Man-Made Fibres: Lyocell

Lyocell is a natural and synthetic man-made fibre that is produced from wood pulp. Lyocell is great for the environment as it is biodegradable and eco-friendly. It is manufactured through a close-loop process that takes care of any solvents and emissions.  

Properties: Physical

  • Hydrophilic – Lyocell has a very high moisture absorbency rate which is 50% greater of the absorbency rate in cotton fibres, when wet lyocell also increases in strength. Lyocell is also very breathable which takes care of issues of sweating and sensitive skin.
  • Tenacity – Lyocell has great strength properties and this is consistent when it is either wet or dry, although it is weaker when wet.
  • Elasticity – Lyocell fibres do have a very low elasticity rate and does not stretch easily but if lyocell is not blended it can be stretched.
  • Thermal Conductivity – As lyocell is very breathable it is also a great thermal conductor, this makes it useful for warmer weather.
  • Abrasion Resistant – As lyocell has good strength properties it is also resistant to abrasion and ware

Properties: Aesthetic

  • Hand – Lycocell is very soft and smooth to touch, it has a similar feel to cotton. This is due to the smooth surface on the fibres which stops irritation against the skin.
  • Drape – Lycocell fibres are flexible and strong which gives them versatility when it comes to draping.
  • Luster – As lyocell derives from cellulose fibres, it has a great natural luster which is almost resemblance of silk fibres.
  • Dye Affinity – Lyocell can be easily dyed due to its natural properties. Lyocell is typically dyed with the same dye chemicals used for cotton.
  • Colourfastness – When lyocell is dyed it has great colour retention and is not subjectable to environmental or chemical effects.

Preparation Process

  • Preparing the wood pulp – The first step in preparing lyocell is to create wood pulp. Wood pulp is typically made from hardwoods which is broken down into chips and loaded into chemical digesters.
  • Washing the pulp – The now collected wood pulp is washed in water but can be sanitized with bleach as well. Once washed it is then dried and rolled into spools.
  • Dissolving the cellulose – The pulp sheets are broken down and then put into pressurized and heated vats which contain amine oxide, this prepares the cellulose for filtering.
  • Filtering – Once the pulp has been completely dissolved into a clear liquid, it is filtered and extruded through a spinneret. This process also spins the cellulose to create long and thin lyocell fibres.
  • Washing – The fibres that have now been created need to be washed, this is done by using diluted amine oxide to set the fibres. This process is finalized by washing the fibres with demineralized water.
  • Drying – Once washed, the fibres are dried. Silicone or soap is then applied to the lyocell fibres to prepare it for carding.
  • Carding and finalization – The fibres are then separated and ordered, this is done by using the carding process. Finally, the fibres are cut which prepares them for manufacturing.

Bibliography (n.d.). Lyocell or Tencel, the eco-friendly fiber – Advantages and Disadvantages. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Oct. 2019].

Simplifi Fabric. (n.d.). lyocell. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Oct. 2019].

Barnhardt Purified Cotton. (2016). Know Your Fibers: What is Tencel?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Oct. 2019]. (n.d.). Modal, Rayon, Lyocell, & Cupro: How Semi-Synthetic Fabrics Are Made & Their Properties. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Oct. 2019].

Hussain, D. (2014). Important Properties of Tencel Fibers. [online] TheTextileThinkTank. Available at:,while%2016%25%20in%20wet%20state.&targetText=Tencel%20readily%20absorbs%20moisture%20and,very%20soft%20to%20the%20skin. [Accessed 4 Oct. 2019].

Aesthetic Stories. (2016). Tencel (Lyocell) Fabric Library ; Aesthetic Stories. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Oct. 2019].

QE Home. (2018). What is TENCEL™ Lyocell?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Oct. 2019].

Periyasamy, A. (n.d.). An Overview of Processing and Application of Lyocell. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Oct. 2019]. (n.d.). Sustainability in textile, environmentally-friendly fabric – TENCEL™ fibers. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Oct. 2019].

Hodakel, B. (n.d.). What is Lyocell Fabric: Properties, How its Made and Where. [online] Sewport. Available at: [Accessed 4 Oct. 2019].

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