Viscose is an artificial textile fibre that has a silk like sheen, the reason for which it is also defined as «artificial silk”.
It is produced starting from wood pulp obtained from trees (also from cotton, hay, etc.), in particular, with wood from the trees of pine, eucalyptus and beech.
The story of its production starts in 1845, the year in which the first compound of soluble cellulose that could be made into filaments was discovered.
In 1884, the French chemist Hilaire Bernigaud of Chardonnet applied for a patent for «artificial silk» which he presented at the International Exposition of Paris of 1891.
In following years the chemists Charles Cross, Edward Bevan and Clayton Beadle patented the industrial process of producing viscose in England, after having discovered that treating cotton with caustic soda and carbon disulphide created a highly viscous solution (viscose), which could be extruded into fibres through a special procedure.
Viscose was essentially created to respond to the demand for a textile that was similar to silk but less expensive.
This fibre has a shiny appearance. At the touch viscose is particularly soft, absorbent and antistatic.