April 2007

What is Tencel®?

The name Tencel® is Lenzing Fibers’ brand name for lyocell. It was first manufactured in 1988 in the UK. It is fiber made from wood pulp cellulose in an environmentally friendly manner, meaning that the toxic chemicals used for the process are recycled. The wood comes from tree farms that practice sustainability.

A wonderful characteristic of this product is that it is 100% biodegradable. Therefore, using it does not harm the environment. It is said that Tencel® has the best properties of both man-made and natural fibers. It is warm as wool, soft as silk, cool as linen and absorbent as cotton. Tencel® is very strong wet or dry. It is wrinkle-resistant and can be washed by hand or machine and dry-cleaned.

Tencel® is more absorbent than cotton or silk, but slightly less absorbent than wool, linen, or rayon. Tencel® absorbs water and releases it into the atmosphere, thus prevents the growth of bacteria on the skin. This is a natural process without the use of chemicals. This characteristic not only helps the environment but also provides relief for people with sensitive skin.

Tencel® can be manipulated to produce a wide variety of fabrics. It can look and feel like suede or manipulated to feel like silk. It is expensive to produce. Thus, it is added to other products like silk, cotton, rayon, polyester, linen, nylon, and wool to produce superior products.

For more information about Tencel, check http://www.lenzing.com/fibers/en/textiles/4180.jsp

Nazanin S. Fard

Needlecraft University

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