Sample of dyed Tencel on a sample of dyed 'A100', 1999.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Tencel is the brand name of Tencel Ltd for lyocell, the generic name of this environmentally friendly cellulosic fibre. Lyocell, which is derived from wood pulp harvested from managed forests, is extremely strong in both its wet and dry states. It is the first man-made cellulosic fibre for clothing to greatly exceed the strength of cotton when wet, resulting in strong quality yarns and fabrics. In origin a natural fibre, it is also breathable, absorbent and biodegradable. It has a wide range of applications in clothing and home furnishings.