Rayon is a synthetic fiber, made from natural sources of regenerated cellulose, such as wood and related agricultural products. It has the same molecular structure as cellulose. Viscose can mean:
A viscous solution of cellulose
A synonym of rayon
A specific term for viscose rayon — rayon made using the viscose process
Many types and grades of viscose fibers and films exist. Some imitate the feel and texture of natural fibers such as silk, wool, cotton, and linen. The types that resemble silk are often called artificial silk. The fibre is used to make textiles for clothing and other purposes.
Rayon production involves solubilizing cellulose. One popular method involves use of alkali and carbon sulfide. Another method involves using ammoniacal solutions of copper salts. Yet another route, the lyocell process, relies on a special solvent.