fabrics. However, everything is not so simple here!

Although pure viscose is bio-degradable, it can take between 20 to 200 years to biodegrade fully! This is because viscose is a synthetic material. This is why some people consider viscose not fully biodegradable, unlike wool or 100% cotton.

Is Viscose Biodegradable
Stan_pit via VistaCreate

How to Look Fancy Spending Little Money?

This is probably the major stumbling stone for any fashionista! How to look posh and stylish, and not spend tons of money on your garments?

If for some reason you can’t afford all silk and cashmere clothing, cheaper versions exist that look the same and often even better than the original fabrics. And they don’t cost a lot!

  • Cotton

A high-quality and natural fabric that is both affordable and durable. Besides, it’s easy to maintain.

  • Linen

It may feel slightly harsh when new, but after a while, you will not want to take off the favorite linen dress! The fabric gets softer with time, besides, it’s durable and strong.

  • Faux suede 

Looks the same awesome as the real one but costs way less.

How to Look Fancy Spending Little Money
Photo by Heber Barahona
  • Denim

A great option if you’re a jeans lover! Try to look for the pure denim items since they are more long-lasting.

  • Camel wool

It’s softer, more durable, and finer than merino or the ordinary wool, besides, it doesn’t cost a fortune. Why not try it?

These are the most good-looking and health-friendly materials that can make your wardrobe more versatile and won’t break the budget.

What About Rayon?

Yeah, what about it? As a synthetic fabric, it is very popular and widespread on the market now, and it has quite many benefits that make this semi-natural material a nice option.

  • Rayon is soft and pleasant to the skin
  • The fabric has the texture that is pretty close to cotton
  • In terms of appearance, however, rayon resembles silk quite a lot
  • It has a smooth surface, sometimes with a shiny effect
  • Rayon folds nicely which makes it a perfect option for gowns and skirts

Being half made of cellulose, rayon looks and feels quite expensive, in addition, this material can easily be blended with other fabrics which adds more points to its appearance. Nevertheless, such origin makes it highly predisposed to heat so the owners of rayon apparel have to know how to iron rayon correctly. Otherwise, a high risk of ruining the garden exists.

WHAT IS RAYON? | S1:E13 | Fibers and Fabrics | Beate MyburghWHAT IS RAYON? | S1:E13 | Fibers and Fabrics | Beate Myburgh

To see the difference, let’s compare it with some most popular fabrics.

Rayon Cotton Silk Linen
Wrinkles significantly. Stretchy. 

Has a bright shiny appearance. 

Feels somewhat hard and cold when mimicking silk.
Doesn’t feel cold on the skin, unlike rayon. 


Heavier and less smooth than rayon.
Soft, delicate, luster, mercerizes but not glaringly. 

Almost doesn’t wrinkle.
Harsher and more durable than rayon.

Looks thick.

So the basic conclusion is that rayon looks good enough to be a replacement for the expensive materials like wool or silk. However, since it’s not that durable, and has a tendency to shrink and wrinkle, it can be a point of concern.


Now you know whether rayon looks cheap and what this fabric is made of. You learned how this material is produced and what still makes people concerned about it. So the basic conclusion is that rayon looks good enough to be a replacement for more expensive materials like wool or silk.

However, since it’s not that durable and has a tendency to shrink and wrinkle, it can be a point of concern.

In addition, rayon does have downsides connected to the way it affects the environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Is rayon thread stronger than polyester?

No, in fact, polyester thread is stronger than rayon.

⭐ Is rayon more expensive than polyester?

It is slightly more expensive indeed.

⭐ Can you wash 100% rayon?

You can do it manually or by setting the machine to the gentlest cycle with the slowest spin.

⭐ Is rayon cheaper than cotton?

On the contrary, it costs more due to the costs spent on its production.

⭐ Does rayon make you sweat?

No for the fabric is very breathable.

⭐ Why is rayon bad?

Because of the chemicals used for manufacturing, it can harm the skin and cause headaches.

Written by
Kate worked in "The Fashion Magazine" for four years as a freelance writer and loved to consult and help people with their style. How to create your own style, how to look beautiful, and select trendy colors for your hair - these are just a few of many issues Kate will happily explain in Beezzly Beauty blogs!
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What is Viscose Fabric?What is Viscose Fabric?