An Intro to Tencel: Rhiannon gives us the scoop
There are many reasons to love Tencel; it’s absorbent, cool and silky soft with a beautiful drape and sophisticated handle. We call it ‘Tree Friendly’ Tencel as it’s made from sustainably sourced wood.
As a third generation cellulosic fibre (meaning its plant based, and always being improved), it has also been developed to be wrinkle resistant and strong when wet. It’s wonderfully simple to launder! Not only is Tencel clothing great to wear, it’s also an environmentally friendly option; its manufacturing process has earned it the European Union’s “European Award for the Environment”.
So how is it made? The raw material for Tencel is sourced from trees grown in sustainable plantations and on land that is unsuitable for agricultural cultivation. Once harvested, the wood is processed into chips, pulped and dried into sheets ready for processing.
Next, the sheets are then broken up and dissolved in a non-toxic amine oxide solution, turning into a clear, viscous liquid. The long Tencel fibres are created by forcing this liquid through spinnerets dotted with tiny holes. These are then set in a bath of dilute amine oxide solution before being washed in demineralised water.
After drying, the fibres are lubricated and carded (or combed) to remove any tangles before being compressed using a crimper to give the fibres their bulk and texture. The fibres are then ready to be dyed, spun, and woven to make beautiful garments, such as our very own Myrtle Lynn Dress.
The entire manufacturing process to produce Tencel takes just 2 hours and it is practically a ‘closed loop’ system with approximately 98% of the amine oxide solvent recaptured and recycled back through the process. All of which is great news for the environment, and one of the many reasons we love it so much.
Shop our Tencel clothing online here.