Everything You Need To Know About TENCEL™
If you’ve shopped for anything made of fabric lately (whether it’s clothing or bedding), chances are you’ve come across TENCEL™. Touted as the fabric of the future, TENCEL™ has increasingly gained popularity within the eco-fashion industry. You’ve probably also seen a bunch of claims tied to it, with promises of the fibre being incredibly silky soft, luxurious, breathable, hypoallergenic, and environmentally sustainable.
If you’re wondering, but what is TENCEL™? Wonder no more. We’ve put together a blogpost to help demystify this fabric.
What Is Tencel™?
The first thing you should know is that TENCEL™ is a brand name, such as Velcro for example. Produced by Austrian textile company Lenzing AG, TENCEL™ is the brand name for its range of semi-synthetic fibres such as modal and lyocell. There is a huge difference between TENCEL™ branded lyocell and other types of generic lyocell (more on this later). First, let’s backtrack a little and understand more about semi-synthetic fibres.
Semi-synthetic fibres are derived from natural sources through a chemical process. Mankind has been trying to imitate luxurious materials like silk for more than 100 years. These fibres are an attempt to recreate textiles like silk. Starting in 1905, Viscose was the first generation, followed by Modal in the 1950s and finally Lyocell is the latest generation of semi-synthetic fibres.
Although the manufacturing process of modal is very similar to that of viscose, modal fibres are put through extra processing to stretch them. Generating a fibre with slightly different properties. Compared to viscose, modal is lighter, finer, stronger and more flexible. This makes modal ideal for athletic clothing or for uses in which the fabric is going to be treated more harshly. That being said, modal is usually too thin and airy to make for good bedding products.
So, what is the difference between modal and lyocell? Are they the same then you might ask?
Modal vs Lyocell
Modal and Lyocell are neither synthetic nor are they fully natural fibres, they are something in between known as a semi-synthetic fibre.
Both Modal and Lyocell are made from plant material, specifically Beech Wood and Eucalyptus Trees respectively. Scientifically, they are described as regenerated cellulosic fibres, which means they are composed of cellulose that has been extracted, dissolved and then realigned to make a fibre.
The main difference between Modal and Lyocell comes down to the manufacturing process and the structure of the filament. Lyocell production uses a non-toxic organic compound that is easier to filter and re-use in a closed loop which makes it better for the environment. This is a big and crucial difference, and makes the lyocell fibre the most eco-friendly out of the three.
Due to the difference in production method, the internal structure of the Lyocell fibre is also more uniform which further improves its ability to absorb moisture.
Not All Lyocell Is Equal
As noted earlier, there is a difference between TENCEL™ branded lyocell by Lenzing and other types of generic lyocell in the market. For a product to carry the TENCEL trademark, it must contain at least 30% of Lenzing lyocell fibres. You must be wondering what’s so unique about Lenzing lyocell?
The Process of How Lenzing Lyocell fibre Is Made
Generic lyocell is usually made from oak and birch pulp whereas TENCEL™ branded lyocell is made from eucalyptus wood that is harvested from natural forests and sustainably managed tree farms.
The process of making Weavve Lyocell bed sheets.
The eucalyptus tree trunks are chopped into small wood chips which are then soaked in a non-toxic organic solution to break the pulp down into a paste. This paste is then ejected under high pressure from a special spinneret nozzle to form fibre threads.
The threads are eventually processed into yarn which is then woven to make fabric. The water and more than 99% of the chemicals used in the manufacturing process of Tencel™ Lyocell are recycled, making Lenzing fibre production eco-friendly.
Benefits Of TENCEL™ Lyocell
TENCEL™ Lyocell is one of the best environmental choices when it comes to bed sheets. As an alternative to cotton, our lyocell sheets are made from 100% pure Lenzing lyocell fibres, spun into fine yarns that is then weaved to produce high-quality fabric.
Let’s get to the good stuff - what makes TENCEL™ lyocell so awesome? Does it smell like eucalyptus? Unfortunately, your Weavve TENCEL™ bedding does not carry the scent of eucalyptus trees (you can always spritz some Sleep Spray to help you relax and drift off to sleep!) but it will offer many other valuable benefits:
1. Silky Soft + Strong
Thanks to the natural structure of the lyocell fibre, TENCEL™ is most well known for how it feels - exceptionally silky and smooth on the skin. Long fibres are also used when weaving the sheets resulting in a smoother surface that is not only comfortable but beneficial to those with sensitive or easily-irritated skin. TENCEL™ is also strong and durable which makes it easy to maintain.
Weavve Lyocell Sheets in Mist colour.
2. Improved Breathability + Moisture-Wicking Properties
TENCEL™ lyocell stands out as an extremely breathable and absorbent fabric. It’s ideal for warm sleepers as lyocell fabric can wick excess moisture away quickly, keeping the body cool during sleep in a wide variety of climates. Perfect moisture management also reduces bacteria proliferation without the need for any chemical additives. As a naturally derived fibre, TENCEL™ lyocell is also hypoallergenic and biodegradable.
Weavve Lyocell Sheets in Midnight colour.
3. Less Wrinkling + Fading
An additional favourite feature of TENCEL™ lyocell is that it is less prone to wrinkling and less vulnerable to fading with regular washing. It is also less likely to shrink and not prone to becoming thin overtime. As TENCEL™ lyocell is a strong fibre with a higher dry and wet tensile strength (compared to silk and modal), it is capable of keeping 85% of its dry tenacity under wet conditions, allowing the fibres to retain their shape. This makes Weavve Lyocell sheets quick to dry and fairly easy to iron and care for.
Weavve Lyocell Sheets in Cloud colour.
Our Lyocell Sheets
Eco-friendly sheets that look as good as they feel, Weavve’s Lyocell sheets are as silky as they are breathable. Each Weavve Lyocell bedding starts with the best lyocell fibres (100% Lenzing TENCEL™) that are spun into the finest 80s yarn count threads. These fine single ply threads are then weaved into 400 thread count fabric (find out more about the thread count myth here), giving you stronger, smoother and lighter sheets.
Furthermore our Lyocell sheets are Oeko-Tex certified® (read more about the harmful chemicals that might be lurking in your sheets here) and thoughtfully designed with features such as ultra deep pockets and elasticised edging to ensure a great fit around any mattress. We want you and your family to feel confident knowing our products are authentic, sustainable, and most importantly, free from chemicals.