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All you need to know

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The non-profit association Vesti la natura provides several free guides specially created to promote the use of low environmental impact materials among consumers and entrepreneurs

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What Lyocell?

Lyocell is an artificial textile fiber of natural origin extracted from cellulose of the eucalyptus plant. It is part of the viscose family, but we can consider it one viscose “Usually” produced in an ecological way (with low environmental impact).

Lyocell it is not a natural textile fiber as it is often defined, but an artificial fiber made in the laboratory with the help of numerous chemicals.

Furthermore, as with all viscous, the consumption of water and energy during processing is considerable, which is why we can define Lyocell as an ecological fiber only when produced by certified companies, and in particular we refer to TENCEL

This statement arises from the fact that Lyocell is the name of the textile fiber, which means that any company can produce it, and Lenzing AG, an Austrian company is one of them having created the TENCEL brand.

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Lyocell TENCEL ™

Tencel ™ is the proprietary brand Lenzing AG with which it certifies the production of Lyocell e Modal: Lyocell is extracted from the pulp of Eucalyptus trees, while Modal it is extracted from the pulp of beech trees. Both are made with the same closed-cycle manufacturing process, which guarantees a low environmental impact production.

Tencel Certified LogoLyocell e Modal are textile fibers artificial very similar to Bamboo and rayon, but while bamboo fiber can be defined as ecological when it has textile certifications like Oeko-Tex, Rayon fiber, in our experience, is difficult to define ecological.

Most of the fabrics on the market require chemicals during all stages of processing and, in the absence of textile certifications guaranteeing sustainable production, most of them can be considered harmful to the environment.

Nuovi Sustainability and Comfort Standards (video)

Social impact of Lyocell

As for the natural fibers (see cotton), the exploitation of cheap labor could be a major problem even in the production of fibers such as Lyocell, but not in scientific laboratories (where we usually find highly qualified personnel), but rather in eucalyptus plantations, where in the absence of controls no one could guarantee ethical behavior towards farmers.

Without control bodies, no one can guarantee that the trees where eucalyptus trees are planted are sustainable from a social point of view, let alone destructive for the environment (see deforestation).

The Tencel brand guarantees that the production of Lyocell has the minimum environmental footprint and that the entire production chain is socially ethics, and this above all thanks to the certification FSC.

Eucalyptus trees occupy thousands of hectares of land and the greater the demand for Lyocell the greater the quantity of Eucalyptus trees to be planted. This increase in demand makes it necessary to expand accountsnuo arable land and, as always, the irreparable happens in India and Bangladesh: destruction of rainforests in favor of eucalyptus trees useful for the production of Lyocell, the same practice of multinationals seen for the much discussed palm oil:

  • Destroyed ecosystems.
  • Local fauna and flora are not taken into consideration.
  • The surrounding aquifers are drained and polluted by chemicals.

TENCEL Lyocell it is not destructive for forests, as these are all located in Europe and are guaranteed by certification FSC Forest Stewardship Council. Reason why you should always choose TENCEL Lyocellrather than buying Lyocell made in China).

Lyocell Textile Fiber

The textile fiber Lyocell it is extracted from Eucalyptus trees grown by certified companies Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which guarantees eco-sustainable eucalyptus trees. FSC certification verifies that the chosen land is suitable:

  • The pre-existing flora is not destroyed, thanks to a careful selection of free land.
  • Functional re-grafting practices are implemented, where the eucalyptus trees are regenerated, allowing only the strictly necessary amount of land to be used.
  • The eucalyptus plantations used by Lenzig AG for the production of Lyocell they are all located in Europe, and this is another reason to consider them more reliable and sustainable than those of other less controlled countries.

We reiterate an important concept: no natural, artificial or synthetic fiber can be defined as ecological without the presence of textile certifications that attest to its sustainability.

Lyocell it is part of the viscose family, formerly called artificial silk or vegetable silk, due to their silky and airy consistency.


Characteristics of Lyocell

Fabric Quality:

The qualities of the fabric may vary based on its blending with other fibers. Example: with Elastan or Lycra you gain in elasticity.

  Does not shrink / discolor
  Quick drying

Ecological Characteristics:

The ecological characteristics of the fabric may vary based on textile certifications or blending with other fabrics.

  Natural - Artificial - Synthetic  
  No GMOs
  Natural raw material
  Recycled raw material
  Mechanical extraction
  Chemical extraction
  Energy saving
  Sustainability class  

Textile Certifications:

The certifications that can be assigned to the fabric, but which vary according to different factors: manufacturing company, fashion brand, blending.

Global Organic Textile Standard
Organic Content Standard
Global Recycle Standard
Second Life Plastic
Animal Free
Fair Wear Foundation

This card can only be found on www.vestilanatura.it

Clothing in Lyocell

Our opinion is that Lyocell is an extraordinary product for ecological clothing, but does not fall into the category organic clothing unless mixed with the organic cotton: mixing of lyocell and organic cotton it is a common practice used by fashion brands to lower the cost of selling the finished product (lyocell costs more than cotton).

By purchasing products in 100% Lyocell, the ideal is to wear them in direct contact with the skin, a fundamental aspect to enjoy the comfort and its hygroscopic characteristics: one of the reasons why the t-shirt in Lyocell are among the best-selling clothing products.

The comfort of Lyocell comes from its natural softness, which gives our skin a sensation similar to that of a cashmere or silk garment. Not only comfort, but also concrete benefits for the skin!

Buy products in Lyocell

A showcase where you can find Sustainable, ethical and cruelty free fashion brands guaranteed by the supervision of our association:

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Advantages of Lyocell

Lyocell offers many advantages over competing fabrics. Let's see together some characteristics that make this fiber a "Best Seller" in the sector of sustainable fashion:

Lyocell does not sweat

Thanks to its extraordinary qualities of breathability Lyocell solves problems of sweating and bad smells, terms that we can delete from the vocabulary by wearing clothing in 100% Lyocell in direct contact with the skin.

Excessive sweating and bad smells are often due to the abundant presence of chemical substances inside the fabric, which react in contact with our skin giving off bad smells, or manifesting annoying itching.

Lyocell it is a hygroscopic fabric, it has a great ability to absorb the humidity created by the body and expel it to the outside immediately, this feature avoids the accumulation of sweat and the subsequent release of bad smells.

Many fashion brands claim that their products in Lyocell can be considered as anti sweat clothing.

Lyocell Keeps Warm

Thermoregulation is a key factor in our garments. Comfort is important, breathability is equally important, but a naturally thermoregulating garment allows you to wear less heavy clothes during the winter season.

Lyocell is a fabric that keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer.

Lyocell and Mites

Lyocell it also has natural anti-bacterial properties. This feature made it possible to use Lyocell for the production of covers for mattresses, pillows and sheets, as well as underwear for men, women and children.

Using pure products Lyocell the health effects can be immediate.

Mites are the main cause of allergies and respiratory problems, so we recommend purchasing mattress covers, bed sheets, and pillow cases. Lyocell to all those people who suffer from similar problems.

Lyocell and Allergies

Lyocell it is a hypoallergenic fabric, but it is wrong to call it hypoallergenic as it does not have this certification, but we can say that it helps those suffering from particular allergies.

We said that Lyocell it is a natural anti-bacterial (it avoids the proliferation of mites), but thanks to the total absence of chemical / toxic substances it acquires by right the attribute of hypoallergenic fabric. Clearly, to be sure that toxic substances are totally absent we need 3 fundamental factors:

  1. Lyocell must be branded Tencel (manufactured by Lenzing AG).
  2. The clothing in Lyocell must have the Oeko-Tex label.
  3. Lyocell it must be produced in Europe, because these products comply with the regulations REACH.

Lyocell for Babies

It would be helpful to be able to dress babies with clothing in Lyocell: recent studies show that toxic substances commonly found in clothing can harm children more than we adults.

At the moment we don't know of any company that produces clothing for babies in lyocell, but we hope to find them soon.

Lyocell vs Modal

Lyocell e Modal they are both artificial fabrics extracted from tree cellulose: Lyocell comes from eucalyptus trees and Modal comes from Beech trees. Taking into consideration the two fabrics produced by Lenzing AG we can say that the difference to the touch is really minimal: the sensation on the skin is the same, both are soft and comfortable.

Lyocell it is brilliant in colors, exquisitely soft and with a pleasant effect on the skin. The mixing of Lyocell with other textile fibers it often improves the softness properties of the fabrics and the general comfort.

Lyocell vs Cotton

The difference between cotton and Lyocell it is clear to the touch: Lyocell it is much softer and more breathable than cotton and these two qualities make it Lyocell more comfortable when worn in direct contact with the skin.

The environmental footprint of Lyocell is far inferior to that of standard cotton, and remains inferior even when compared with that of organic cotton, because one of the great advantages of Lyocell is the low amount of land occupied by eucalyptus trees: equal to hectares of cultivated land Lyocell it has a higher yield in extracted textile fiber than natural textile fibers, as the height of eucalyptus plants allows less horizontal soil to be exploited.

This enormous advantage is also found in beech plantations (Modal), bamboo and hemp, because these too grow higher than cotton and therefore allow a higher textile fiber yield for the same cultivated land.

The social aspect of the production of lyocell, which cannot easily be judged "more sustainable" in the long run:

In many countries around the world, cotton supports entire farming communities, assuming for a moment that Lyocell -or other artificial fabrics- take a large slice of the market currently occupied by cotton, this scenario would inflict heavy repercussions for millions of people: entire populations would be destroyed from an economic / social point of view.

This remote, but possible future, pushes us to think that in the medium / long term organic cotton can be more sustainable for global civilization.

Maintenance of ecological fabrics

How to wash Lyocell?

The environmental impact of laundry detergents and household cleaners is devastating to our planet, so we highly recommend using ecological detergents.

Fabrics made in Lyocell they are light, highly breathable, dry in a short time and, above all, hardly produce creases, lending themselves very well to the production of "no-iron" garments, which save time and effort.

As for the washes, the garments in Lyocell they can be easily washed both by hand and in the washing machine. The golden rule of observing etiquette also applies to Lyocell as for other fabrics, as it is the most effective way to check if the garments need separate washing or special treatments.


If you are preparing to wash by hand, you need to fill a basin with warm water and a little ecological liquid detergent, preferably for delicates. After leaving the clothes to soak for about a quarter of an hour, rinse under cold running water, wring lightly and hang out in the open air or on the drying rack, according to your needs.

Machine wash

For washing in the washing machine it is advisable to choose a program for delicate garments, preferably not higher than 30 degrees, add a little delicate liquid detergent, a teaspoon of bicarbonate and start the cycle, avoiding spinning to the end: ideal it would be to squeeze the garments slightly, to avoid deformation during drying.

Do you want to wash your clothes while minimizing water pollution?

  1. We have selected one of the most sustainable detergent and detergent brands click here to buy an ecological detergent
  2. You could use a Washing Ball to wash without using detergents click here to buy a washing ball
  3. You could use the nuovissimo Ecoegg, a nice ecological egg with which you can do about 720 washes click here to buy the ecoegg egg


Looking for more information on Lyocell? Ask your questions using the form below.

Ask Your Question!

Our answers:

Where can I buy the fabric in lyocell?

Vesti la natura has created a table with more than 40 sustainable materials, their respective applications in the textile sector, and their suppliers (even for small quantities). To access the table we ask you to donate a small financial contribution to our association. Click here for more information.

Lyocell or Polyester?

It depends, if we talk about Lyocell which induces deforestation at this point we prefer synthetic polyester made in the laboratory.

As far as i synthetic fabrics they can be harmful to the environment and to our health, at least they are not responsible for such vandalism against ecosystems increasingly at risk such as rainforests.

Lyocell it is more environmentally friendly than polyester and offers many advantages over the synthetic competitor, but to make sure you buy the right one Lyocell, the product must be Tencel ™ certified.

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