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Tencel® is the registered trade name for Lyocell, which is a biodegradable fabric
made from wood pulp cellulose. It started to grow in popularity in the late 1990s,
and now you can find a variety of clothing made with the fabric.
While Lyocell is made from wood fibres and is biodegradable it is difficult to dye
the fabric without treatment with a number of different chemicals that are neither
environmentally friendly nor suitable for people with sensitive skin. Lyocell is
created through a process called solvent spinning. The wood pulp is dissolved in a
chemical which is then pushed through a spinneret to form individual fibres. These
fibres are washed before drying, then a lubricant is to the individual strands of
fibre to make future use easier e.g. spinning into a yarn.
The dried, finished fibres are at this stage in a form called tow, a large untwisted
bundle of continuous lengths of filament. The bundles of tow are taken to a
crimper, a machine which compresses the fibre, giving it texture and bulk. The
Lyocell is then baled for shipment to a fabric mill where it may be processed in
many ways. It may be spun with another fibre, such as cotton or wool. The
resulting yarn can be woven or knitted like any other fabric, and given a variety of
Lyocell manufacturing process is ecofriendly.
Dry and wet tenacity is very good in comparison to Viscose fibre.
It feels soft, drapes well and can be blended with both natural and synthetic
Fibrillation: this happens due to surface rupturing causing pilling.
It can be expensive to dye owing to the types of dyes required to colour it.
Lyocell is continually being developed to be improved. A diversity of finishes can
be applied to create all sorts of appearances and feel. New progresses in the
denim industry with Lyocell have generated a much softer and comfortable feel.
Although Lyocell can be a bit expensive, its great range of properties has made it
suitable to be used in a mixture of different businesses medical areas and
feminine hygiene products. The future of this fibre is profitable and admirable: it