tencel–what is it?
I bought some fabric marked ‘tencel’ at a bargain table at JoAnn’s. It felt like the tencel I’d used before, so I just assumed it was rayon. But—when I went home and did the burn test, it was polyester.
Is tencel a more generic term? I always thought it was rayon, but maybe I’m wrong.
Tencel is a cellulose fiber (wood-pulp based), and is a sub-class of rayon, I believe. So if your fabric burned like polyester, then my guess is that it was mislabeled.
BTW, I don't burn things to test them, although I've always wanted to. I'm just afraid I'll set my house on fire. What I do instead is a trial by water--I just wash anything mysterious and see what happens. The less the fabric changes, the more synthetic it is, usually.
The burn test as described in Claire Shaeffer's Fabric Guide is really easy and I think foolproof. Of course I only use a small scrap of fabric and do it either over my stainless steel kitchen sink or a metal pie plate.
Tencel is essentially the same ar Rayon, it is made via a 'reformulation' of the process of rayon. Rayon is made in a very very environmentaly polluting manner, and is no longer manufactured in the USA because of how polluting it is, (although it is made in Canada) Tencel is manufactured in a way that recaptures the chemicals and reuses them. That is why esp. at first it was much more expensive than rayon. Rayon and tencel are made from wood pulp - scrap wood for the most part, that is treated with chemicals to breakdown the fibers into smaller fibers that are then spun out and processed some more. (I did a report on Tencel for my Textiles class - I love the drape and feel of it, but then I like rayon too.)
JUDY, I've had some Tensel items that I loved. Then some that wrinkled like crazy. NOT travel suitable as I was led to believe. What's the difference? brenda
I don't know that I can answer that, like any fabric, tencel may have different finishes applied to it or anti-wrinkle treatments, different weaves may respond differently, rayon will generally wrinkle, but they often fall out easily. The other thing is that a couple of yrs ago, they again re-formulated the way it is made so that the fibers were even stronger and held color dyes better. perhaps this is the difference in the fabrics.
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