Wash viscose clothing at home by setting the washing machine to the delicate cycle and selecting the cold water wash temperature. Add specifically designated delicate fabric laundry detergent, and run the machine. After the laundry cycle is complete, remove and hang the viscose item to dry. While the item is somewhat damp, iron the apparel on the coolest setting without any steam. Alternately, let the item drip-dry completely, and then steam the wrinkles out.
The majority of viscose rayon garments are marked as "dry clean only." Rayon generally fares poorly when wet, stretching and shrinking more than cotton due to its significantly low elastic recovery. High-wet-modulus rayon, however, is resilient enough to withstand machine washing.
Viscose rayon is a type of fabric manufactured from cellulose fiber. The material is comprised of chemically altered wood pulp that turns into a soluble compound that is subsequently spun out into filaments and solidified. The result is a synthetic fiber that is almost entirely cellulose. The first viscose was patented in 1894 by Charles Frederick Cross, who used a process of reacting rough cellulose with a strong alkaline. The resulting solution was reacted with carbon disulfide, yielding a xanthate that was converted into cellulose fiber. Cross and partners marketed the fiber as an artificial silk.