What are Tencel and Lyocell?

If you’ve been reading your clothing labels lately, you may have noticed the words Tencel or Lyocell. Tencel is one of the brand names under which the fabric Lyocell has been marketed. Lyocell is a cellulose fabric made from dissolving wood pulp. It was made available to the public in 1991, being marketed as a form of rayon. Lyocell fibers have great characteristics that are desirable in the clothing industry. They are soft, absorbent, strong when wet or dry, resistant to wrinkles, and fabrics made from Lyocell drape well, can be dyed many colors and are versatile enough to simulate suede, leather and silk. Because of these superior fabric properties, Lyocell has become increasingly popular in everyday fabrics – either on its own or blended with other fibers. Because of the nature of Lyocell, it’s more expensive to produce than many other fabrics. Because of the manufacturing process of Lyocell, it is actually the most eco-friendly of the natural fibers.

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