Lately, Tencel fiber is giving good competition to cotton fiber. While cotton fiber is still being used widely, but it is the impact that fibers have on the environment due to which Tencel lyocell fiber is becoming popular day by day.
Tencel lyocell is a popular fabric for eco-friendly apparel companies. It’s lightweight and adaptable, with applications ranging from casual clothing to activewear. If you wake up in the morning feeling sweaty, it is time to change your sheets to Tencel. It is because, Tencel is extremely breathable and moisture-wicking, so you won’t wake up sweating.
Before talking about the qualities of this fabric in more detail, let us have a look at what exactly Tencel lyocell is.
What is Tencel (Lyocell)?
Tencel is a brand name for a combination of lyocell and modal fibers. Thus, Tencel is also referred to as Tencel modal fiber but the most common term used is ‘Tencel Lyocell.’
To improve the fabric’s qualities, Tencel lyocell fibers blend cellulosic fibers with other textile fibers such as cotton and polyester. Tencel lyocell is a stronger, more breathable material that is usually found in a wide range of bedding brands.
Tencel modal fibers are made in the same way as Tencel lyocell, with the exception that the threads are thinner and softer to the touch. Tencel modal is more commonly found in clothing.
How is Tencel Produced?
The manufacturing process of Tencel is unique. It is made through environmentally friendly processes from natural raw wood. This process is known as regenerated cellulose. It involves harvesting wood and turning it into wood pulp which is dissolved in a chemical solvent and pushed through extruders to form fibers. As a result, the outcome is an extremely soft and lavish fiber.
Environmental Impact of Tencel Lyocell
As mentioned above, the process to make Tencel lyocell is an environmentally friendly one. Thus, Tencel lyocell fiber is better for the environment as compared to most of the other fabrics.
Tencel is produced from eucalyptus plantations that are managed sustainably. Within ten years, Eucalyptus trees can reach a height of a hundred feet. Furthermore, the constant harvesting and growth of these trees will not degrade the soil.
One might argue that cotton is also made from plant materials, so what is the difference here? Unlike cotton, Tencel uses less water and less energy. Unused materials can be recycled and reused by businesses to produce Tencel fibers. Thus, there is less waste. Moreover, Tencel is also biodegradable because it is derived naturally.
Moreover, one may raise an issue over the use of dyes to color Tencel. However, it is important to notice that, unlike most materials, Tencel requires significantly less dye, especially when compared to cotton.
To learn more about: Denim History and The Origins of Jeans
Why Buy Tencel Lyocell?
By now, you must have had an idea that Tencel Lyocell fabric is environmentally friendly and extremely soft. Here are a few more traits about this fabric:
Moisture Absorbent and Hypoallergenic
Tencel has excellent moisture-wicking properties, which keeps your skin cool and comfortable. So, the Tencel lyocell fabric is less prone to bacterial growth, hence it does not irritate people who have sensitive skin.
Tencel is naturally breathable, allowing air to flow in and out and preventing heat retention. Moreover, as mentioned earlier, Tencel lyocell is a moisture-wicking fabric that dries out quickly. Thus, it is useful to those people who have night sweats.
Tencel has the appearance and feel of silk. It is less likely to wrinkle and has a lovely drape across the bed as compared to cotton sheets.
Tencel lyocell fabric, unlike cotton, is more long-lasting and can withstand regular washing without dwindling or losing its shape. Keep in mind, the Tencel lyocell fabric may shrink a little after the very first wash but it maintains its size and shape after that. Moreover, Tencel sheets can last for at least ten years if properly cared for. Washing your Tencel sheets once a week can help them last a long time. Otherwise, the sheets will emit an unpleasant odour, unravel at the edges, and develop stains.
Downs of Tencel Lyocell
While there are a lot of benefits of Tencel lyocell, but most of them exist because Tencel lyocell fabric is better when compared with other fabrics. For instance, it will be wrong to say that Tencel lyocell does not require harmful chemicals. It does require them indeed, although to a very low extent as compared to other fabrics, like cotton.
The main downside of Tencel Lyocell fabric is from a consumer’s point of view. Production of this fabric is a bit costly. As a result, the consumers have to pay a higher price when comparing Tencel lyocell with other fabrics. It is for this reason that Tencel lyocell fabric is considered a luxurious fabric.
To Buy or Not to Buy?
Now that you know the positives and negatives of the Tencel lyocell fabric, some of you might be confused about whether to buy this fabric or not. For the simple answer, what is the harm in buying products made from Tencel lyocell? Yes, agreed, it is more costly than other fabrics, but sometimes quality matters over quantity. Moreover, the durability of Tencel lyocell is less costly for consumers in the long run.