Lyocell is a fabric most know better by its brand name Tencel®. It has a soft finish and drapes well. It is absorbent, wicks moisture away from your skin, and is easy to care for. It is made from cellulose (vegetable matter), or wood pulp. This pulp may be a mix of hardwood trees like oak and birch, although Tencel® branded lyocell is made from sustainably farmed eucalyptus trees. This makes it a natural fabric, and it is noted for its durability and strength, in addition to its eco-friendly manufacturing techniques.

How is it processed?

Lyocell wood chips are chemically softened with an ecofriendly non-toxic solvent forming a wet pulp. The wood pulp is dried into a continuous paper-like sheet. Sheet rolls are sent to a mill where they are broken into pieces and further dissolved in an organic solvent to form a thick solution. The solution is then pumped through small holes forming long strands of fibers. These fibers are dried, soap or silicone is applied to detangle and then the fibers are bundled. The bundles of continuous lengths of dried finished fibers are machine textured and combed to separate the strands. These strands are baled for shipment to manufacturers for weaving into fabric.

How is it Used?

Because lyocell can be manipulated into different textures, it can be used for many different types of products. Clothing made from lyocell drape well, are wrinkle resistant, soft and comfortable. It is great for travel clothes because it dries quickly and it is durable. Other uses for lyocell include towels, bandages and baby wipes. I use this fabric extensively for making duvet covers, pillows, slipcovers, roman shades and draperies.

For more info about Tencel, watch this video: