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Tencel: Wooden Clothes Made from Tencel

Updated on June 30, 2010

Wooden Clothes?

Cotton? Sorry, it's old and tired. Goodbye nylon, rayon, banlon, and polyester; not green enough. What the world needs now is a semi-organic fabric derived from trees.

I, for one, welcome our Tencel Overlords.

Cotton fabrics are manufactured from purpose-grown cotton plants on factory farms. Tencel, on the other hand, is manufactured from trees. We probably have too many trees anyway. Paper also comes from trees, but pretty much everybody in the Save The Earth business thinks we use too much paper.

Have you ever put on a tree? Some parts are wearable.

Tencel derives from the cellulose found in all trees. Need a prom dress? Cut down that sugar maple in the front yard. Next year's styles are in there somewhere.

Cellulose composes the cell wall in many plant and plant-like organisms, such as Congress. Smart scientists use cellulose to make clothes, paper (which we are supposed to use less of), pharmaceuticals, and explosives. 90% of cotton is cellulose and 50% of tree wood is cellulose.

The formula for cellulose is something like (C6H10O5)n. Next time you buy pants at the Gap, look for it on the tag. Just kidding.

Tencel-based garments boast a property referred to as "high packyness", which makes them easy to store in luggage in preparation for conveyance. In layman's terms, Tencel clothing can be folded. Clothing comprised of medieval cotton, on the other hand, can also be folded, but doing so is unhip and totally nerdy. Only people who hate the Earth wear cotton.

Lyocell is the generic name for the substance comprising Tencel. Lyocell derives from dissolvingbleached wood pulp. The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) loses much sleep over the use of the words lyocell and Tencel. They have published extensively on this subject. Please see Threading Your Way Through the Labeling Requirements Under the Textile and Wool Acts for more information. Please excuse the government sponsored wordplay.

Cotton and lyocell live together in perfect harmony. Mattress pads (clothes for your mattress) can be woven with peaceful combinations of the two fabrics. The Hotel Collection, available at Macy's, boasts a 500 thread count collection. We don't know if the FTC requires every thread to be counted.

Hemp and lyocell combine to make cool shirts. Cotton is left out of the 55/45 hemp/lyocell fabric blend, but fun and earthiness are just around the bend. It's lightweight and breathable. Hemp grows everywhere; factory farms, state parks, and suburban basements.

Be cool.


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    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 7 years ago

      For a couple of minutes, I was thinking 'cellulose, isn't that the fat we get on our thighs?' Now that would be good, removing that fat and making clothes out of it. Good recycling. But then I realized we have cellulite. Darn.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      "High packyness"?? Isn't that the term for addressing a royal elephant?

      Sorry, couldn't resist it. Interesting info, nicomp.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Nice hub on hemp clothes.