Tencel is considered the fiber of the future. It's a third generation fiber having the comfort of cotton but with wrinkle-free properties. The fibre has better colour retention and better shelf life. Moreover it is biodegradable. Talking about the fibre’s properties, T Murugan, General Manager, Sales, Lenzing, says, “All our products are sustainable and biodegradable. Our fibers are made from completely sustainable forests and we follow green manufacturing processes. Our manufacturing base is in Austria, Indonesia, the US and the UK.”
Lenzing USP and applications
Lenzing is a manmade cellulosic fiber. Lenzing produces three generations of cellulosic fibers: viscose, Modal and Tencel. It is used into textile and non-woven applications. In textile applications, Modal is used in making innerwear. Tencel is used for wovens like denim, shirting, home textiles and advanced applications of filters and non-wovens. It can be blended with cotton and polyester in various applications.
Tencel is a cellulosic fiber that blends well with cotton. “Even a small amount of Tencel in cotton blends, to the extent of 20 to 30 per cent and gives a huge value addition to cotton in terms of better crease recovery, shrinkage properties, durability and colour retention. This is what we are proposing, to have a minority blend of Tencel with cotton to enhance the properties of cotton,” explains Murugan.
Growth prospects and demand
“Since we work with specialties like Modal and Tencel, we are doing well. In four or five years we see a shortage of cotton. The growing population means, more land has to be allotted to food grains than cotton crop. You have an alternate source for clothing but not an alternate source for food grains. You have to grow these on land. But clothing can be made from trees growing on hills, in forests, so demand for Tencel and Modal kind of products will increase,” avers Murugan, talking about the future prospects.
Export trends for Modal and Tencel are very good. Prices of manmade cellulosic fibers remain stable. While the production of cotton is 27 million tons, production of manmade cellulosic fibers is four million tons. But demand for specialty products is on the rise.