Fabric 101: Tencel
Tencel is an eco-friendly fabric and is also known as Lyocell. Lyocell is a form of rayon which consists of cellulose fibre made from wood pulp or cotton linter. Tencel is made by dissolving wood pulp and using a special drying process called spinning. Before it is dried, wood chips are mixed with a solvent to produce a wet mixture. This process allows for the recycling of almost all the organic solvent for reuse. The mixture is then pushed through small holes to form threads, which is then chemically treated, and the lengths of fibre are spun into yarn and woven into cloth. The procedure makes the fibres so light that you will feel like you are floating making it a perfect material for clothing. Tencel has anti-static properties that make it a great alternative to silk.
Lyocell has the hand feel of cotton and drapes well, is machine washable and resists wrinkles. The main difference in lyocell fibre versus rayon is it has higher tensile strength, both wet and dry. Lyocell does lose some strength when wet, though not as much as rayon. Due to the high absorbency of the fabric, it can be dyed to high-quality standards.
In the fabric world, Tencel is known for its “drape.” It flatters the human form. The look is luxurious and refined. Garments made from Tencel include pants, shirts, suits, skirts and leggings. The Tencel garments will make you feel happy and sassy!