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  Lyocell is a fibre made from wood pulp cellulose. It was first manufactured in 1988 by Courtaulds Fibres UK at their pilot plant S25. The only current manufacturer in the United States is Lenzing Inc, who market it under the trademarked brand name Tencel®. There is another larger plant with over twice as much capacity at Grimsby in the United Kingdom which is currently running flat out.

The Federal Trade Commission defines lyocell as "a cellulose fabric that is obtained by an organic solvent spinning process". It classifies the fibre as a sub-category of rayon.

The fibre is used in the production of many clothes, such as jeans, trousers and coats.


Major properties

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 name Tencel. Lyocell is produced from wood pulp called cellulose. Lyocell shares many properties with other cellulosic fibers such as cotton, linen, ramie and 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. FiberSource

Production method

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 spinneret to 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 papers and medical dressings. (Textiles, Kadolph & Langford)

See also

Modal (textile)

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Lyocell". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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