The launching product of AGENdA, The Slouchy Trench is cut in Lenzing TENCEL™ Lyocell blend fabric sewn with BEMBERG™ lining. You have seen Tencel in many products by now. Maybe you have even visited Lenzing's website.
But what really is Tencel? Is it natural material? It seems to be a tricky question.
Tencel is a human-made material from natural raw material - specifically, wood pulp. The majority of the material is cellulose like any other plant-based material(ex. cotton).
(photo source: Lenzing)
It is easier to understand if you are familiar with Rayon. Or Viscose. Ring a bell? Rayon and/or viscose is invented in an attempt to make artificial silk. Silk is a beautiful natural material coming from certain insect's cocoons. It is not only smooth and luminous but also incredibly strong and durable. However, it takes a lot to create silk. So people wanted to make something like silk and rayon and/or viscose is born.
Rayon is breathable and absorbs moisture. And unlike silk, it does not build up static electricity. It became a huge hit in the textile and apparel industry. However, rayon is unstable when it is wet so the desire to create a fabrication that is stronger and more stable when wet led to modal. Modal can be machine washed and dried and function closer to cotton than silk. Then lyocell came.
Lyocell is a comparably recent innovation. Lenzing started its full production operation of TENCEL™ Lyocell at the end of 1990's. It is said that lyocell has numerous advantages than over rayon and modal in the quality and production process. The most prominent quality would be lyocell's ability to absorb and release moisture. Garments made out of lyocell will breathe better and maintain body temperature, even better than cotton. It is like between silk and cotton but even better. TENCEL™ is sustainably harvested eucalyptus trees. They can grow in the land that cannot be used for food crops and grow quickly without pesticides. It needs 1/20 times less water than cotton.