Regenerated cellulose has been used for multiple purposes in different textile industries all across the globe. By looking at the last couple of decades or so, the quality obtained from regenerated cellulose in textiles and many other different industries related to being wood are proved to be long-lasting and reliable. So, what is lyocell, and how it can be the future of sustainable fabric to use? Let’s get into the details below.
There is this certain form of regenerated cellulose that is formed as a result of precipitation of organic solution made from dissolving wood pulp. It was first manufactured in British lands and after that, it had traveled all around the planet due to its sustainability and quality. This fiber made up of bleached wood cellulose pulp is known as lyocell.
The word” Lyocell” has a Greek origin meaning a dissolved material obtained from cellulose. Over centuries, the world has been fond of the fabrics like silk and cotton but nowadays lyocell is replacing them by being efficient and semi-synthetic.
What You Will Learn From This Guide:
- What is lyocell fabric?
- How is lyocell fabric made?
- How is lyocell fabric used?
- Lyocell, Tencel, Newell, and Excel – what’s with all the names?
- Lyocell vs. Cotton:
- Pros and Cons of Lyocell Fabric
- How much does lyocell fabric cost?
- Is lyocell environment friendly?
- Brands that sell lyocell fabric clothes
What is lyocell fabric?
Lyocell is a fabric that is a modified form of rayon. The composition of lyocell defines the fact that it is not entirely natural material or artificial fabric. It certainly belongs to both main categories of fiber that’s why lyocell is commonly known as regenerated fiber. Learning about What Is Lyocell, can help you understand its uses and due to the organic ingredients (cellulose fiber) present in a lyocell, it is preferred on many other types of fabrics. This fabric has a smooth touch like silk and it resembles a lot with the cotton in texture. Therefore, lyocell is a preferable choice for most customers as a sustainable fabric.
Lyocell is a preferable choice for most of the manufacturers as well as it is considered to be the stronger and long-lasting type of fiber more than any other types. All the different factors like outdoor traveling, transportation, handling, cleaning, and recycling also serve more to the purpose for the manufacturers.
How is lyocell fabric made?
The making of lyocell fabric is a different process as compared to the making of other organic cotton or textile fabrics polyester, nylon, and cotton, etc. One cannot find a way to know that what lyocell material is until unless he looks into the steps of its making. There are a series of steps that are followed in the making of lyocell. The steps are given as follows:
1. Pulp preparation:
It is the initial and most important step as if there will be any sort of problem in the wood pulp preparation, all the other follow-up will step will be wasted. Firstly, the barks of the eucalyptus trees are removed with the help of water provided with high pressure. Further, the wood is added in chemical digesters and there they are converted into wet pulp. This wet pulp is then processed with bleach. Then the wet pulp is dried up and rolls of cellulose are prepared.
2. Cellulose dissolving process:
The big rolls of cellulose are unrolled and then these rolls are tear apart into smaller parts of around one to two inches. In this way, the process of dissolving can be done properly as each smaller part goes through amine oxide with extremely high pressure and temperature.
3. Process of filtration:
After going through temperature and pressure cellulose is filtered out. This process of filtration is done in a clearing solution through a filter where it is made sure that every particle of cellulose is cleared out and now the filtrate is available for the next process.
4. The spinning of Filtrate:
The filtrate is then forced with pressure through the spinnerets. Spinnerets are multiple small holes that provide certain long fibrous shapes to cellulose. From here a proper making of fabric starts to show up. Now cellulose has taken the proper shape of thin long fibrous strands. Further, these thin strands are dipped in a much-diluted solution of an amine oxide.
5. Washing and Drying:
Further, these thin strands are dipped in a much-diluted solution of an amine oxide. After this dipping, the thin strands again need to be washed out. Demineralized water is used to wash the strands to remove all the strains of an amine oxide. Then it is time to extract the water from cellulose to make it dry and for that purpose, the fibrous strands are passed through some drying area to evaporate the water.
After drying, fibrous strands are ready to be carded. The entire process of carding is based on separating and arranging all the strands in a certain order as per requirement and the settings assigned to the carding machine. Carding detangles all the strands and arranges them in the asked to order to finally give them a proper look of the smooth and long-lasting fabric.
The fabric is now turned into a bulk of rolls and these rolls of fabric are then taken to the compressing machine where compressed bundles of lyocell fabric are made. Now, these bundles carded strands of lyocell fabric are ready to be transported to the market or for shipping across the borders.
How is lyocell fabric used?
Since the time lyocell fabric has been made to the market, it has been very useful for multiple reasons. Lyocell fabric has made its way to different industries over time.
1. As a replacement of Cotton
For over decades, cotton is considered to be one of the best quality fibers mankind has ever used due to its soft smooth nature and classic texture. The process of its manufacturing has been so broad that several industries lie in between. Lyocell fabric is considered to be more effective, most durable fabric, non-toxic chemicals involved and efficient and within no time this semi-synthetic fiber gain trust of both manufacturers and consumers.
But there was this important question everywhere that does lyocell fabric shrink or not. Sooner different benefits of lyocell fiber over cotton make it go wild in the market. Now lyocell has been used as a replacement for not only cotton but also for artificial fiber like polyester. Lyocell resembles so much closer with the cotton that has been used widely in the textile industry.
2. Medical Industry Use of Lyocell
Lyocell fabric is used in the medical field for dressing and it does not affect the wound or any sort of injury due to its texture. The tensile nature of the lyocell fabric has proved to be more reliable than most other types of fabrics. In addition to that, there is a certain type of belts that are recommended to different orthopedic patients by the doctors are made of lyocell nowadays and these belts are proved to be more durable due to their tensile nature.
3. Consumer Uses
Lyocell fabric holds great importance in the commercial market. The long-lasting ability of lyocell fabric ensures the payback of money for the manufacturers that’s why the number of textile industries that especially make lyocell fabric is continuously increasing with every passing year. The consumers seem to be very satisfied as this fabric is more resistant to tearing and smooth texture can be used for garments of different age groups. Conveyor belts are one of the famous lyocell products used everywhere and are supposed to be more durable and reliable as per the feedback of customers.
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Lyocell, Tencel, Newell, and Excel – what’s with all the names?
Lyocell is a general term used for the manmade semi-synthetic material and it was first developed way back in 1972. This fabric was further developed in the American market with the name Tencel. Under this same name, The Tencel division was sold to a Textile company based in Austria. A further after few years a new and better variant of lyocell fabric was introduced in the market under the name tag Newell.
Then this cotton similar fabric gains popularity all over the continents within no time. Textile industries started establishing their money in this fabric and then the company Birla in the Asian continent became a giant manufacturer of semi-synthetic fiber with the name Excel. So over the period, different brand names were used by different textile companies to sell the specific entity in the commercial market.
Lyocell vs. Cotton:
Lyocell is generally composed of hydrophilic compounds that make it a moisture absorbent raw material. Whereas cotton is composed of natural fiber that has more breathing spaces and moisture cannot sustain longer in it. So specifically if you are more hygiene conscious and you want your garments to remain clean fresh and dry then cotton is more preferable. Whenever we think about the fact that lyocell fabric is better or cotton the one question that comes to the mind of every person that does lyocell shrinks or not because in the case of cotton it is a concern.
- If we look at the durability factor then you will find lyocell fiber winning the contest as it is comparatively more resistant to lose weight color and texture over time. And even after the wash, the deformation process that we see in most of our cotton clothes is very less in the case of lyocell fiber.
- The long-lasting ability of lyocell fabric is much better than cotton or any other similar fabrics. Cotton can sustain but not for a long time as it can become rough and its color also gets affected. On the other hand, the lyocell is good in absorbing and retaining the color of fabric for a long time along with texture and softness.
- If we look at the price comparison between the two products, lyocell is more expensive than cotton. But the benefits that we enjoy from lyocell justifies its price. Its durability, sustainability, and freshness make it a definite choice nowadays.
- Similarly, from a domestic point of view, most of the women and even the men prefer to choose lyocell garments over cotton garments because ironing the clothes made up of cotton can be a real challenge especially after wash up. But lyocell garments can be easy to iron as compared to that cotton garments.
Pros and Cons of Lyocell Fabric:
You must be in two minds while visiting the market to go for the lyocell garments or the cotton made garments. But one should not blindly go for one certain product without having any proper research on it. Lyocell can be extremely beneficial for the consumers from many different points of view but there are also some disadvantages one should be looking forward to. So if you are going to choose lyocell fabric then let us help you by letting you know about the advantages and disadvantages of going for lyocell fabric. These points will be going to help in your precise decision.
Pros of lyocell Fabric:
The texture of lyocell:
The texture of lyocell fabric is more reliable than many other different types of fabrics. The smooth texture and softness don’t fade easily. If properly handled, this smooth texture can serve you for years. The garments made by lyocell fabric have their feel and breathability that remains like new. Every time we buy any cloth or fabric to wear, we always look for comfort and lyocell fabric is something that can provide comfort.
Suitable for skin:
Lyocell fabric can be very suitable for skin especially if there is someone who has sensitive skin then lyocell fabric can be a good choice. In so many years, there aren’t many cases where people with sensitive skin can get any sort of allergy from this fabric. It suits almost all types of sensitive skins and can be proved very effective in case of sweating. This fabric does not cause any sort of itching to the body. On the contrary, it can be a cause of comfort in such situations.
The flexibility of lyocell:
Lyocell fabric can be very flexible with controlled fibrillations. This flexibility also makes this fabric last long and different garments as per the requirement can be made out of it. Consumers can use them to make lyocell fabric for conveyor belts as well as silky smooth dresses. On the contrary, the fabrics like cotton cannot provide you with the flexibility option. So lyocell with no doubt can be a better choice over cotton especially due to this certain aspect.
We are living in a time where from all different ends nature is closing by and we are losing every single bit of resources that connect us back to nature. Everyone is looking forward to preserving natural resources therefore recyclable and long-lasting products need to be made. Lyocell is a semi-synthetic product that is man-made with more artificial and biodegradable ingredients than any other type of fabric in the market. Firstly lyocell is a type of fabric that can sustain longer and if needed it can be biodegraded easily so this particular fabric can prove to be very reliable and friendly to nature.
Cons of lyocell fabric:
Price of lyocell fabric:
Textile industry one of the largest industries in the world. It has its significance and wide range of utilization in every house. And because of its extreme and large quantity need for every home people also tends to buy fabric that could be budget-friendly. Even common people do compromise on different other benefits one certain type of fabric can provide but the prices are something that cannot be overlooked by most of them. So despite all the other things, the price of lyocell fabric is something that is not allowing it to overtake the entire industry.
The low surface energy of lyocell fabric:
Lyocell fabric has comparatively low surface energy than other different types of fabrics. And due to the nature of lyocell fabric, its production process can be delayed. Because this low surface area makes it quite difficult for the dye to bind with it. So this can be a real concern for the textiles as to whether they should go for the production of lyocell fabric or not.
How much does lyocell fabric cost?
Since the time lyocell fabric has made its way to the international markets, there is quite a decline that textile industries have to face. Especially the cotton industry as a real competitor in the commercial markets. Lyocell fabric has proved to be more reliable and durable to the customers but due to its price range, it cannot make that much impact as it could make within a short time.
The price of lyocell fabric is comparatively more than that of cotton or other types like polyester or rayon etc. The manufacturers of lyocell fabric are continuously working to reduce the rates and therefore this fabric has to face so many fluctuations in the prices and to some extent, in the race of reducing the price some manufactures also compromised the quality that is quite unacceptable for the consumers.
Is lyocell environment friendly?
There is a slight debate among few about this question that either lyocell fabric is environment friendly or not but most people agrees upon the fact that yes lyocell is very suitable for the environment due to following reasons:
- Lyocell fabric is biodegradable as compared to many other different fabrics that cannot be degraded easily. So therefore lyocell fabric got an edge in this certain aspect.
- There is no by-product production in the manufacturing of lyocell fabrics. It’s a safe process. No harmful products are produced as all the wood cellulose and the solvents are utilized in between the manufacturing process.
- Similarly, the trees from where cellulose is extracted out are naturally very fast-growing therefore there is no need to use pesticides or other harmful chemicals to speed up their production.
- Eucalyptus trees do not require much water to grow therefore the water for irrigation can also be saved and this will be a great relief for nature.
- Similarly, the process of lyocell production requires fewer energy sources as compared to many other man-made fabrics that can be very costly at times.
Brands that sell lyocell fabric clothes:
Here we do have the list of popular brands that can help you to buy clothes for your family and friends.
These brands are selling lyocell fabric all around the world. These brands include Action, Almo, Alternative, Amour Vert, Bolster, Boob, Boyish, Buddies, Paul Green, Patagonia, Pause, Reserved, Solidus, Tedbaker, and many more.
Lyocell is a modern brand that has made its name all across the world. Cotton is still a giant in the industry and therefore people should be looking forward to adopting the way of living that could be more suitable for their environment and that can be durable and reliable as well. The importance of lyocell fabric cannot be denied and therefore one should always encourage the people who are ready to make the change.