What is Lyocell Fabric and How Is It Revolutionizing the Clean Fashion Movement?

Fast fashion dominates today’s world, grabbing our attention with the constant influx of new releases. As a whole, the industry is quick to capitalize on new technologies and trends, often to the detriment of the environment and consumers themselves.

Luckily, some of today’s technologies allow for new, more sustainable, and durable options than the majority of fashion merchandise, all while preserving their quality and value – lyocell is one of those options.

If you are looking for more sustainable ideas for fashion and clothing without sacrificing style and comfort, look no further than Lyocell, an amazing new fabric that is quickly winning over the hearts and minds of fashion consumers around the globe.

What is Lyocell Fabric?

Lyocell is classified as a type of rayon, a semi-synthetic fiber made from a natural source like wood. Its sought-after look and feel hold many similarities to other popular natural fabrics such as silk. 

Before lyocell, other types of rayon were manufactured mostly through what is called a “viscose process,” which generates large amounts of contaminated water and yields carbon sulfide, a dangerous neurotoxin.

In the search for a better way, scientists developed a new method that uses considerably less water through a closed-loop system, meaning that less than 1% of the chemicals used actually count as process waste. This has tremendous benefits to the environment and produces a fabric that, in many ways, is actually superior in quality to other options.

One of the most sustainable brand names for lyocell fibers is TENCEL Lyocell, commercialized by Lenzing.

lyocell fabric dress
Wearing a beautiful lyocell dress on a summer day in Spain

Benefits of Lyocell Clothing

Lyocell technology creates a rare win-win-win situation: it benefits the environment, the industry, and consumers. Here’s how:

  • Sustainability: Lyocell is one of the most sustainable fabrics today, and it is because it has eco-friendly benefits at every step of the supply chain:
    • Procurement: The raw materials needed for production are renewable cellulose soft-wood crops and wood pulp, which is considered carbon neutral.  
    • Processing: The manufacturing process is reasonably low in water and energy intensity, and does not require chemical bleaching. This means that it produces far less chemical and water waste than other processes, all while using far less energy!
    • Waste Management: Because there is far less waste being produced as a side-effect of the processing stage, there is less need for infrastructure solely focused on the isolation, transportation, and discard of high volumes of contaminated water. Also, at the end of the product’s lifecycle, lyocell is 100% biodegradable. 
  • Versatility: Lyocell can be used for many different applications, which further increases its positive impact on the environment as less sustainable options can slowly be replaced everywhere in consumers’ lives.  When it comes to clothing, lyocell can be used for intimates, day-to-day garments, and active sportswear. It can also be used to make high-quality bed sheets and towels. Companies that jump on this trend to create high-quality lyocell products will positively disrupt the industry.
  • Quality: The fashion industry likes to throw around the term “quality,” but what exactly does this mean? For lyocell, the answer is easy: its quality can be attributed to its highly durable, wrinkle-resistant features, as well as additional benefits that make it extremely comfortable and convenient to wear:
    • Smooth texture: Lyocell clothing has that “peachfuzz” feel; it is incredibly smooth and gentle on the skin. It is also somewhat flexible, meaning it doesn’t easily crease or wrinkle with use.
    • Breathability: Incredibly light and breathable, lyocell clothing has great applications for normal day-to-day use as well as for sports. It has great moisture-wicking properties that allow you to stay cool and dry even on a hot summer day, without the clothing sticking to your skin.
    • Durability: Take good care of your garments and they will take care of you. Lyocell makes this easy because it is resistant to wrinkles, and requires less washing than fabrics like cotton.
    • Visual and Aesthetic Appeal: With lyocell clothing, you can enjoy all the benefits above, while still looking and feeling great. These garments look rich, and luxurious, and can also be customizable to your preference: since it comes from a natural source, they can very easily be dyed with your favorite colors!

RELATED ARTICLE: 9 plant-based sustainable fabrics you and your skin will love

How to Maintain Your Lyocell Garments

While it’s certainly durable, lyocell is also a delicate fabric – it’s important to know how to care for your lyocell garments in order to maximize their lifespan and usability. Treat it as you would pieces made of silk!

Washing: When you can, opt for hand washing your lyocell garments for greater care, or simply use the washing machine on the gentle cycle. For stain removal, favor using oxygen bleach to remove stains and other unwanted dirt. 

Drying: sun-drying your clothes is always preferable, as it avoids using fresheners and other chemicals such as dryer sheets and softeners. If that option is not available, you can still air dry it or machine dries it in low heat.

Pressing: steamers are preferable, but you can both iron your garment and use a pressing cloth.

Closing Thoughts

Lyocell combines great looks, comfort, and environmental friendliness, ready to continue winning over many consumers over the coming years.

Despite its higher price tag, fashion enthusiasts and consumers should consider investing in lyocell pieces for their personal collections. 

Besides comfort, luxury, style, and value for money, lyocell allows us all to feel good about contributing to a cleaner environment for us all. Taking good care of our clothes and being mindful of how our day-to-day habits impact the world is a trend we can all get behind, and lyocell is a great new option to do it with!

RELATED ARTICLE: Circulose: The Innovative Circular Cellulose Fabric That You Will Love

Lyocell fabric FAQs