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What is Tencel®?

Tencel® is also used in fabric for clothing.
Yarn can be spun from Tencel®.
Baby wipes made with Tencel®.
Article Details
  • Originally Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Revised By: Rebecca Cartwright
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 29 August 2014
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Tencel® is the registered trade name for a type of lyocell, a biodegradable material made from wood pulp cellulose. Fabric sold under the this brand specifically is manufactured by Lenzing AG. This material started to grow in popularity in the late 1990s and is now used in a variety of ways. Though the exact characteristics of the material depend on how it's processed, it tends to be durable and soft. Often said to be environmentally friendly, it is fully biodegradable and made from trees managed for sustained harvest.

Qualities

This material is very versatile, since it can be manipulated to have a variety of textures. Early Tencel® garments were often compared to rayon in look and feel, but it is now made in a variety of textures including a silky, peach skin, or moleskin feel. Blends with other fibers such as wool, cotton or linen can produce a variety of textures. Garments made with this fabric generally drape well, resist wrinkles, and are fairly durable. Additionally, the fabric is very breathable and moisture wicking, which can make it good for those with sensitive skin.

Cleaning

Most garments made with this material are machine washable. If washed in cold water, they shrink slightly with the first washing, but then won’t shrink in future washes. The cloth also dries quickly, so drip-drying is an alternative to using a dryer. If other fabrics are used in a garment it may require dry cleaning, even though the Tencel® itself does not.

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Uses

Tencel® is used in a variety of applications, including men's wear, sheets, and blankets. Since it's absorbent and dries quickly, it is also suitable for towels. Clothes made from this material are often recommended for traveling because they are light and keep their shape well. Tencel® is also available as fabric for sewing, as yarn for knitting or crocheting, and as fiber for spinning. Besides it use as a cloth, it is also used in making bandages, baby wipes, oil filters and carpeting for cars, as well as conveyor belts and plastic parts. In powder or fiber form, this material is used in making specialized papers, as an additive for building materials, and in making foam mattresses.

Manufacturing Process

The fabric is considered a natural rather than synthetic product because it is made from plant material. To make Tencel® wood chips are mixed with a solvent to produce a wet mixture. This is then pushed through small holes to form threads. These are chemically treated, lubricated, and then combed and cut into usable lengths. The lengths of fiber are then spun into yarn and woven into cloth.

Environmental Impact

Manufacturers of the product say that the solvent used, amine oxide, is non-toxic and recycled during the production cycle. Though it is dyed with conventional dyes, which can harm the environment, less dye is needed than for a similar amount of cotton. Studies also show that processing of Tencel® requires less energy and water than that of cotton, and the trees used are usually grown without pesticides. Despite this, shipping the raw materials needed to make Tencel® throughout the world does require a lot of energy, as does the production process.

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Discuss this Article

anon334099
Post 17

I'm doing a university project about sustainable fabrics. I was just wondering how much does tencel cost when producing garments in factories, do you know? And is it more expensive than cotton?

zahasan
Post 16

Is the dyeing procedure the same for viscose as for knit fabric?

anon230392
Post 14

Excel is the substitute for tencel. I have excel denim and t-shirts and they it feel wonderful.

anon210936
Post 13

I would like to know is Tencel a poly or synth?

anon159788
Post 12

what is the rebuttal to be given to the client when they ask that why it is white in colour?

anon101412
Post 11

Is Tencel eco friendly and can it be compared to a high quality bamboo? Thank you. --Barry

anon91889
Post 9

I have a ring sling made out of Tencel and it is awesome. It is cool in hot weather. Wicks moisture away.

anon83435
Post 8

Please advise if the word 'Tencel' can be used in composition description on the label or is it a copyright of someone?

anon72460
Post 7

What kind of characteristics does tencel have? what are the advantages of this fabric? What makes it very expansive? Which country is largest producer of these garments? please reply if possible. Thanks

anon65533
Post 6

Can Tencel be printed on using direct-to-garment printing and heat press transfers?

anon60108
Post 5

I have a shirt made of tencel. it is from Reverse by Nike. it is great! drapes very well, and the touch is very nice. :)

anon59953
Post 4

Please provide information regarding its applications and versatility as well as its unique features.

anon39709
Post 3

Hello. May i know some info about tencel, whether tencel is 100 percent made from wood pulp cellulose or some percentage chemical /other things added to manufacture it?

--Durai Murugan

barb63
Post 2

I have a Tencel shirt that I just bought for over a hundred dollars. If I need to clean it how should I do so if I don't want it to shrink? It will be too small then.

Any ideas?

hoang6a
Post 1

Hello!

I'm researching about Tencel, so i would like to know something about it. Could you send to me some information about it. Thanks!

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