Tencel Fabric – What is Tencel? – Find out more here

Tencel Fabric (Lyocell) from nature to your closet

What is Tencel?

Tencel fabric is an amazing eco friendly fabric that represents a milestone in the development of environmentally sustainable textiles.

Tencel is a natural, man made fibre which is also referred to as Lyocell.

Made with wood pulp from sustainable tree farms, tencel textiles are created though the use of nanotechnology in an award-winning closed-loop process that recovers or decomposes all solvents and emissions.

Though it’s certified by the international Forest Stewardship Council and 100% biodegradable, perhaps the greatest benefits are the variety and exceptional comfort you can experience with tencel clothing.

Advantages of Tencel Fabric

  • Eco Print
    Made from the natural cellulose found in wood pulp. The fiber is economical in its use of energy and natural resources, and is fully biodegradable.
  • Colour Rich
    Tencel was created with color in mind, because of the fibers’ high absorbency. The fabrics can be dyed to high quality standards.
  • Moisture Absorbent
    This eco fabric has natural breathability and 50% greater moisture absorption than cotton.
  • Anti-bacterial
    Due to its moisture management, Tencel is also anti-bacterial.
  • Feel of Fabric
    Similar to rayon in feel. Soft, breathable, lightweight and comfortable. Tencel has an extremely smooth, soft surface that drapes beautifully to flatter every figure.
  • Great for sensitive skin
    Tencel’s smooth fibre surface feels soft and supple against the skin and its incredible wicking abilities keep the skin dry, making Tencel a great fabric for sensitive skin.
  • Versatile
    This eco fabric has controllable fibrillation (the very fine hairs found on the outer fibres), which can be manipulated into everything form suede-like softness to a silky smooth finish.
  • Durable
    This super fibre can hold up to a beating when both we and dry, and is most conveniently resistant to wrinkles.
WOVEN TENCEL Sheet Set by Malouf – Silky Soft, refreshing and Eco-Friendly More Tencel products on Amazon

Caring for your Tencel Fabric

  • Delicate fabrics may be hand-washed in cold water with a gentle detergent. Drip dry. Tencel will shrink about 3% with the first washing, and will resist shrinking from then on.
  • Machine washing, using the gentle cycle, is appropriate for many garments (read the garment care label), and drip drying is preferable to machine drying. If line dried, you can briefly toss in the dryer with a damp towel to soften the fabric.
  • If you must touch up the garment with an iron, use a warm iron only. Too much direct heat may scorch the fabric.
  • Dry-clean Only: Some garments have a dry-clean only label. This is often due to other fabrics used as finishing details or structuring elements, such as linings, in the garment. The lining, for example, may shrink more than the Tencel fiber which could cause puckering if washed in water. The best course is to understand the washing requirements before purchasing the garment.

Tencel fabric Lyocell clothing label

Disadvantage of Tencel Fabric

  • Tencel will shrink (approx. 3%) after its first washing but retain its shape after that.
  • Tencel is more expensive than most eco fabric alternatives.

Tencel Fabric – An Eco Friendly Fabric Option

TENCEL® is a brand, the trademark is owned by Lenzing Fibers location Austria.

Eucalyptus used in Tencel fabric productionThe fibre used for the TENCEL® fabric is called Lyocell.

Lenzing Fibers state that the required blend composition must be a minimum of 30% in order to be able to use the brand name.

TENCEL® Lyocell is obtained from traceable and sustainable wood pulp (Eucalyptus trees are grown on farms certified by the Forest Stewardship Council – FSC) being dissolved in a non toxic organic recovered and reused solvent, thus using an extrusion method through tiny holes comes Lyocell fibres.

This method is referred to as a closed loop process, meaning in the case of TENCEL® Lyocell, more than 99% of the solvent is recovered and reused, all of this leading to less land and water usage.

Within the solvent spinning process that produces Tencel®, a closed loop circuit recovers, purifies and reuses the solvent up to 99.5 percent, yielding very little by product.

This environmentally conscious process, which is also 100 percent organic since the basis is a natural raw material, has been on the receiving end of numerous awards, including the European Award for the Environment by the European Union.

No harmful chemicals are used in the manufacturing process.

The only current lyocell manufacturer in the United States is Lenzing Fibers, and the company markets the product under the trademarked brand name Tencel as a soft, absorbent, durable, versatile and eco-friendly fibre.

Above all, for the garment industry TENCEL® has a reputation for being extremely eco friendly and environmentally sustainable.

The Benefits of Tencel Fabric


Lyocell the facts

N-Methylmorpholine N-oxide – NMO or NMMO is an organic compound.
NMMO monohydrate is used as a solvent in the Lyocell process to produce Tencel fiber

  • Lyocell is considered an eco friendly biodegradable fabric ‘composed of cellulose precipitated from an organic solution in which no substitution of the hydroxyl groups takes place and no chemical intermediates are formed (Source)
  • Lyocell is better described as a man made recovered or regenerated fibre.

A lot of energy is used in the production process. The dyeing and other texture producing process also have some issues, depending on the producer. Some use toxic chemicals in these additional processes.

Simply, Lyocell is made from the cellulose obtained from wood pulp (Cellulose is a natural polymer found in all vegetative living cells, apparently, trees are 50% cellulose and cotton around 90% cellulose) and the process of Lyocell production starts by treating wood chips in such a way that they form into a substance resembling thick paper.

This paper like material is then cut up and broken down into small pieces and then chemically dissolved, forming a cellulose slurry. This is then extruded through a device with many tiny holes in it.

At this point the Lyocell comes out as long thin fibres, these then go through further chemical processes followed by washing and drying before being compressed. At this stage the Lyocell fibres can be spun and then either used alone or blended with other fibres to make a yarn.

Lyocell either wet or dry is strong and long lasting. It can be and often is blended with other fibres including: wool, cotton, silk and other more durable man made fibres.

The feel and texture of the finished fabric is easily manipulated by blending Lyocell with these other fibres resulting in a wide ranging variation.

The clothing manufacturers love to use TENCEL® Lyocell as it is easy to work with giving many qualities needed within the garment industry, hangs well, crinkle and wrinkle resistant, is absorbent and breathable making it extremely suitable for sporting garments.

Lyocell is versatile and depending on additional treatments it can be machine washed, hand washed or dry cleaned.

Lyocell has industrial uses as well, it is used to reinforce other materials.

Further reading:






21 Responses

  1. Vijayakumar says:

    The information about the Tencel fibre – Lyocell was useful & it is interesting too.

    • Wendy Mathers says:

      I find it very interesting. It also does not impact the environment badly. This is very important because a lot of textile products do impact the environment In a bad way.

  2. jessica says:

    Where can one buy this fabric buy the bulk i sure would love this to use with my gifts i make for family and friends.

  3. neil curtis says:

    hi I would like a price on material and imformation on how to get the material kind regards neil

  4. afzal says:

    I would like to know more about tencel material .its cost .and how can I get it in India… I am carpet producer and manufacturer like use tencel material in it

  5. AKHTAR LATIF says:



  6. Ellen Gordon says:

    Beware: Alibaba, and most web searches, will lead you to Chinese manufacturers of liocell/lyocell, which is NOT the same as the brand name Tencel. Their manufacturing process does not necessarily (and most likely doesn’t) adhere to the environmental standards of the brand producer Lenzing, which is the one doing the environmentally friendly, closed-loop production.

  7. Barry says:

    Do you know if this fabric is best at 100% or would it be better to mix it with another fabric like hemp or bamboo?

  8. Maggie Leigh Puckett says:

    Im getting everything that i need on this website thank you for this website!

  9. Urmi Bhattacharyya says:

    How do we know whether tencel made clothes sold by reputed sellers, Next, for example, are preshrunk or not given that you state the fabric shrinks about 3% after first wash?

  10. Rocio Garcia says:

    How do you sew Tencel fabric? Do you need a special needle?

  11. S.M. EAKUB ALI says:

    I want to know more about tencel fibre. Please give me the dyeing procedure for tencel fibre/fabric.

  12. julia says:

    were can I buy it?????????

  13. CJ says:

    I’m amazed to read about the properties of this fabric, including that it’s comfortable and breathes. That is not my experience. I cannot wear garments made from this fabric, especially when it is blended with Rayon. It’s terribly uncomfortable and I’ll avoid buying anything made from it.

  14. gunasekaran chelliah says:

    very usefull to me.

  15. TinaB says:

    Tencel bed sheets were recommended for skin problems, like severe eczema/AD or psoriasis. I find that polyester microfiber (often brushed) is the silkiest, softest fabric that wicks away moisture for my damaged skin. I was blown away with it’s soft, silky, suppleness – yet it remains very strong (tight knit like nylon) and winkle-resistant. My damaged skin is finally in love with my bed sheets!! I purchased a sheet set called “Charisma” at Costco (different colors & prints) that included the bottom fitted and top sheet, as well as four pillow cases for only $30 USD. I am sleeping so much better now…I’m loving this DREAM fabric for my painful skin!! I fell in love and went back to buy three more sets. 🙂

    I’m leaving this comment for any person suffering with painfully damaged skin rubbing against rough linen/cotton sheets and is desperately seeking relief. Microfiber Polyester was my answer. I am thrilled! If you don’t have a Costco, search the internet for Microfiber Polyester Sheets, described as brushed or silky. They will last many years too, like the cool Polyester/Cotton percales of yesterday. The whole “You need 100% combed cotton at 1000+ thread count” has long since been disproved as a marketing gimmick. Those sheets end up with breaking threads and covered with scratchy ‘pills’. There is research out there about that scam and pitfall. Good luck & sweet dreams on your silky sheets!! 🙂

  16. suzanne martin says:

    I am considering a comforter made with tencel (from Pottery Barn Kids) but my grand daughter has a dust allergy. and I have read that quilts vs. comforters with fill are less likely to absorb dust/ mites. Do you know anything about tencel and dust allergies.?

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