What is Tencel?
Tencel is the trade name for a fabric that is made from lyocell fiber. It is said to be biodegradable and so has become a popular environment-friendly choice over many other fabrics and synthetics like polyester and nylon. But just like any other fiber, Tencel may be combined with other fabrics like cotton, rayon, Lycra, or polyester. Most people relate Tencel fabric with rayon in terms of feel but this fabric may be created in varying forms. In the past, it is common to see Tencel in a somewhat silky finish. Today there are a variety of textures including moleskin or peach skin finishes.
Since Tencel is made from wood pulp, it is said to be renewable or biodegradable. But since Tencel fabric can be combined with other synthetic or artificial fabrics, many people also consider it just like any other fabric. Tencel also requires strong chemicals for dyeing since it has low surface energy. This means dyes do not bind easily with the fabric unless strong chemicals are used. This makes even more people see Tencel as not so environment-friendly after all. But despite these concerns, Tencel continues to grow in popularity which started back in the late part of the 1990s.
Being a so-called eco-friendly fabric in itself in terms of source, the process by which Tencel is manufactured is also considered green and environment-friendly. The solvent used in making the fiber is said to be 99% biodegradable and recoverable. The manufacturing process also does not result to toxic substances released to the earth’s atmosphere and no bleach is required in the entire process, unlike other fabrics like cotton.
Another good thing about Tencel fabric is that it does not shrink and retains its shape over time even after several washes. This fabric also does not wrinkle easily making it a great choice for people who travel frequently. Not to mention that the fabric feels light and smooth on the skin. Tencel also dries easily making it a great alternative to cotton fabrics.