An Introduction to Tencel fabric

Tencel clothing from Patra

Sustainable, breathable and comfortable Tencel clothing

The latest fabric that is taking the fashion world (and beyond) by storm is Tencel. Despite not being a recent development, Tencel has managed to make brands and consumers eager to explore it. As Patra has just launched its first Tencel item, we thought it would be the ideal opportunity to give you the story behind it, its uses and properties.

What is Tencel?

Tencel, which is the brand name of lyocell, is made from wood cellulose, meaning it is plant based and, thus, organic in nature. It is completely biodegradable, making it an eco-friendly option and safer to dispose of than most other common fabrics.

Eucaliptus treesWhat makes Tencel an eco-friendly clothing choice?

It is sourced from eucalyptus trees, in sustainable plantations and on land unsuitable for agriculture. In its production, there are no old growth forests, irrigation, pesticides or genetic manipulation involved. This makes Tencel one of the most environmentally friendly fabrics, along with bamboo. Through the so-called closed loop system, Tencel’s supply chain is entirely transparent. The raw wood material collected from the trees is processed into chips and pulp and then dissolved in a non-toxic amine oxide solution. The solvents used in the process are then recycled with an extraordinary recovery rate of 99%, so they are fed back into the system and the whole manufacturing process has as a small ecological footprint as possible.

Another positive part of Tencel’s production process is that no bleach or other harmful substances are used; the long Tencel fibres that are created by the dissolved wood pulp passing through spinnerets are pure white. The fibres are then spun into yarns and woven into textiles that are soft, very strong and drape well.

Properties of Tencel: fabrics high-performance clothing

Apart from being sustainable and eco-friendly, Tencel fabric is anti-wrinkle and has high absorption capacity. Because it is composed of nanofibrils (in essence small and fine hairs) that are hydrophilic in nature, it absorbs moisture then releases it, without making the wearer feel uncomfortable. Its unique absorption ability makes Tencel fabric odourless and antibacterial.

Tencel for high performance clothing

Ideal clothing for sensitive skin

Compared with cotton, Tencel shrinks less, wrinkles less and breathes more. As well as absorbing moisture very well, it also helps cool you down in summer and in a variety of climates. Its moisture-wicking capacity is excellent, what’s more it is also softer and more comfortable than most cotton fabrics on the market, because of its smooth surface. This softness is perfect for people with sensitive skin and babies.

Anti-bacterial and hygienic, Tencel can do wonders for your skin and wellbeing. On top of that, it also drapes well and is colour rich. While traditional dyes are used, to high quality standards, its impressive absorbency means that less dye is needed to achieve the desired effect. This means less waste and a more cost effective product.

Having said that, and because of the fact that the Tencel manufacturing process involves new sustainable technologies, it is still quite expensive for the public. We do hope though that by encouraging its manufacture and becoming all the more popular, Tencel fabric will be much more affordable as the market grows.

Tencel Floral DressTencel fabric

From bed linen to sportswear and from medical dressings to garments, Tencel is a truly versatile fabric. Soft, comfortable and supple to the touch, it is skin kind, eco-friendly and a pleasure to wear.

At Patra we specialise in natural fabrics silk, cotton, linens and bamboo and are pleased to add a pure Tencel dress to our range this season, we hope that you are going to love it as much as we do. Perfect for spring and summer; it not only looks stunning with a beautiful floral print but also because of its unique absorption capacity and coolness to the touch. Patra’s pure Tencel dress is here to stay (and makes a great impression)!

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