Tencel™, Lyocell, Modal... Does it make your head spin?
28th July 2021, Anna H.
Recently, the names of various innovative textiles seem to have appeared in dozens. Do you still keep up? If not, don't despair, we bring you a simple overview of the most frequently used terms.
With the ever-increasing negative impacts of mass textile and clothing overproduction and, on the other hand, the super-popular sustainability trend, there has been pressure to innovate in textile production. Thus, fibers began to be created that use renewable natural resources - for example, wood from sustainably managed forests or, for example, unused textile "waste".
About 40 years ago the Dutch company Akco was the first one to come up with research and production of Lyocell sometime in the 1980s. The license was then bought from her by the Austrian company called Lenzing. But enough about history - what is that lyocell?
Lyocell is a name for a specific type of viscose fibers. So, like regular viscose, it's a fiber from natural sources, but ultimately man-made. The basic raw material here is - as with viscose - wood - most often beech or eucalyptus. The pulp from this wood is crushed and dissolved. This mass is then extruded through a small nozzle, from which it emerges already in the form of a fiber, from which the fabric is then woven. The crucial moment of this production is the use of a solvent - which, unlike, for example, conventional viscose, is washed from the fiber and recycled almost 100% for further use. It is thus a closed circle of production, where the necessary chemicals are used again and again and are not released into nature. And beware - this solvent is not toxic!
Lyocell is used not only for clothing, but also, for example, home textiles, paper, sewing threads or mattresses. Its positive properties include complete biodegradability - it is made of wood! - color fastness and washability up to 60⁰C. On the contrary, the shortcomings include relatively high creasability.
A very similar material from the production of the Austrian company Lenzing is modal, which is also created by dissolving mostly beech wood. Due to its properties and slight luster, it is sometimes called artificial silk. Modal is often found in combination with cotton, elastane or polyester, and thus, its properties can vary. The pure modal is very comfortable to wear, it is light, airy and wicks away sweat perfectly. In addition, it does not stretch, holds its shape and color and it is very durable.
Tencel ™ is the trade name of the lyocell material produced by the company Lenzing. It is their flagship of a number of products of this company. Tencel ™ is produced in a wide range of products - denim, footwear, underwear, home textiles, sportswear and also luxury dresses.
Unique is the Refibra™ technology, which goes even further with reducing the environmental footprint of the clothing industry. Textile "waste" is mixed into the dissolved beech pulp - for example, unused cotton fabric and thus gives these textiles a "second life".
In our collection, we used Tencel ™ with Refibra ™ technology in the production of a zipper skirt.
Source: https://www.lenzing.com/products/tenceltm , 28.7.2021