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Natural fibers like silk or cotton may seem the most obvious options when it comes to choosing fabric for the sake of comfort, value and sustainability. However, Tencel -- the brand name of lyocell fiber -- deserves equal consideration for its versatility, affordability and environmentally-conscious production process. Considered a game-changer by its manufacturer, Lenzing Fibers Incorporated, the fabric claims to be both eco-friendly and economical.

History and Manufacturing Process

Manufactured first by Acordis Cellulosic Fibers, Tencel lyocell entered the consumer market in 1991. Because its properties and manufacturing processes were so unique, the Federal Trade Commission designated the fiber as a separate fiber group under the rayon category. Tencel lyocell is manufactured from the pulp of eucalyptus trees and is spun by solvents in a closed-loop process.

Benefits and Care

The American Fiber Manufacturing Association's Fiber Source describes Tencel lyocell as strong, absorbent and wrinkle resistant. Other qualities include good drapability and its ability to take on the appearance of both cotton and silk. Tencel lyocell can be either machine washable or dry clean only; follow the garment care label for the best results.

About the Author

Zoe Maletta

Zoe Maletta writes on a variety of topics with special focus on leadership, careers and small business management. Professionally writing since 2007, her many publishers include "The Houston Chronicle", "Global Post Careers" and "The Nest." When she's not writing, Maletta enjoys making memories with family and participating in church ministry. Maletta holds both a B.S.and an M.A. in counseling.