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TENCEL
THE SUSTAINABLE FABRIC THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT

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Tencel is the fabric that everyone is talking about. Considered as one of the most environmentally friendly fabrics, it is a popular choice for sustainable clothing brands such as Studio Jux, Hanishken and Miu sutin. But why is Tencel everything and more?

Words By Jen McDonald

29/03/2021

What is Tencel? 

If you don’t know about Tencel, you will be glad you stumbled across this article. So what is it exactly? Well, Tencel is a commercialised name for a modal fibre – a type of semi-synthetic rayon called lyocell. Created in 1972 at a fibre facility in North Carolina, it is a form of viscose that consists of cellulose fibres made from chemically dissolving wood pulp using dry jet wet spinning.

So how does it work? Well, the fibres are formed by pushing the solution through an extruder. It is then ready for use. Today, Austrian company Lenzing AG is the main producer of Tencel, making it their trademark fabric.

How Is It Made? 

Tencel is a natural fibre made from natural, raw wood pulp – usually from eucalyptus, beech, birch and spruce trees. These woods are sustainable as they are sourced from forests. Wood pulp is dissolved in a chemical solvent then the mixture is pushed through small holes to form fibres. The fibres are then chemically treated, spun into yarn and woven into a cloth. Throughout the process, the water is recycled, and the solvent is reused to form new fibres. This recycling process minimises waste.

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Is Tencel Environmentally Friendly?

Tencel is one of the most environmentally friendly regenerated fabrics, for several reasons. First of all, Its fibres are grown sustainably. Fibres help to maintain the environmental balance by being integrated into nature’s cycle.

The production process of the European Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification has also endorsed Tencel’s farming practices as sustainable. It eliminates the negative environmental impacts of traditional fibre processing, using new sustainable technologies. Tencel has advantages over traditional fibres in terms of chemical processing, which can often be toxic.

In fact, rayon manufacturing generates highly polluting air and water emissions, uses catalytic agents containing cobalt or manganese, and creates a strong, unpleasant smell. The chemicals used to produce lyocell fibres are nontoxic. In addition, the cellulose or ground pulp used for Tencel is treated in what is known as a closed-loop process in which these solvents are recycled with a recovery rate of 99.5%. 

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What Are The Benefits Of Tencel? 

Well, the benefits of Tencel are endless. Not only does it stand out because it is so versatile, but it is also super soft. The good thing about Tencel fabrics is that they are all breathable and manage moisture, which constitutes an ideal choice for activewear brands. It also helps regulate your temperature. So, when you are doing an intense workout, make sure you’re wearing Tencel.

You will sweat but as it’s breathable, your gym gear won’t stick or suffocate you! It is also an excellent choice for draping fabric because it doesn’t wrinkle. Furthermore, it holds dye well so it can be used to make vibrant designs. These features make Tencel a number one choice for sustainable clothing brands. Although it is more expensive to produce, it has antibacterial properties which make it ten times more resistant to bacterial growth than cotton.

What Brands Use Tencel?

Tencel is a popular fabric of choice for sustainable clothing brands such as Studio Jux, Hanishken and Miu Sutin. These are three brands that you need to know about. These brands are not only sustainable, but they all have another thing in common: they use Tencel in their garments.

Studio Jux is an ethical brand whose garments are handcrafted in their own factory in Kathmandu, Nepal, ensuring you a guilt-free shopping experience. One of Staiy’s favourites pieces is their ‘Tencel long trench coat’ which is not your typical trench coat. This effortless, cool and original piece will certainly get you noticed. It has all the same features as a classic trench coat; belted waist, lapels, and oversized square pockets. Yet, what makes this extra special is it’s super soft and silky to wear.

Are you obsessed with keeping cosy? Then Hanishken will help you up you comfort game. This Germany brand is one to watch. Inspired by Moroccan crafts and culture, all their chunky knits are made from the finest Tencel fibres and handknitted in the heart of Germany. We are head over heels in love with their ‘Heavy Cable Knit Pullover Tencel – Snow’. This stylish cable jumper is a must have in your wardrobe.

If you want to create an ethical, minimalist yet stylish look, then Miu Sutin should be your go to brand. Located in the heart of Barcelona, the garments are made purely from love for women; getting ready has never been so seamless. We especially love their ‘Black Tencel skirt’. This asymmetrical skirt can be worn on all occasions: casual or dressy, you will knock them dead in this statement piece.

Shop Tencel items
from staiy.com

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KOMODO

ASHES KIMONO Tencel Wrap Dress Ginger

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MIU SUTIN

Black tencel skirt

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BIBICO

Tina Tencel Tunic Dress