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Tencel, A Fibre For The Future

Written by Ecommerce Op

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Posted on January 05 2021

What is Tencel? 

Tencel, also called lyocell, is an ecological material produced from wood pulp and a non-toxic solvent. Tencel is becoming a very popular in the textile industry, because it is a breathable, resistant and extremely soft fabric, very comparable to silk.

    • Tencel is a 100% cellulosic artificial ecological fibre (created from wood pulp)
    • It requires very little water during its manufacture, unlike the intensive irrigation system that cotton needs to grow (5000 litres of water to produce 1kg of cotton, less than 1000 litres for tencel)
    • Tencel produces 10 times more material than cotton, per hectare cultivated
    • The non-toxic solvent used to transform the tencel fibre into fabric is 99.7% recovered

How is Tencel made?

Originating from various species of trees, such as eucalyptus or bamboo, cellulose, the protein naturally present in wood, is extracted and then dissolved in a non-toxic solvent. This process will then generate the lyocell fibre.

As mentioned previously, this solvent is not toxic and is 99.77% recovered. Lyocell therefore has a low environmental impact because it is produced in a quasi-closed loop circuit where the materials are constantly recycled, purified and reused.

Usually, the wood pulp used in the production of lyocell comes from trees planted specifically for its production. The pine, eucalyptus and bamboo forests are certified as sustainable and have a low environmental impact. The trees used have low water consumption: this is the case of eucalyptus which only needs the amount of rainwater to grow, without pesticides or intensive irrigation systems like cotton.

This artificial ecological fibre became a substitute for viscose in the textile industry because it is more respectful of the environment.

When was Tencel created?

The first company to market this alternative product was American company American Enka in the 1970s. Today the Austrian company Lenzing is the leader in the production of lyocell fibres, renamed Tencel. Lenzing, is the main supplier of brands using lyocell fibre today. The wood used in the production of lyocell comes from logging operations mainly located in South Africa.

How to maintain a Tencel bed sheets?

Tencel sheets are relatively easy to maintain, you just need to follow a few simple rules:

    • Keep it in a cool and ventilated place
    • Wash it at low temperature (30°)
    • Tencel does not often need to be ironed. If necessary, iron it inside out at low temperature.