Lyocell is a fiber made from
wood pulp cellulose. It was first manufactured in 1987 by Courtaulds Fibres UK at their pilot plant S25. The only current manufacturer in the United Statesis Lenzing Inc, who market it under the trademarked brand name Tencel. There is another larger plant with over twice as much capacity at Grimsbyin the United Kingdom.
Federal Trade Commissiondefines Lyocell as "a cellulose fabricthat is obtained by an organic solventspinning process". It classifies the fibre as a sub-category of rayon.
The fibre is used in the production of many clothes, such as
jeans, trousersand coats.
Lyocell was introduced to
consumers in 1991 and originally marketed as a type of Rayon. The only current manufacturer in the United States is Lenzing Inc, who market it under the trademarked brand nameTencel. Lyocell is produced from wood pulp cellulose. Lyocell shares many properties with other cellulosic fibers such as cotton, linen, ramieand rayon. Some main characteristics of lyocell fibers are that it is soft, absorbent, very strong when wet or dry, and resistant to wrinkles; it can be machine- or hand-washed or drycleaned, it drapes well, and it can be dyed many colors, as well as simulating a variety of textures like suede, leather, or silk. [http://www.fibersource.com/f-tutor/lyocell.htm FiberSource]
Lyocell is created through a process called solvent spinning. The wood pulp is dissolved in
N-Methylmorpholine N-oxide, creating a solution called "dope." The dope is then pushed through a spinneretto form the individual fibers. After the dope has been spun into lyocell fibers, it is washed and the chemicals are retrieved from the water, purified, and recycled. (Kadolph, Sara, and Anna Langford. "Textiles:Ninth Edition." Prentice Hall. 2002.) Since there is little byproduct, this process is relatively eco-friendly.
Currently Lyocell is more expensive to produce than cotton or rayon, but is included in many everyday items. Staple fibers are used in apparel items such as denim, chino, underwear and other casual wear clothing, even in bath towels. Filament fibers are used in items that have a silkier appearance such as women’s clothing and men’s dress shirts. Lyocell can be blended with a variety of other fibers such as silk, cotton, rayon, polyester, linen, nylon, and wool. Lyocell is also used in
conveyor belts, specialty papersand medical dressings. (Textiles, Kadolph & Langford)
* [http://www.fibersource.com/f-tutor/lyocell.htm Information about the fiber from fibersource.com]
* [http://www.tencel.com/en/index.jsp Homepage of Tencel limited]
* [http://www.lenzing.com//fibers/en/textiles/4180.jsp Lenzing's page on lyocell]
* [http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/textilejump.htm Federal Trade Commission webpage on textiles]
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20040127194842/http://www.lyocell.net// A site advocating the use of lyocell as an eco-friendly textile]
* [http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/5000/5572.html OSU fact sheet]
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