Tencel is a trade name for Lyocell and Modal fibres, which are made from natural wood, usually eucalyptus. Tencel is a man-made cellulose fibre, which means that it is neither synthetic nor 100% natural, but falls somewhere between the two. However, highly breathable Tence definitely feels like a natural fibre, and in underwear it offers both comfort and durability. 

Tencel underwear therefore has several advantages:

  • Tencel is known for its exceptional softness, breathability, flexibility and skin-friendliness. Feeling softer than silk, Tencel is particularly gentle on the skin since it has not been bleached by traditional chlorine bleaching methods. This makes Tencel an ideal choice for underwear and other garments that rest against the skin.
  • Tencel has outstanding moisture wicking properties. It absorbs moisture more effectively than cotton, which is reflected in its breathability. It also has a cooling effect on the skin, just like linen. Underwear made from Tencel or Tencel blend therefore keeps the skin dry much longer than 100% cotton products. In daily use, Tencel's breathability even challenges some synthetic technical fibres.
  • Tencel underwear is durable and long-lasting. When properly cared for, i.e. when washing instructions are followed, they will retain their condition even after long term use. Tencel is twice as strong as viscose, extremely smooth and hence does not wrinkle easily, which means the fabric will look good even after several washes. The colours of the fabric will also stay bright for a long time.

Tencel underwear is therefore a very versatile alternative to cotton products.

Another reason for using Tencel is its environmental friendliness:

  • Tencel, which has been awarded the EU Environmental Prize, is made from fast-growing trees, primarily eucalyptus. Eucalyptus grows very quickly and requires little or no irrigation and pesticides. The species thrives in poor soils, so its cultivation does not require large, environmentally damaging operations. Other natural woods, such as pine, beech or spruce, can also be used for the production process.
  • Cellulose is produced by a solvent process in which the solvent used is almost completely recycled (by 99%). Other chemicals are recovered and purified too before being reused or properly disposed of as waste. In addition, Tencel's production process uses significantly fewer chemicals than traditional natural fibres. The final product is both biodegradable and compostable.
  • Also 99% of all water used in production is recycled, which is quite impressive. Because of this fact, the production of modal, for example, uses 10-20 times less water than the production of cotton.

So why is Tencel not widely used?

Tencel fibre is becoming more and more popular, but it is not yet produced in large quantities. The costs for the producer are significantly higher than for cotton or synthetic fibres, which leads to a higher price for the consumer. This may change in the future when/if demand and production increase from current levels.

Read more on this topic or browse our range of Tencel underwear.

The Mähöne goes woods collection is based on wood-based fibers combined with cotton and elastane. This collection is one of the many steps we will take on the way to a more environmentally friendly operation. It also supports our goal of carbon neutrality. The collection is made in the EU.

December 08, 2023
Tags: Tencel

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