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What Are Tencel Sheets?

You may be familiar with how they feel – but you may not know just what they are. Here’s the definition of Tencel sheets and the materials used to manufacture them.
tencel vs cotton graphic

What Are Tencel Sheets?

Tencel is the name of a brand of lyocell and modal materials, both of which are semi-synthetic fabrics. (Think what Tempur foam is to memory foam.) The material of Tencel is breathable and soft, often used in clothing and sheets – two product categories that benefit from softness and breathability. Tencel is made from a wood pulping process in which parts of wood are dissolved into a solution, dried and formed into solid threads or fibers.

Tencel vs. Cotton Sheets

The two main differences between Tencel and cotton come down to the material and feel. Tencel is made from a blend of wood pulp and a chemical solvent. Cotton is made from the cotton plant by a process that spins the cotton fibers. Tencel sheets feel a bit more satiny than cotton sheets – while they are both soft, they are soft in their own ways. The best way to categorize the difference in feel? Cotton is cozier and Tencel is silkier.

What Is Lyocell?

Tencel is a brand name of semi-synthetic materials. These materials are lyocell and modal. The more common of these two is lyocell – Tencel lyocell is the most popular for sheets and clothing. Lyocell is a semi-synthetic fabric made from plant-based threads in a wood-pulping process. (Once the wood is mixed with a chemical solvent, strained through small holes and dried, it becomes the fabric lyocell.)

What sets Tencel apart is the sourcing; Tencel prides itself on using eco-friendly sourcing processes. Whereas other ways of producing lyocell will see a higher waste of water and solvent, Tencel has developed a process that recycles components, minimizing the impact on the environment.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.