Artificial fibres were until about 1990 the poor relation among man-made fibres, but the ecology movement has since helped them make a comeback in textile applications. Courtaulds Research of the UK has developed Tencel, a new cellulose biodegradable artificial raw material, made by a chemically simple production process, whose performance at least equals that of traditional viscose fibres. Tencel has all the properties of natural fibres, including good moisture absorbency, comfort and brightness, making it suitable for leisure and sportswear, with better drape effects in fashionwear than cotton gives. The fibre strength enables finer yarns and more lightweight fabrics to be made. For technical fabrics, Tencel's strength, rigidity and wet modulus produce very strong structures with low shrinkage; applications include industrial yarns, disposables and durable goods. Like viscose rayon, Tencel can produce bright, intense colours. Courtaulds is now operating an industrial-scale Tencel plant in Alabama, USA. The article provides graphs and statistics showing fibre properties.
Bullio P G., Nuova Sel. Tess., no. 9, Sept. 1992, pp 38-41