What is TENCEL™? Find out more about a leading sustainable fibre
When we talk about TENCEL™, we’re actually referring to the brand of material.
TENCEL™ is an Austrian manufacturer creating TENCEL™ lyocell and modal fibres from sustainably sourced FSC and PEFC certified wood. The TENCEL™ lyocell and modal are semi-synthetic fibres used for clothing, bedding, and other textiles.
What’s the difference between TENCEL™Lyocell and TENCEL™Modal?
TENCEL™ is an Austrian company owned by parent brand Lenzing, and the lyocell and modal fibres form part of the wider TENCEL™ fibre family.
So now you know that TENCEL™ is the brand, what’s the difference between the types of TENCEL™ lyocell and modal? Well, the difference is how the fibres are created and the properties of each.
For example, TENCEL™ lyocell is made from sustainably sourced eucalyptus wood trees, while TENCEL™ modal is created from beech trees, each fibre has slightly different properties.
TENCEL™ modal has a slightly softer feel than lyocell, making it perfect for intimates and clothing, while TENCEL™ lyocell has excellent moisture-wicking properties and is great for activewear, workwear, and clothing.
Both TENCEL™ fabrics are soft and breathable, and suitable for sensitive skin.
How Is TENCEL™ Lyocell Made?
Firstly sustainably sourced wood is harvested and turned into chips. These chips then enter a closed loop cycle to extract the cellulose pulp from the wood chips. The pulp is then pushed through fine holes called a spinneret to create the TENCEL™ fibres.
The transformation of wood chip to fibre takes place in a closed loop process, where over 99% of the solvents and water are recycled back to be used again.
Is TENCEL™ Biodegradable?
Yes, both TENCEL™ lyocell and modal fabrics are biodegradable, which makes the material a great alternative to virgin polyester.
Is TENCEL™ Eco-Friendly?
TENCEL™ fabrics are considered a key innovative sustainable material thanks to the properties below:
- TENCEL™ fabric is biodegradable, making it a great alternative to virgin polyester.
- TENCEL lyocell is created in a closed-loop process where >99% of the solvents are recycled back into the system. This makes TENCEL™ a more eco-friendly alternative to other viscose materials that aren’t made in a closed loop process.
- TENCEL™ lyocell and modal are created in systems powered from renewable energy resources.
- TENCEL fibres are FSC and PEFC certified, meaning they’re sourced from sustainable and protected sources.
- The closed-loop process TENCEL™ fibres are created to mean less pollution.
Properties of TENCEL™
As well as being a sustainable alternative to many other synthetic-made fibres like virgin polyester, TENCEL™ has many properties that make it a versatile, functional material for clothing.
- TENCEL material is super soft and gentle on the skin, as the lyocell and modal fibres have a smooth and silky feel.
- TENCEL™ is a breathable fabric. Unlike polyester, which is non-absorbing and non-hygroscopic, TENCEL™ allows moisture in and out, making it breathable and perfect for pyjamas, underwear, clothing, and activewear.
- As we’ve discussed TENCEL™ is a cellulosic fibre which means it’s a breathable and thermoregulating material, which means it’s excellent at keeping you cool and dry in the summer and acting as an insulation layer to keep you warm in colder months.
- TENCEL™ fibres are robust and long-lasting.
Favourite Thought Pieces from TENCEL™
You can find a mix of innovative sustainable materials at Thought, including TENCEL™. Check out a few of my favourite silky smooth styles below created from TENCEL™.