Cotton is a traditional fibre that’s been around since forever. Well, about 8,000 years anyway, when prehistoric communities in India first figured out how to harvest it, spin it and fashion it into rudimentary clothing. Then came the ancient Egyptians, then came the cotton gin, and the rest is history.
Cotton hasn’t had much in the way of challengers since its inception (silk maybe, but polyester, no way!). Then, with the 21st century, came the advancement of microfiber technology. Previously unattainable using traditional means, microfibers meant that you could fit more fabric into a tighter weave, simultaneously increasing strength and breathability. Lyocell is the newest in this tech-fibre development.
Lyocell is a brand name for a natural fibre fabric product produced by Lenzing AG, who are headquartered in Austria. It’s a natural fabric made out of cellulose from wood, specifically eucalyptus trees, which have special properties other trees don’t have. Lyocell was first developed in 1972 and used for clothing; it’s a fairly new innovation to the bedsheet market.
Is Lyocell a sustainable nature fibre?
Lyocell is made with wood fibres sourced from sustainably-managed plantation forests. That’s why it’s so popular with eco-aware people who insist on sustainability. It has an environmentally- responsible production process that involves transforming wood pulp into cellulosic fibres. This is done in a way that that supports high resource efficiency and low environmental impact. Lyocellis as natural as cotton, but it’s made with a fraction of the resources. The process of making Lyocell requires much less energy and water than cotton. As a naturally derived fibre, Lyocell is also fully biodegradable, so you can compost any item made from Lyocell.
While the solvents used to turn the eucalyptus pulp into fibre are made using petrochemicals, a closed loop production process ensures the solvent is recycled time and time again to minimise harmful waste and emissions. Lenzing Group says their solvent recovery rate is 99%. Another benefit of Lyocell is how easily it can be dyed. Lyocell requires less dye product than cotton to become the desired colour, which keeps production costs lower and, again, uses fewer natural resources.
Why buy cotton Lyocell sheets?
Lenzing AG received a European Award for the Environment from the European Union for developing a process called REFIBRA™, which involves upcycling cotton scraps and combining them with wood pulp to produce new virgin TENCEL™ Lyocell fibres for garments and home products.
When you buy Lyocell cotton sheets, also called Lyocell lyocell sheets, you get sleeping luxury that’s environmentally responsible. Lyocell cotton sheets feel soft to touch, but they’re remarkably durable. They also wick moisture away from your body - great on hot, sweaty nights.
To quote a textile expert: “It is observed that the addition of Lyocell increases single yarn strength significantly at the higher Lyocell composition. Presence of Lyocell improves the elongation property. Packing fraction of Lyocell and Lyocell blended yarn is found to be more than that of cotton. Swelling diameter of pure cotton yarn is found to be lower than those of pure Lyocell and Lyocell/cotton blend yarns. Hairiness (H) decreases with the addition of Lyocell in the blend”. [Indian Journal of Fibre & Textile Research Vol. 39, September 2014].
If you’re not exactly what sure what this expert is really saying, here’s our summary: Lyocell cotton is stronger that pure cotton, packs more threads per square centimetre than cotton and feels softer to touch. If you haven’t yet tried Lyocell bed sheets, they’re our specialty.