Sustainable Fabric Guide: What is TENCEL™ Fabric?

Toddler standing up on a bed wearing white clothing.

Learn why TENCEL™ Lyocell is a sustainable fabric that is setting a new standard of eco-friendly comfort and style.

TENCEL™ is a high-quality plant-based fabric gaining popularity in the space of sustainable clothing. And we totally understand why—it’s normal for parents to want the best of the best for their babies. In fact, we’re right there with you! That is why we were determined to find the most comfortable and sustainable fabric for little ones. 

After much research and trial and error, we knew we finally found “the one” with TENCEL™ fabric. Thanks to its ability to provide both lightweight breathability and silky soft comfort, among many other benefits, it was a clear top choice. We made our signature TierraLuxe™  fabric with Tencel fibers to craft a collection of sustainable styles that look and feel great while minimizing the environmental impact. 

However, you may be wondering the same as many other earth-loving parents seeking top-quality items: why is TENCEL™ a good material for baby clothes? Is it sustainable? Durable? Is it worth the price? While it’s our personal favorite, is it really better than organic cotton and bamboo, classic crowd favorites? (Spoiler alert: yes.) 

Knowing that you already have your hands full, we’re here to guide you through your biggest questions about this sustainable fabric. Learn all about eco-friendly TENCEL™ Lyocell fabric so you can feel confident and empowered as you shop for the best sustainable options for your Little Sprouts.

Tencel-Lyocell-fabric

What is Tencel Fabric?

Tencel, also known as Lyocell, is a sustainably produced plant-based fiber often harvested from the wood of eucalyptus trees and made by utilizing innovative science and eco-friendly technology. However, Tencel fibers can also come from oak, birch, or spruce trees. Once harvested, the wood is combined with an organic solvent to help break the wood down into a pulp that can be spun into a silky soft fabric perfect for children’s clothing, bedding,intimate apparel and of course, cuddles. 

When combined with other popular textiles, such as spandex, cotton, polyester, and wool, Tencel fabric becomes a versatile option without sacrificing sustainability, style, or comfort.

What are TENCEL™ Lyocell Fibers?


Tencel, Lyocell, TENCEL™Lyocell—what’s the difference? The truth is, not much. However, TENCEL™ is the leading—and most trusted—brand of Lyocell in the market and is owned by the Austrian company Lenzing AG. While there are many different types of lyocell, we craft our TierraLuxe™ fabric with TENCEL™ branded lyocell to ensure top quality. 

Lenzing AG produces both Tencel lyocell and Tencel modal, two different types of Tencel fibers (1). While both lyocell and modal fibers are sustainable and soft options, Tencel uses the latest and most advanced technology and sustainable processes to create a durable, absorbent, and soft product. Additionally, compared to modal fibers and other textiles, Tencel lyocell is produced using one organic solvent versus various harsher chemical ones. Therefore, Tencel comes out on top as a better option for people and the environment. 

Regardless, at its core, Lenzing AG is committed to environmentally responsible processes utilizing the newest technology at every step of Lyocell fiber production (2). When you purchase products that use TENCEL™ Lyocell, you know you are purchasing a top fabric crafted with strict sustainability standards in mind, every step of the way.

Is TENCEL™ Sustainable? 

TENCEL™ fibers create a highly sustainable fabric thanks to Lenzing’s strict eco-conscious standards throughout every phase of the production process. It all starts with the sustainable sourcing of materials. Then, Lenzing uses various innovative technologies, including REFIBRA™ technology, to reduce resource and energy use while creating a top-notch fabric (3). 

Between its botanical origins and low-resource use during production, you could argue Tencel is at the top of the list as one of the most sustainable fabrics on the textile industry and the market. It is even certified BioPreferred® by the US Department of Agriculture. 

Overall, the production of TENCEL™ fabric requires less energy and water and uses fewer chemicals than other popular fabrics, such as cotton or viscose. Even the few chemicals that are used in the process to create Tencel fabric are non-toxic and organic.

How is TENCEL™ made?

The production of TENCEL™ Lyocell starts by harvesting wood from eucalyptus, oak, birch, or spruce trees on sustainably managed forests and plantations (4). Once harvested, the wood is combined with an organic solvent to help break the wood down into a pulpy substance before being transformed into regenerated cellulosic fibers. These fibers are then spun into soft, sustainable styles like those we create at Cuddle Sprouts. 

The fibers are produced using an award-winning closed-loop process. Recognized for its high resource efficiency, this process recovers 99% of the water and non-toxic solvents used during production. The collected byproducts are then recycled and reused to create new fibers. 

In other words, TENCEL™ fabric doesn’t create harmful by-products that are released into the environment, which can’t be said for other popular fabrics, like organic cotton or viscose. In fact, thanks to their botanical origin, pure TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers are entirely compostable and biodegradable. Therefore, if anything were left behind, it would simply become one with the earth again.  

Despite its botanical origins, Tencel is technically manmade. Therefore, it cannot be classified as 100% natural. However, it is not completely synthetic, either. Regardless, this doesn’t take away from the fact that TENCEL™Lyocell is a sustainable fabric that is better for Little Sprouts and the planet.

What is tencel fabric and why is tencel a good material for baby clothing

Why is TENCEL™ Fabric a Good Material for Baby Clothes?

Tencel fabric is a good material for baby clothes thanks to its lightweight, breathable, temperature-regulating properties, long-lasting durability, and silky soft comfort. It’s also extremely gentle on sensitive and eczema-prone skin common in babies and young children. In other words, TENCEL™ Lyocell sets a new standard on comfort, style, and sustainability for baby and children’s fashion and bedding. 

There is so much to love about TENCEL™ Lyocell, making it a widely used fabric for various products and purposes. However, at Cuddle Sprouts, we love how TENCEL™ empowers eco-conscious mamas to cuddle their Little Sprouts with options that reflect their values and lifestyle. We craft our TierraLuxe™ fabric with TENCEL™ Lyocell as a way to provide mamas with a sustainable option for their Littles without skimping on quality, design, or comfort.

TENCEL™ Fabric is Naturally Silky Soft.

TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers create one of the softest sustainable fabrics on the market, making for comfortable and cozy options for your Little Sprouts. And, yes, we can confirm that Tencel feels as silky and soft as it looks. 

The fabric’s cozy yet cool-to-the-touch silkiness ensures children experience the utmost comfort any time of year. Wrapping your baby in clothing and blankets made with Tencel is like wrapping them in a hug—filled with love, warmth, and comfort. 

However, softness is only scratching the surface of the benefits of  TENCEL™ Lyocell. There are several other reasons you’re sure to love fabrics made with TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers, like our TierraLuxe™ fabric,  for your Little Sprout. And chances are, you have a few questions up your sleeve. 

But don’t worry—we have just the answers you’re looking for.

Tencel Fabric is Highly Breathable.

Tencel fabric is naturally breathable, making it a perfect option for a good night’s sleep or an active adventure. While cotton traps heat and moisture, Tencel fabric is made from small hydrophilic fibers that create optimal breathability and moisture-wicking properties. When combined, these properties create an unfavorable environment for bacterial growth and undesirable odors, making it optimal for sensitive skin. 

This breathability combined with lightweight comfort ensures better airflow, so your Little Sprout will stay cool and comfortable without the risk of overheating all through the night. Tencel’s superior moisture-wicking capabilities mean saying goodbye to sleep-disrupting night sweats for your little one. You can sleep well knowing your baby is comfortably snuggled up and sleeping soundly.

Tencel is Durable.

Don’t let this fabric’s lightweight breathability fool you. Tencel fabric is highly durable, offering long-lasting comfort, adventure, and cuddles. Tencel fibers are stronger and more durable than those of other popular fabrics, like cotton, bamboo, and linen. That means Tencel fabric can provide longer-lasting comfort and quality. 

While Tencel has a natural elasticity, it can be combined with other fabrics, like spandex, for optimal stretch, perfect fit, and long-lasting comfort.

Tencel Fabric is Gentle and Safe for Sensitive Skin.

At Cuddle Sprouts, we understand the importance of gentle fabrics for baby clothing and products. While TENCEL™ fabric is gentle on all skin types, the organic solvents used in production make it safe for even the most sensitive skin, like that of the littlest Sprouts. 

Tencel fabric isn’t just safe for sensitive skin, but it is also naturally hypoallergenic. Additionally, the fabric is free from toxic chemicals, so you don’t have to worry about exposing your Little Sprout to harsh additives and harmful solvents for the sake of style.


How Does Tencel Compare to Other Popular Fabrics?

Tencel is a superior option in comparison to popular fabrics like cotton, silk, and bamboo. Compared to cotton, TENCEL™ fabric provides better absorption and moisture-wicking, creating a comfortably cool environment, ideal for  sleep (5). Tencel is also more breathable and durable while offering more effective temperature-regulating properties than both cotton and bamboo. And, thanks to its silk-like texture, it’s naturally the softest option among the three. Tencel is even softer than silk itself—talk about luxurious comfort! However, the best part about Tencel’s comfort factor is that it only gets softer with every wash. 

The bottom line? While there are various options in the world of baby and children’s clothing, our signature TierraLuxe™ fabric made with TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers is a better choice for your Little Sprouts and the environment.


From Our Family to Yours, Thank You


In a modern world where convenience is replacing quality and sustainability, we thank you for taking a stand and doing your part in planting the seeds for change and being a conscious consumer. 

At Cuddle Sprouts, TENCEL™ Lyocell has helped us find the sweet spot where sustainability and style meet. We love it. Our Little Sprouts love it. We’re confident you and your littles will love it too. 

Our collection of Tencel products comes in various sizes and styles to provide sustainable fashion and comfort to Little Sprouts of all ages.

Shop our Play, Sleep, Bundles, and Nursery collections. 

Reference Links

  1. TENCEL™, About Tencel Fibers
  2. Lenzing, Sustainability Goals
  3. Lenzing, What is TENCEL™?
  4. TENCEL™, Fiber Story 
  5. Sleep Foundation, Tencel vs. Cotton Sheets

1 comment

I didn’t have idea what was Tencel and the great benefits of this fabric. Great post!

Anonymous

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