Today, we present one of our favorite textiles, because it meets high ecological standards and is so durable and comfortable. This textile is made from the vegetable raw material wood pulp. This pulp is transformed into an ecological synthetic fiber called Lyocell. Lyocell, also known as Tencel® by the Lenzing company. It's an ecological synthetic fiber created by man from wood pulp!
- Washes effectively in cold water
- Absorbs moisture and dyes well, retains its colors afterwards
- Soft and light as silk
- As resistant as polyester
- Adapts to body temperature like wool.
How is it environmentally friendly?
The cultivation of raw materials:
The wood pulp used in its manufacture comes from certified sustainable and renewable forests, and the trees are cultivated specifically for its production: pine, beech and, above all, eucalyptus. By sustainable forests, we mean that the trees are grown without insecticides or pesticides, with little water and on land not suitable for agriculture. As well as being made from renewable and sustainable materials, Lyocell's production has minimal environmental impact, which we'll look at together.
Converting to fiber :
The transformation of bamboo and eucalyptus into textile fibers follows a similar process. However, the solvent used (NMMO or N-Methylmorpholine N-oxide) for Lyocell, in addition to being an organic compound that has undergone no chemical transformation, is non-toxic and biodegradable. This suggests that it is neither harmful to humans nor to the environment. Bingo!
Closed production loop :
Textile materials are produced in a closed-loop manufacturing system. This means that all the resources used are continuously recycled, purified and reused. Wood pulp is dissolved in a non-toxic, non-corrosive solvent that is reused from 99.5% to 99.8%! Not only is this the case with solvents, but the same result is obtained with the water used in processing and textile dyeing. It's fantastic!
Bleaching and dyeing :
Lyocell's advantages include the fact that, since it is already clean and pure, it doesn't need to be bleached. What's more, as it's a highly absorbent fiber, it appropriates and retains dyes well. This reduces energy and water requirements at the dyeing stage.
Textile blends :
Unlike bamboo rayon, Lyocell doesn't need to be blended with cotton or other textiles to give a good-quality fabric that doesn't shrink in the wash. In most cases, the compromise will come from the fact that it is regularly blended to a small extent with spandex to make it even more durable and increase its suppleness and comfort.
Quick comparisons :
The comparison with cotton seems futile, since the latter requires much more water, pesticides and farmland (10 times more than Lyocell). On the other hand, Lyocell is very similar to bamboo rayon in terms of both raw material cultivation and textile quality. The difference lies mainly in the solvent used, bamboo's being chemical and toxic.
When it comes to sweaters of equal quality, it's clear to us that we'd choose one made from Lyocell! We believe that this textile is both innovative and ensures a better future. Unfortunately, however, it's still only used marginally, and we think it would be better to use it instead of cotton. For the moment, Eco Loco has a few garments made from this textile. You can find them by clicking below: