We all know about the easy-breezy benefits of cotton. But there’s a new fabric in town, and it’s making a big splash in the fashion and fiber industry.
Tencel™ is the brand name for a blend of fibers known as modal and lyocell. Tencel™ fabric is renowned for its ultra-soft feel and sustainable origins, making it the hot new fabric in everything from bedsheets to sustainable fashion brands.
The soft, luxurious feel of this fabric is so popular, in fact, that it regularly beats cotton and cotton blends in blind comparisons. We love its lightweight feel, fluid, flattering drape, vibrant, fade-resistant color, and wrinkle-resistant finish. Lyocell Tencel™ fabric is adaptive to moisture and temperature-regulating, making it an ideal choice for linens and intimate apparel. Plus, Tencel™ fabric care is relatively low-maintenance, meaning it can be worn again and again.
If you’ve purchased anything from the hottest new fashion and bedding brands, chances are, it was a Tencel™ blend.
Why We Love Tencel™:
- It’s Comfortable
- Color Rich
- Sustainably Produced
So What Exactly Is Tencel™?
Lyocell Tencel™ fabric is a cellulose fiber produced by dissolving wood pulp which is dried through a special process called spinning. The resulting fibers are twisted or spun into yarns which are then woven into the finished garment or linen.
Tencel™ fibers are usually harvested from beech, birch, eucalyptus, and spruce wood trees and can be traced to sustainable forests.
Part of Tencel™’s popularity comes from its sustainable harvesting methods. Fibers are natural in origin and are produced using recycled water and chemicals that reduce excessive waste. Tencel™ fibers are compostable and naturally biodegradable, making them a preferable choice to fabrics such as polyester, acrylic, and even cotton.
While Tencel™ is produced from natural wood, it uses man-made processes, meaning it does not technically qualify as a natural fiber.
The Different Types of Tencel™
Tencel™ is a truly versatile fiber that can produce a variety of aesthetics, depending on the blend.
There are two main types of lyocell Tencel™ fabric, which are produced through a process called fibrillation. Without getting too technical, the main difference between the finishes is that one produces a fuzzy, matte finish that can be compared to “peach skin.” The second gives off a lustrous and silky finish. Both Tencel™ finishes are strong yet light and silky soft.
Tencel™ blends wonderfully with a variety of other fabrics like cotton, polyester, and lycra, giving each a unique, ultra-soft, and high-end finish.
Tencel™ Fabric Care
Tencel™ is relatively easy to care for. However, one shortcoming of this otherwise miraculous fiber is that it is susceptible to mildew.
While lyocell Tencel™ fabric can and does hold up in machine washers, handwashing is always the best and safest way to care for this fabric. If machine washing, wash on a gentle cycle and try to avoid machine drying. Not all Tencel™ fabric reacts the same way to washing cycles, so be sure to always read the Tencel™ fabric care label on your garments and linens.