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Tencel: a New Eco-Friendly Option
Polyester is a sturdy fiber, but comes from a non-sustainable source that is chemically questionable. That's why the conventional comforters sold at big box stores are no good.
Wood is an abundant natural resource, and Eucalpytus trees in particular have a high sustainability index. In addition to bamboo, a natural bedding material called Tencel has become popular in recent years. Developed by the Lenzing Group in Austria, Tencel™ is the branded name for lyocell - a fiber derived from cellulose found in wood pulp of Eucalyptus trees.
The standard polyester comforters you find at big box stores is made of sturdy fiber, but comes form a non-sustainable source that is chemically questionable.
The Manufacturing Process
Eucalyptus trees (a self-sustaining plant) are harvested and crushed
Wood chips are dissolved with chemical solvent NMNO* to produce wet pulp mixture
Mixture pushed through small holes in a spinneret, forming threads
Threads are washed
Fibers are spun into yarn
Yarns chopped to form crimped fibers (for stuffing) or dyed and woven into fabric
NMNO is retrieved from water, purified, reused in 99% closed-loop process
*Nitrogen-Methylmorpholine Nitrogen-Oxide, a non-toxic, biodegradable solvent
The resulting material is luxuriously soft and supple to the touch, as well as antimicrobial and breathable. At this point, you may be thinking that this sounds awfully similar to bamboo fabric. Both are biodegradable wood-based fibers made with eco-conscious production.
What is different about Tencel?
Tencel is distinctly wrinkle resistant and drapes beautifully. Its absorbent qualities make it good for retaining the color dye long term, but at risk of mildew growth if not taken care of properly. The fibers crimp, meaning they bunch up and result in higher bulkiness when stuffed into comforters.
Tencel is recommended as a more premium alternative to bamboo, or as an eco-friendly alternative to down. Here at MyOrganicSleep, check out our Tencel Comforter with Organic Cotton covering for the finest sleep imaginable.