Tencel™️ Lyocell: paving the way for a sustainable future in fabrics

Tencel™️ Lyocell: paving the way for a sustainable future in fabrics

What is that mysterious fabric called Tencel™️?

benefits of tencel™ fabric clothing poplinen

Absorbent, durable, lightweight and biodegradable, Tencel™️ has so much going for it. We’re doing a deep dive into the reasons we chose to continually use this innovative fiber.

You might have heard about Lyocell and Tencel™️ before. So, what are the differences? Essentially, the differences are nonexistent. Tencel™️ and Lyocell refer to a type of fiber produced from the natural cellulose of Eucalyptus trees. Tencel™️ is only the trademarked term that got used overtime to designate all lyocell brands, a bit like how we informally call tissues “Kleenex.”

Commercialized under this name by the Austrian company Lenzing AG in 1992, Tencel™️ came into existence after the numerous criticisms sparked by the polluting process of viscose. What was new was that the lyocell process used NMMO, a non-toxic and recyclable solvent. 

Tencel certification

How is Tencel™️ made? 

Cellulose is harvested from the Eucalyptus tree. Just half an acre of Eucalyptus forest is enough to produce a ton of lyocell fibers, which is five times more than cotton! Additionally, these trees do not require irrigation, pesticides and insecticides. 

Then, wood pulp is dissolved in NMMO; the solution is then filtered and forced through a device punctured with fine holes called a spinneret to form continuous filaments. As the fibers emerge from the spinnerets, they come into contact with a bath to solidify them. The newly formed fibers are then washed and dried to remove any residual solvent and impurities. 

advantages of tencel fabric, why poplinen uses tencel fabric - sustainable fabrics

Depending on their intended use, the fibers may be cut and spun into yarns. At the end of the process, NMMO is recovered and reused in a closed-loop system and water is recycled through distillation (evaporation) of the spinning and rinsing baths. 

Wow, that got real deep. 

What are the advantages of Tencel™️

  • It is a biodegradable fiber: the fabric is made from non-chemical components that can decompose in soil. The fabric is OEKO-TEX® certified, meaning that the fabric is free from any harmful substances. Compared to cotton, the fabric also requires less dye and water because of its absorbent propriety.
  • It is breathable and has a high moisture absorption capacity, making it ideal for sportswear or hot weather clothing. 
  • It is hypoallergenic thanks to its soft surface. 
  • Unlike cotton, which can easily wrinkle, lyocell is naturally smooth and better resists creases. It is also elastic, giving it excellent shape recovery after being stretched or worn, thus maintaining the original appearance of the fabric for longer.
  • Exceptional durability: Lyocell fabrics withstand washing perfectly up to 40°C.

So, if you don’t know, now you know.

Here are some of our in-house Tencel™️ favorites!

 best-selling agnes raglan tencel sweatshirt poplinen

Agnes Raglan Organic Cotton + Tencel™️ sweatshirt

 best-selling sophie tencel jersey tank dress poplinen

Sophie Tank Jersey Dress

 women's tencel french terry zip collar sweatshirt poplinen

France Zip Collar Sweatshirt 


by Lilas Mesmoudi