FEB 12, 2023 - WRITTEN BY CARLINA R.
demystifying an 'environmentally conscious' fabric 🧵
As the world of fashion and sustainability evolves, so do the fabrics and means of production. You’ve likely heard the word Tencel floating around, but what is this mystery material that seems to be having her main character moment?
In short, Tencel is a fibre made from wood pulp that offers a host of properties that make it desirable for use in clothing. Tencel is an incredibly versatile fabric — the fibre length and weave can produce textures ranging from silky and drapey to thick and cozy. Beyond this, it’s durable, gentle on the skin, and has a smaller environmental impact than other fabrics.
Tencel is made by dissolving cellulose fibres (i.e. wood pulp) in a solvent, drying them through a process called spinning, and then pushing these fibres through tiny holes to form threads. These threads are then treated and spun into yarn, and ultimately woven to create a fabric.
So what makes Tencel less environmentally impactful than other fabrics? First, the entire process requires less energy and water than producing cotton, for example. Tencel is made in a closed-loop system, meaning that the water and solvents are recovered and reused. This means there is almost no seeping of harmful chemicals into the water systems and environment. Tencel also takes to dye much better than cotton, which means it requires a much smaller quantity. Untreated, it is naturally stark-white, which eliminates the need for bleaching. Unlike synthetic materials like polyester and nylon, Tencel is biodegradable and recyclable as long as it isn’t blended with a synthetic fibre.
Sustainability factor aside, Tencel is breathable, moisture-wicking, and anti-microbial, making it ideal for use in athletic and loungewear. The fabric is incredibly soft and has a natural sheen to it, giving garments a subtly elevated look. Not to toot our own horn, but our vers shirt and straight leg lounge short are made with a Tencel blend, so do with that information what you will 👀
Remember to be less shiddy to others, our planet, and yourself.