Lyocell has a number of different qualities that make it a worthy choice:
- Comfortable: Similar to rayon in feel, Lyocell is soft, breathable, lightweight and comfortable.
- Lasting: Shrink-resistant, durable and easy to care for, Lyocell is an exceptionally strong fiber, both wet and dry.
- Color Rich: Lyocell was created with color in mind, because of the fibers’ high absorbency. The fabrics can be dyed to high quality standards.
- Easy to Maintain: Lyocell garments are easy to pack, resist wrinkling and dry quickly. Most are machine washable, although different garment constructions may have specific cleaning requirements.
- Natural: Lyocell is made from the natural cellulose found in wood pulp. The fiber is economical in its use of energy and natural resources, and is fully biodegradable.
Process and Products
Lyocell is made from cellulose in wood pulp, which is harvested from tree-farmed trees. Cellulose is the natural polymer that makes up the living cells of all vegetation. The tree farms have been established on land unsuitable for food crops or grazing.
The fiber is produced via an advanced ‘closed loop’ solvent spinning process, with minimal impact on the environment and economical use of energy and water. The solvent used in the process is toxic but 99% is recovered and continually recycled.
Production plant emissions are significantly lower in comparison to many other human-made fiber operations.
The closed loop process process used to manufacture Lyocell fiber does not require bleach, which is commonly used in the production of other fabrics.
This versatile fiber lends itself to a broad range of men’s and women’s clothing styles, as well as to upholstery fabrics and home-fashions in sheets and towels. In blends, the natural qualities of Lyocell complement those of wool, cotton, linen, silk, polyester, elastane, and nylon, and enhance their inherent properties.
One of the properties of Lyocell is its potential to fibrillate. Fibrillation is where the wet fiber, through abrasive action, develops micro-fibrils (or tiny fibers) on its surface. By manipulating or controlling fibrillation, a variety of different fabric finishes may be achieved.
The surface fibers of standard Lyocell are fibrillated to produce a luxurious, soft-touch fabric with a peachskin surface. This is the usual recognized quality of the fiber.
Caring for Lyocell Fabric
- Delicate fabrics may be hand-washed in cold water with a gentle detergent. Drip dry. Lyocell will shrink about 3% with the first washing and will resist shrinking from then on.
- Machine washing, using the gentle cycle, is appropriate for many garments (read the garment care label), and drip drying is preferable to machine drying. If line dried, you can briefly toss in the dryer with a damp towel to soften the fabric.
- If you must touch up the garment with an iron, use a warm iron only. Too much direct heat may scorch the fabric.