Maybe you have already come across the word Tencel? But what’s it all about? Where does it come from and what is so special about it, given the fact that it’s Natural AthletX’ main component? We have summarized the most important facts about this prodigy fiber in the blog article below. Let’s get one thing straight: You will be enthused.
Tencel (or more chemically expressed: Lyocell) is a natural fiber that is produced by a chemical process from natural resources. It is produced from sustainably sourced woods and is fully biodegradable. The successful Austrian company Lenzing AG produces the fiber by careful production processes, using beech or eucalyptus.
Tencel’s basic material is beech and eucalyptus from sustainably managed plantations. The eucalyptus plantations cannot be differently used for agriculture; therefore, they are not competing with the cultivation of food crops. Eucalyptus is best known for its easy care. What is more, artificial watering and fertilization is not needed. The yield of the fibers is incredibly high: 6m2 crop area result in 10 shirts.
The cultivation of Tencel plantations is certified with the Forest Steward Council. Genetic engineering is not at all involved.
The production of Tencel takes place in 5 simple steps.
1.) First, small wooden snippets are soaked in order to remove integrated cellulose.
2.) The newly won cellulose is then mixed with water and a non-toxic solvent called NMMO.
3.) Chemical pulp is created that is heated up in vacuum. Water is extracted thereby until cellulose is dissolved and a spinning solution is created.
4.) The spinning solution is filtered and pressed through silk glands, which are then further processed in a spin bath.
5.) After bleaching, cleaning, and drying processes, a fine yarn is created.
The production process is quite similar to that of viscose. But since a lot of additives are used for the processing of viscose, it is classified as a chemical fiber. The solvents that Tencel uses are harmless and biodegradable. Because of the sustainable and careful production process, it was awarded with the “European Award for Environment“
Tencel makes its competitors look old.
Excellent thermal regulation: Thanks to the unique fibril structure, Tencel absorbs more water than conventional fibers and effectively wicks it away from the body. When it’s cold, the fibers have a warming effect – when it’s hot, they have a cooling effect. Therefore, the fibers ensure a pleasant body temperature, especially when doing sports.
No unpleasant odors: Due to the lack of moisture, the material is resistant to bacteria. Unpleasant odors are prevented at an early stage already. Because of the minimal bacterial growth, this material is particularly suitable for allergy sufferers.
Smooth surface: Itching or unpleasant wearing comfort is nothing to be worried about. The fibers are characterized by a super smooth structure, guaranteeing a soft grip and no skin irritations at all. Freedom of movement is ensured.
Due to the fine material and the smooth surface, we highly recommend a special care when it comes to doing the laundry. It’s best to wash these items at 30 degrees maximum with a wool or special program for delicate fabrics and add other items of the same color to the washing machine. Right after the process of washing, it is important to take the items out to dry.
Biological degradability: Since summer 2019, we have it in black and white that Tencel’s biological degradability was confirmed by TÜV and Organic Waste Systems. All Lenzing fibers are fully degradable – be it in soil, compost, or fresh- and seawater. What is more, Tencel is certified for all kinds of disposals.
Vegan: All resources are natural resources that are home to nature. Compared to Merino wool, Tencel is all vegan.
Sustainability: When it comes to the production of Tencel, Lenzing attaches great importance to a sustainable production process. At Natural AthletX, we continue here and pay attention to careful logistics and fair working conditions at our production partner’s worplace in Turkey.
Jürgen is Founder und CEO of Natural AthletX, loves Crossfit, Soccer and und good food.