What is Tencel Fabric?

What is Tencel Fabric?

Written by Dreamcloud Editorial Team

Last Updated on Apr 27, 2022

In this article:

    Do you frequently sweat in the night? Are you a hot sleeper? Or do you live in a particularly warm region that requires you to have bedding that is light, airy, and comfortable? Tencel fabric may be the one for you. Other than cotton sheets, Tencel sheets are super comfortable and breathable. 

    In this article, we will understand what Tencel fabric is, what are the benefits of Tencel, how it is made, and how you can make the most of your Tencel sheets. 

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    What is Tencel Fabric?

    Tencel fabric is a highly breathable material that does not trap heat and prevents overheating, helping you get a good night’s sleep. First developed in 1972, Tencel is a sustainable or green fabric. It uses wick-away technology that takes moisture away so that you do not wake up sweating. 

    So what is Tencel lyocell fabric and Tencel modal fabric? There are majorly two types of Tencel fabrics, i.e., Tencel lyocell and Tencel modal. Tencel lyocell fiber combines cellulosic fibers with other textile fibers and includes cotton and polyester to enhance Tencel’s fabric quality. Lyocell fabric is common amongst many bedding brands; it is also stronger and more breathable. 

    The production process for Tencel modal fibers is similar to Tencel lyocell; the only difference here is that Tencel modal’s threads are finer, thinner, and softer to touch. Tencel modal can be more commonly found in apparel or clothing materials. 

    Understandably, Tencel is one of the most well-known and used fabrics in bedding and apparel because of its several benefits. Let’s look at a few of them.

    Benefits of Tencel

    It’s Tencel’s softness and breathability that give it the fame it deserves. Tencel is not only one of the most comfortable fabrics but also looks luxurious when draped over the bed. Tencel can hold fabric dyes well without a risk of bleeding in the washing machine. Following are the benefits of Tencel that make it a great buy. 

    • Long-lasting 

    Tencel material is more durable than cotton as most cotton fabrics shrink after their first wash, but Tencel does not lose its original shape and size. Tencel also feels softer after every consecutive wash. 

    • Breathability 

    Tencel fabric is naturally breathable and airy. Hence air can flow in and out of the material easily and prevent the heat from getting trapped. Tencel also dries super quickly and takes away moisture. It’d be helpful for you if you’re prone to frequent night sweats. 

    • Hypoallergenic 

    Thanks to Tencel’s moisture-wicking properties, it is very hard for bacteria to grow on Tencel fabric compared to other fabrics like cotton. Bacteria growth tends to leave a bad odor and even cause allergic reactions such as sneezing and coughing. Tencel is not only soft and comfortable but also great for people with sensitive skin making them amazing hypoallergenic sheets. 

    • Appearance 

    Tencel fabric has a little bit of sheen and feels like feathers when touched. It looks and feels like a premium silk fabric. Tencel fabric wrinkles lesser than cotton and looks great when draped around your bed. 

    What is Tencel fabric made of?

    You’re now probably wondering how is Tencel made. Here's a short answer: Created from eucalyptus trees that are sustainable, Tencel is an environmentally friendly fabric. A special drying method called spinning that uses eucalyptus and wood pulp is used to make Tencel fabric. First, a chemical solvent is mixed with the ground pulp. Then, this pulp is pushed through small holes in a spinneret nozzle to create what’s called wood cellulose fiber. These cellulose fibers are then chemically treated and spun into thread and woven into fabric. 

    Environmental Impact 

    Tencel fabric is made from eucalyptus plantations that are sustainably managed. Did you know that eucalyptus trees can grow up to 100 feet within just 10 years of planting them? And the constant harvest and growth of eucalyptus trees do not degrade the soil. 

    Know what is Viscose, its uses, and why it is a good fabric for sheets and pillow covers. 

    Tencel is derived from plantations just like cotton is but unlike cotton, Tencel uses less water and less energy. The unused materials can be recycled and reused through REFIBRA™ technology to make Tencel fibers and create less waste. Tencel is also biodegradable as it is a naturally derived fiber. 

    How to take care of Tencel?

    Tencel fabrics are low maintenance and still last longer than other fabrics. However, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your Tencel bed sheets. 

    • Washing 

    Tencel sheets do not require as much washing as the other fabrics since it does not retain much bacteria and moisture. You can wash Tencel fabric once every 2-3 weeks. Tencel should always be washed in cold water and on a gentle cycle. Use a mild and, if possible biodegradable detergent to extend the life of this fabric. Wash Tencel sheets in a separate laundry to avoid damage from zips or other fabrics, and avoid using bleach as it can cause damage to the fabric. 

    • Drying 

    The best way to dry Tencel sheets is to let them dry naturally. This helps preserve the fibers and color. However, if you do not have the option of natural drying, use the dryer on the low heat and low tumble option. To reduce the look of wrinkles, spread the sheet on your bed while it’s still 25% wet and let it dry naturally. To get a crisper look, you can iron your sheet but keep the heat on low when doing so. 

    • Storing 

    Store your Tencel sheets in a cool, dry, and airy space and keep them away from the sunlight to avoid fading or damage. You can keep them under the sunlight once a month during winters, as that’s the time you won’t be using them much. By doing this, you end up increasing the lifespan of your sheet and keeping them clean and hygienic. 


    Explore how often you should wash your sheets. Read our latest blog to explore the topic!

    The Final Word

    Tencel and cotton are both breathable and derived naturally, but the benefits of Tencel outweigh the benefits of cotton. Tencel is better for hot sleepers as it’s a more cooling material than cotton. Tencel is also more durable and greener than cotton. Tencel feels soft and luxurious like silk and also wrinkles less than cotton. These benefits make Tencel sheets undoubtedly a better choice for you and the environment. 

    This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.
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