Tencel is one of the most recent man-made textiles – it was first produced commercially in the United States in 1992 – but it has a lot in common with the finest natural fibres. It is soft, absorbent, very strong, crease-resistant, with a powerful thermal regulation capacity, and it gives textiles a silkier appearance and a smoother hand. Boggi Milano uses Tencel in some of its most prestigious blazers, trousers and T-shirts.
An eco-friendly fibre
Tencel – also known by the generic name lyocell – is made from eucalyptus wood pulp, which is chemically dissolved, bleached, and then extruded to form long fibres, which are then carded and spun. The process is eco-friendly for several reasons: 98% of the non-toxic chemical used to dissolve the wood pulp is recovered and recycled; the cellulose is derived from renewable eucalyptus groves with sustainable production processes; and less water and energy are used with respect to the manufacture of other manmade fibres. The Tencel production process also includes the upcycling of pre-consumer cotton scrap, with the long-term objective of recycling post-consumer cotton waste as well.
Microscopic structure, macroscopic benefits
Tencel’s characteristics are a result of its microscopic structure, with long fibre lengths contributing strength and softness, and sub-microscopic canals within the cellulose fibrils that transport moisture, helping to keep your body cool and dry. This latter feature makes Tencel ideal for athleisure garments, good for general wear and moderate exercise. In addition, Tencel’s natural softness makes it the perfect choice for garments worn in contact with the skin, generating sensations similar to those of items made in silk. Its thermal regulation properties help keep you warm in winter and cool in the summer. It has natural anti-bacterial properties, and it can be considered as a hypo-allergenic textile as a result of the total absence of toxic or chemical substances. It can be washed at low temperature, it dries rapidly, does not crease and so does not require ironing.
Perhaps Tencel’s most noticeable characteristic is its silky smoothness. Tencel and Tencel-blend fabrics have a flowing drape, producing luxurious sensations on the skin. Tencel fibres have a smooth surface, allowing dyes to penetrate deep into the strand, producing very bright, beautiful colours that are less prone to fading, even after repeated washing.
Tencel in Boggi Milano’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection
The Spring/Summer 2019 collection by Boggi Milano comprises several garments in which Tencel plays an important part. The Tencel-linen blazer in the Brescia cut has a 59% Tencel fabric, a blend with linen and cotton, and it is made in cream, blue and taupe versions. The slim-fit trousers are in a cotton-Tencel blend, with a small proportion of elastan that provides the stretch that ensures optimum comfort. T-shirts in jersey cotton-Tencel blend (45% lyocell) are available in several colours, and have a rubberized strip with an inspirational text across the chest.