We cover every aspect of Tencel in our blog, including what it is, the advantages of using Tencel bedding while you sleep, and how it is made.
Clothing companies that care about the environment frequently use Tencel fabric. It is used in everything from activewear to underwear to casual clothing because it is lightweight and adaptable. But how does it affect the environment, society, and animals? Tencel fabric is a sustainable and moral product.
If you’re interested, continue reading our article where we discuss everything there is to know about Tencel fabric.
What Is Tencel Fabric?
Think of Tencel fabric as the brand name for a group of fibers known as lyocell and modal, similar to how Band-Aids are to bandages or Kleenex are to tissues. These fibers are popular in sustainable fashion and are renowned for having an incredibly soft feel.
Fabric made of Tencel is somewhat comparable to rayon (i.e. viscose) because they’re what the industry refers to as “regenerated cellulose” fibers. To create the fibers, producers take the wood pulp and dissolve it in a chemical solvent before extruding it.
The main difference is that rayon requires more energy and chemical input during production, which is wasteful and hazardous to the workers. Contrarily, Tencel uses less toxic chemicals that are recycled during production, resulting in a minimal amount of waste. It also makes use of wood from trees in forests that are harvested ethically.
Benefits Of Tencel Fabric
Tencel stands out because it is soft and breathable. Tencel also drapes well over mattresses and retains vibrant colors well, with little chance of bleeding during washing. Tencel is also hypoallergenic and won’t irritate people with sensitive skin.
Air can move freely in and out of Tencel by nature, preventing heat retention. Additionally, Tencel wicks moisture away and dries quickly, which is a nice feature if you frequently experience night sweats.
Than organic cotton, Tencel is more robust. Tencel won’t lose its shape in the washing machine as some cotton fabrics do. After every wash, Tencel also seems to feel softer.
Tencel has the same appearance and texture as silk. The substance is soft to the touch and has a light sheen. Tencel also drapes beautifully across the bed and is less likely to wrinkle than cotton.
Tencel sheets are of the highest caliber and are hypoallergenic because they are not only soft but also don’t irritate skin that is already sensitive. Tencel’s ability to wick away moisture ensures that bacteria are less likely to grow on the fabric. If bacteria were to grow instead, it might cause a bad smell and allergic reactions like sneezing and coughing.
How Is Tencel Fabric Made?
Like viscose and modal, tencel is a type of rayon. All of these cellulose fibers are created in the same manner: by liquefying wood pulp and utilizing a distinct drying procedure known as spinning. The wood chips are combined with a solvent to create a wet mixture prior to drying.
After being chemically treated, this mixture is then forced through tiny holes to form threads, which are then spun into yarn and woven into cloth. Sounds easy enough, but what kind of environmental impact does this process have?
Where is Tencel Made?
In addition to its factories in China, the UK, the US, and Indonesia, Lenzing has its headquarters in Austria. In 2004, when Lenzing acquired Tencel, the US and UK factories already existed. Since then, the factory in China and Indonesia has been opened.
Lenzing obtains the wood pulp for Tencel from “natural forests” in the United States and Canada., German, Austrian, Czech, Hungarian, French, Belgian, Ukrainian, Swiss, Slovenian, Slovakian, Belarusian, Russian, South African, Chinese, and Indonesian.
Currently, our understanding is that the wood pulp is manufactured into Tencel yarn at the above manufacturers and then sold to third parties to be turned into fabric.
Is Tencel Fabric Natural?
It is made from wood, so it has a natural origin, but because the finished fiber is technically man-made, it isn’t considered to be a natural fiber. Because of this, the textile industry uses the term “regenerated cellulose” instead of “natural” or “synthetic.”
Tencel fibers, as previously mentioned, do have some excellent sustainability features from their production process that make them a preferred choice for brands. For instance, it recycles water and chemicals so that there is less waste and it traces the trees to sustainably-harvested forests.
A few things to keep in mind: Tencel has been referred to as “tree fiber” or “eucalyptus fiber” by some brands that use it.” These fibers don’t exist. Although tencel fibers do originate from trees, primarily beech, birch, eucalyptus, and spruce, the wood pulp has been processed into the fiber.
Tencel fibers are also compostable and biodegradable, but according to Good Housekeeping’s environmental expert, this isn’t always a good idea because any dyes and finishes from the fabric would end up in the soil with it. Additionally, it’s preferable to find methods of reusing, recycling, or other sustainable uses for the fabrics.
Why Is Tencel Fabric So Popular?
The softness of Tencel is what really sets it apart. In fact, in a blind comparison test, our panel of consumer testers found that Nest Bedding’s 100% Tencel lyocell sheet set was softer than all cotton or cotton-blend sheets.
Additionally, Tencel lyocell-based fabric has a great drape, isn’t prone to wrinkles, and holds dye well, producing vibrant colors. Additionally, it is permeable and controls moisture, which aids in controlling body temperature. For clothing and bedding brands, these characteristics make it especially well-liked. Due to its extreme softness, tencel modal is most frequently found in loungewear and intimate clothing.
Additionally, more recognizable fibers are combined with tencel (e.g. cotton or polyester) to help give the finished product (like denim, for example) some of unique properties and increase softness.
How To Care For Tencel Fabric?
You might want to stick to hand washing if you have a Tencel fabric. This ensures that your fabric will last a long time without displaying any signs of wear and tear.
However, you can also give it a wash in the washing machine, subject to the label’s care instructions. It is crucial to wash it in a gentle cycle and then dry it on a medium setting. After washing your Tencel clothing, wrinkles are uncommon.
However, if it does, steaming your clothing to remove the creases is advised.
Environmental Impact Of Tencel Fabric
The Tencel trademarked fabrics are made from sustainably harvested natural raw wood fibers using eco-friendly manufacturing techniques.1 Additionally, Tencel textiles have received biodegradability certification.
The fact that Tencel is a lyocell fiber is significant because, despite being a lyocell fiber, not all lyocell fibers carry the Tencel brand and, as a result, cannot be relied upon to be as environmentally friendly as Tencel fabrics. Untrademarked lyocell could be a blend of lyocell and other fibers or it could come from non-sustainable sources.
The main difference between rayon and Tencel is that rayon requires more energy and chemicals during production than Tencel, which results in a wasteful process that is bad for the environment as well as the people who work to make the fiber.
Contrarily, the production of Tencel uses recycled, less-toxic chemicals along with wood from trees in sustainably managed forests. Tencel is produced using a circular manufacturing process in which 99 percent of the chemicals and solvents used to decompose the wood pulp are recovered and recycled. Tencel fibers are fully biodegradable and compostable, allowing them to return to nature without creating any additional waste.
Tencel also performs better than other popular fabrics in a number of ways. Tencel uses 40% less non-renewable energy than cotton, according to one study, for instance.3 However, there are still harsh chemicals and dyes used in the manufacture of Tencel, so the process is not perfect.
The Future Of Tencel Fabric
Tencel has the potential to play a significant role in the future of fashion with continued recognition of and dedication to the value of sustainability. The use of Tencel in place of other fabrics in a variety of clothing items seems reasonable from a number of perspectives. Tencel’s promotion is undoubtedly aided by its adaptability, toughness, soft and lustrous feel, and smaller carbon footprint.
Tencel is difficult to replace in quantity because it has a much lower production capacity than cotton and other fabrics. Tencel’s availability could be increased while production costs are reduced by expanding the facilities where it is produced.
Tencel’s production capacity might increase as a result of increased pressure on the fashion industry to adopt environmentally friendly practices, creating opportunities for it to become a more popular fabric.
Conclusion: What Is Tencel Fabric?
That concludes today’s comprehensive discussion of Tencel fabric. I sincerely hope you found learning about this incredible new fabric that’s sweeping the sustainable sewing industries off their feet to be interesting. What do you think?
All the information there is to know about Tencel fabric—have we covered it all? Make sure to post a comment below if you have any thoughts, queries, or recommendations.
Is Tencel Better Than Cotton?
Tencel might be the ideal option for prospective customers seeking a sheet set that is cooler and softer than cotton. Tencel is more resilient than cotton and can withstand repeated washings without shrinking or losing its shape. Both cotton and Tencel sheets are incredibly soft, but Tencel has a cooler feel to them.
Is Tencel Good for Hot Weather?
It is advisable to have bedding made of breathable materials when the weather begins to warm up. Tencel is an excellent solution. This substance is spun into yarn, which is then woven into a highly absorbent and breathable fabric. Tencel is a great option if you tend to sleep hot because its cool fibers reduce the likelihood that you’ll experience uncomfortable night sweats that cause you to wake up.
Does Tencel Shrink When Washed?
When being machine washed for the first time, Tencel fabric may slightly shrink. The fabric resists shrinking and holds its shape after the initial wash. When you wash your sheets a second time, they may continue to shrink more than other bedding materials like cotton and wool.