Athletic clothing that lives up to the market’s performance expectations certainly requires expert garment design. However, it’s innovative fabric design that distinguishes the very best athleticwear. Tencel Lyocell fibers offer a high value botanic enhancement when blended with synthetic fibers, which results in the performance and comfort athletes demand.
Lenzing specially constructs Tencel Lyocell fibers for optimal moisture management, easily the key benefit athletic apparel can provide. The fiber’s internal structure consists of microfibrils that form a canal network to efficiently absorb moisture. These canals help distribute that moisture over a greater surface area, which can lead to faster drying times and keep the athlete more comfortable.
Athletic wear comfort is also strongly influenced by the close contact of skin and fabric, contact that is intensified by physical activity. Tencel Lyocell botanic fibers are incredibly soft to the touch. That’s because the fibers have a very smooth surface as we’ve confirmed in the lab with an electron microscope. That smoothness makes fabrics feel softer and less abrasive against the skin at the molecular level.
Body temperature regulation is another decisive comfort factor for athletic apparel. During physical activity in warm climates, the fibers’ superior moisture management contributes significantly to effective body temperature regulation by keeping the skin cooler and drier. This same moisture management benefit is equally important for comfort in cold climate activities because keeping the skin dry reduces body heat loss and offsets chilling. The athlete experiences the same thermal comfort benefits while at rest, too.
The specially constructed Tencel Lyocell fiber surface remains dry even when the air humidity is high. This positively affects the fabric’s electrostatic behavior, which also has an impact on athlete comfort. We measured the tendency of a fabric made with Tencel Lyocell fibers to collect electrostatic charges. In comparison to polyester fabrics, which generate permanent electrostatic fields, a fabric made with Tencel Lyocell fibers does not display this behavior under normal atmospheric conditions.
What’s more, Tencel Lyocell botanic fibers offer a hygiene benefit that increases an athlete’s sense of well-being. Because of its outstanding moisture management, in comparison to polyester and other synthetics, Tencel Lyocell provides a less hospitable environment for bacterial growth and its unpleasant aspects.
The comprehensive technical requirements for today’s athletic apparel are a considerable challenge for apparel and fabric designers. Tencel presents a botanic solution that instills natural comfort and performance benefits with their carefully designed structure and exceptionally smooth surface.
Brands in the athleisure category also embrace Tencel fibers. The performance benefits are important to them but the fashion benefits make the fibers particularly relevant in this category, which is designed for every day wear and moderate exercise. Tencel fibers enable highly saturated colors, attractive sheen, and, again, that incredibly smooth hand.
We care very much at Lenzing about making outstanding products. However, we also care very much about how we manufacture those products and the impact our processes have on people and planet. The raw materials for Tencel branded Lyocell fibers are derived from sustainable wood sources and are produced using a highly efficient, closed loop production process that is environmentally responsible. With Tencel Lyocell fibers, we can offer it all—performance, comfort, beauty and sustainability.
Andreas Gurtler is head of business development for the activewear segment at the Lenzing AG Headquarters and has been with the company for over 14 years. He provides vast experience in active wear and outdoor apparel innovations and technology.