What is Tencel Lyocell? Material Guide

What is Tencel Lyocell? Material Guide

To help you understand this fabric and give you back control, we’ve compiled all the information we could find on Tencel lyocell.

Clothing made from modal and lyocell fibers has been trademarked under the name Tencel. Clothing companies that care about the environment frequently use Tencel. It’s lightweight and adaptable, and it’s used for everything from activewear to underwear to casual clothing.

Therefore, when we refer to our clothing as Tencel™ Lyocell, what we really mean is that it was made entirely of lyocell by Lenzing AG using their Tencel™ production process.

Learn more about Tencel lyocell by reading this blog.

What is Tencel Lyocell?

Typically, when we discuss Tencel, we’re referring to the product Tencel Lyocell. Lenzing, an Austrian manufacturer, owns the trademark for this product. A fiber called Lyocell is made from wood pulp. It is neither a natural fiber nor a synthetic fiber because it is both man-made and made from natural materials.

The technical term for fibers like lyocell is “regenerated cellulose,” but you can sort of think of it as a natural-synthetic hybrid. Because its wood pulp is responsibly sourced and processed in an environmentally safe, non-toxic manner, it is frequently regarded as a more sustainable option for fabrics like cotton. It also has elastic, flexibility, and moisture-wicking properties. It is a fantastic fabric for blends due to these characteristics.

What is Tencel Lyocell? Material Guide

There are other Tencel products available, though Tencel is most often associated with Tencel Lyocell. Tencel Modal and Tencel Lyocell Filament are two additional products made by Lenzing. In contrast to lyocell, which is a filament-like material, modal is a much softer fabric.

Advantages of Tencel™ Lyocell

When fashion designers choose their fabrics, viscose (rayon) and lyocell typically compete. Although they were not created in the exact same way and do not entirely share characteristics, the two are comparable. Here are the Pros and Cons of Lyocell Fabric.

Crucially, the production of lyocell does not use a toxic chemical (carbon disulfide) that is hazardous to both workers and the environment. That being said, the main argument is: Why subject employees to health risks when we don’t have to?

Second, the lyocell has a good level of durability. We prefer clothing that lasts longer simply because it spares the environment from having to produce new ones all the time.

We favor lyocell for these two main reasons. Nevertheless, why Tencel™ Lyocell? Because there are still many unsustainable ways to produce lyocell and Lenzing AG, the company that makes Tencel, has essentially found solutions to those issues. The process used to make Tencel® holds the key to the solution.

Disadvantages of Tencel™ Lyocell

There are still a few drawbacks to be aware of before you run out and buy anything Tencel. While Tencel is environmentally friendly, it is not always the pure Tencel™ Lyocell you might expect. The following steps should be taken to lessen Tencel’s drawbacks.

What is Tencel Lyocell? Material Guide
  • When combined with less environmentally friendly materials, Tencel can have a negative impact on the environment. Just 30% genuine Tencel™ must be used in order to label the clothing with the material. While the remaining portion is frequently stated on labels, there are times when it is not as clear.

Try to look for items with other sustainable fabrics added when purchasing Tencel™ blends. Frequently, this is organic cotton, another extremely sustainable blend that aids in giving Tencel fabric bulk. Tencel® can sometimes be blended with regular cotton or synthetic materials, which lessens the environmental friendliness of the final product.

  • As Dyson is a brand of Hoover, so do we know that Tencel is a Lyocell product? Lyocell should result in a fabric that is equally sustainable as Tencel because it is produced using the same process. The issue is that some lyocell manufacturing facilities might be encouraged to make environmental compromises in order to save money. By obtaining wood from unresponsibly managed forests, a manufacturer might try to cut costs. Furthermore, there is no assurance that the processing centers operate in an ethical manner and with little harm to the environment.

Transparency is key. If you are able to contact a manufacturer and find out where the raw materials are sourced, or even ask for an employee code of conduct, you can have confidence that your lyocell is sustainable.

  • Lyocell is typically more expensive than other fabrics, even other sustainable fabrics

It’s getting more affordable to shop sustainably as big brands prioritize it. Prices are decreasing, so keep an eye out for reasonably priced Tencel whether you shop at H&M and ASOS’s conscious collections or smaller, more specialized brands like Cariki (*ahem, shameless plug). Without a doubt, it exists.

How is Tencel™ Lyocell Made?

Plant fibers, primarily from trees and known as cellulose, are dissolved to create the basis for all Tencel™ fabrics. Which trees have changed over time and are still changing is unclear, but fast-growing hardwood trees like poplar and eucalyptus are frequently mentioned.

All of the wood used to create the fibers comes from certified and regulated wood sources, also known as sustainably managed forests, or, to put it another way, forests that expand and don’t have trees chopped down at random. We absolutely do not want to continue removing trees in an unsustainable manner because doing so would result in a forest shrinking rather than growing, which is detrimental to our environment.

In a closed-loop system, the resulting viscous goo is processed and spun into yarn after being dissolved. The closed-loop part is very significant because it indicates that the solvent used in fiber spinning is recovered, recycled, cleaned, and reused. One of the most environmentally friendly manufacturing processes currently used leaves very little waste or byproducts behind.

What is Tencel Lyocell? Material Guide

Even though they recycle the wastewater, a very small amount cannot (according to various documentation over the years, this is between 8% and 1%). In order to address this, Lenzing AG also makes sure to direct effluents toward water treatment facilities rather than into nearby ecosystems and rivers.

The two main environmental issues associated with the production of lyocell and viscose have been addressed: wastewater pollution of the local environment and sustainable sourcing of plant fiber. See Is Lyocell Sustainable?

One issue with fast-growing fibers like bamboo—which is great for preventing deforestation—is wastewater. Since no other factories have the same closed-loop system that Lenzing AG does, they release enormous amounts of contaminated water into the environment. Learn Bamboo Lyocell Fabric.

How Does Tencel Impact the Environment?

While less harmful to the environment than other fabrics of a similar nature, Tencel lyocell is not as environmentally friendly as premium textiles like organic linen or recycled cotton.

Tencel uses less water and energy during production than regular cotton. Tencel, a fiber made from plants, is also biodegradable, but when it comes time to dispose of the garment, make sure it isn’t combined with other synthetic fibers like nylon.

Tencel needs a lot less dye than cotton does, despite the fact that, like most materials, it is frequently colored with hazardous conventional dyes. It is also entirely white when it is produced, so bleaching is not necessary, and the undyed fabric is always an option.

Tencel Vs. Other Fabrics

Along with other items that are typically made from materials like cotton and linen, Tencel is used to make products like bedding, shirts, and pants. We have compared lyocell and other fabrics, such as Lyocell Vs Tencel, and Lyocell Vs Cotton. Do these natural materials have any benefits over Tencel, then?

Tencel differs from more typical fabrics in a number of ways. Tencel is a sweat-wicking fabric that absorbs moisture more effectively than cotton. This may make Tencel the perfect fabric for those who live in wet climates or have sensitive skin to humidity and might be bothered by damp clothing.

Tencel is also very moldable because of tiny hairs on the outside of the fiber strands. Without sacrificing the quality of the finished product, manufacturers can mold the fibers into a variety of shapes, from a soft, silky finish to a soft texture similar to suede.

What is Tencel Lyocell? Material Guide

The breathable, elastic, and wrinkle-resistant qualities of Tencel lyocell fibers are well known. Tencel is a top choice for activewear and a fantastic cotton substitute for sportswear because of its breathability.

There are a few drawbacks to Tencel despite its many advantages. Tencel is more expensive than other fabrics, as is lyocell fabric in general. The processing technology used results in a higher production cost for the fabric.

In order to produce Tencel, a sizable quantity of chemicals is needed. Despite being non-toxic, the chemicals still have the potential to irritate the skin, especially in people with sensitive skin.

Here is some important information about lyocell fabric:

The Future of Tencel

With continued recognition and commitment to the importance of sustainability, Tencel has the potential to hold a significant place in the future of fashion. The use of Tencel in place of other fabrics in a variety of clothing items seems reasonable from a number of perspectives. Tencel is promoted by its adaptability, toughness, plush and lustrous feel, and smaller carbon footprint.

Tencel can be replaced in quantity, but it is more difficult because it has a much lower production capacity than cotton and other fabrics. Expanded production facilities for Tencel may increase its availability while simultaneously driving down production costs.

The production of Tencel could 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 Lyocell?

Tencel® is actually a brand name owned by the Austrian company Lenzing AG. Although Lenzing’s modal fabric can also be referred to as Tencel, Tencel lyocell is typically the fabric that bears the “Tencel” label. Tencel lyocell is a fiber that drapes easily, resists wrinkles, and holds dye well so that it can be dyed in a variety of vivid colors.

Tencel modal is a superior soft fabric that is frequently used to create soft intimate apparel and loungewear. All in all, Tencel is a fantastic option for anyone looking for clothing that is strong, resilient, and retains its softness.


Is Tencel Sustainable?

Tencel is one of the most environmentally friendly fibers because it is completely compostable and biodegradable and is derived from certified wood sources. It has even earned BioPreferred designation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is only given to goods made from natural resources that can be replenished.

Is Tencel Better for the Environment Than Cotton?

Tencel is more energy and water efficient than regular cotton, but it isn’t quite as environmentally friendly as recycled cotton.

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