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Tencel celebrates 25 years

Tencel lyocell fibers are playing a key role in the denim business today. They are used to create garments for the weekend, the workplace, and the runway. Tencel, debuted in 1992 and was considered a breakthrough, especially for the denim world. The unique aesthetics of fabrics with Tencel fibers meant designers were able to create apparel with a previously unheard of level of softness and drape.

The ecological benefit is another key feature of Tencel fibers. The process is environmentally responsible and utilises renewable resources as its raw materials. The fiber is made from wood pulp derived from responsibly managed forests, through a closed loop manufacturing process, with a solvent recovery of more than 99 per cent. This is a fiber that is wholly sustainable, compostable and biodegradable.

There were teething troubles. Manufacturing modifications were needed to take optimal advantage of a new textile that was superior in every way—for drape, hand, design and the earth—but not yet well known. Designers had to rethink their craft, to know what the blends could do. Machines had to be adjusted and workers retrained, to correctly stitch and wash the fabrics. One overriding problem—fibrillation—threatened to drag the dream into a nightmare but textile technologists solved the problem.