Tencel™ is suggested as being the most sustainable fibre available on the market.

Tencel™ fibre is produced by Austrian company Lenzing and is made from Spruce and Eucalyptus trees that are FSC and PEFC certified.

Tencel uses 3% of the irrigated water conventional cotton requires [1] and emits 83% less carbon dioxide equivalent (gases that contribute to global warming and climate change) into the atmosphere compared to conventional cotton [2].

If you would like to read more on these references, please follow the links below

1. Li Shen et al. 2010. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, ‘Environmental impact assessment of man-made cellulose fibres’, vol 55, issue 2, pp.260-274.

2. Textile Exchange Organic Cotton Market Report 2014.


Manufacturing Process

The Spruce and Eucalyptus trees are debarked and converted into wood chips. The chips enter a digester that contains an organic solvent called N-methyl-morpholine-N-oxide (NMMO). This solution turns the wood chips into a pulp and aids the release of cellulose (the main compound found in plant cell walls). The cellulose is dissolved in a water diluted solution of NMMO to allow the fibre to be extruded. This fibre is spun to create a yarn.

The methodology above is called the Lyocell process and Tencel™ is a brand name. Lenzing recovers and reuses more than 99% of the organic solvent. Plus, they recycle and reuse their water from the process, creating an almost 100% closed loop system.

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Lenzing Tencel™ fibres are certified to the following

  • Forest Management Certification (FSC)
  • Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)
  • TUV OK Biodegradable; Soil
  • TUV OK Biodegradable; Water
  • TUV OK Biodegradable; Marine
  • TUV OK Compost; Home
  • TUV OK Compost; Industrial

End of Life

At this present time we have not tested any finished products to the same biodegradable or compost standards as Lenzing.

We advise and promote the re-use of our products to help reduce the environmental impact we all have on the planet.

Discover more of our products

See our products on the Cole Fabrics website