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rjf | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

Yesterday I was at a yarn shop where they were selling Tencel yarn for weaving.  I haven’t dealt with anything made from Tencel yet.  Is it absorbent?  Slippery?  I was thinking dish towels because they’re not huge to weave and require very little finishing.  The clerks automatically dismissed that idea but I just had the feeling they knew not whereof they spoke.  Any ideas out there?      rjf 


  1. carolfresia | | #1

    The TEncel I've used was already made into fabric, and it's kind of soft and drapy, not slippery, and as absorbent as rayon or something like that. I think it's a cellulose-based fiber, if that helps at all...I can't think why it wouldn't be a decent dish towel, although maybe cotton or linen would be somewhat better? It seems a bit heavy, which can be nice for garments or wraps, because it would give them a silk-like drape.


    1. rjf | | #2

      After I wrote, I discovered it was cellulose which made me think it would be pretty absorbent but the sales lady thought not.  What I saw at Web's was quite shiny and knock-your-eye-out colors.  It was spun to 8/2 which is the normal size for dish towels and I've seen it advertised in an even finer size.  The drape would be good for towels too.  But I opted for safety this time and got a mixture of cotton and linen.  It's a little hairy but the towels I've seen made from it are beautiful and apparently never wear out.  I expect I was thinking microfiber which is suede-like and not shiny at all.                                                                  rjf

      1. 77pc | | #3

        I have used tencel to make pants and jackets.  It drapes like rayon but when wet, it has the hand of cardboard!  After time in the dryer on low heat, it becomes soft again.  Dish towels would not be worth your time.

        1. rjf | | #4

          Thanks for the review.  It seems strange that something soft and drapey would turn to cardboard when wet but when I did a chenille scarf, the same thing happened! rjf

        2. marijke | | #5

          You put tencel in the dryer??? I have a few things (some made, some purchased) out of tencel and always line dry them. They become softer when dry, but I usually iron a little, too (from the inside). Tencel has a nice hand, but it fades more than cotton -- at least in my experience, which is with very dark fabrics.

          1. rjf | | #6

            Somehow I keep thinking tencel is like microfiber, drapey and suedey.  No one so far sounds as if they're really enamoured of it.  But in the meantime, I'm weaving towels with a linen-cotton combo called "cottolin" that I hear just gets better with use.   rjf

          2. carolfresia | | #7

            I love my Tencel pants; they are sort of sueded looking and have quite a bit of drape. When they come out of the washing machine, though, they're pretty stiff--a trip through the dryer brings them back to their nice, soft hand. Mine are in a very dark charcoal--picked deliberately because it really looks like faded black. If figured if I started out with a faded-looking color, I wouldn't notice or care if they kept on fading over time. So far, no pilling or anything, either.


          3. joress | | #8

            Do you find Tencel to be hot or sticky to wear in humidity? I'm always so comfortable in 100% cotton. I think rayon is a little sticky in humid weather, though everyone thinks it's great in the summer. What has been your experience?

          4. carolfresia | | #9

            Well, we've had no hot days since I've made these pants, alas! But I don't think they will be sticky. THey're a somewhat weighty twill, and feel more like a very heavy silk/cotton blend than anything.


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