You’ve heard us talk about TENCEL™ fibers in some of our styles but probably have some questions. We’re here to give you the 411 on this incredible material.
What exactly is TENCEL™? And why should you care that some MPG products contain this fiber made from trees?
Using cellulose fibers derived from sustainably sourced wood, TENCEL™ is a type of fabric similar to rayon.
How is it made?
TENCEL™ fibers are produced from sustainably managed forests. In the process, 100% of the wood is used:
- 10% goes to the food industry (in the form of sugar and vinegar)
- 50% of the by-product is used as biofuel to run the plants
- 40% is processed into cellulosic, wood-dissolving pulp
That pulp is blended with eco-friendly solvents and water to create a honey-like consistency liquid that is excluded through spinnerets, an apparatus similar to a shower head. The outcome goes into an eco-friendly bath where they cure into a long filament fiber. Those fibers are then washed, cut into stable lengths, and shipped to spinners, where they are spun into yarns for various textile applications.
Apparel manufacturers, like MPG, use that fabric with TENCEL™ fibers to create apparel.
Isn't cutting down trees bad for the environment?
When sourcing wood, TENCEL™ focuses on trees where the forest is thinned for better growth. TENCEL™ also uses by-products from the lumber industry where logs are shredded. TENCEL™ uses these shredded by-products together with wood that cannot be used for other applications. All trees/wood used by TENCEL™ come from sustainably managed forests certified by PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council International). These are responsibly and sustainably managed to impact the environment positively.
No artificial irrigation is necessary to grow the wood for TENCEL™ Modal, as they are part of the natural hydrological cycle and, as such, do not consume additional water. Forests are important to stabilize streamflow, thereby providing protection from floods and assuring water supplies in times of low rainfall.
TENCEL™ Modal fibers consume on average 97% less water compared to conventional cotton.
What about the chemicals used?
TENCEL™ Modal with Eco Clean technology is a totally chlorine-free fiber, produced with the most eco-responsible modal process available.
What are TENCEL™'s technical benefits? Apart from being sustainable?
- Composed of natural material, all TENCEL™ fibers are biodegradable and compostable, which means the fabric can completely revert to nature.
- Since TENCEL™ is both absorptive and breathable, it excels in temperature regulation.
- TENCEL™ is better at absorbing moisture than other fibers. It absorbs up to 20% of water. By wicking away sweat, the material further contributes to temperature regulation.
- Textiles with TENCEL™ offer long-lasting, exquisite softness, even after repeated washing.
- Measurements and hand evaluations of softness show that TENCEL™ fibers feel twice as soft as cotton.
- Colour retention
- Comfortable next to skin
- Soft and natural shape
- High flexibility
- Supply chain transparency
- Superb lightness