Denmark-based Novozymes and Austria’s Lenzing last week announced they had paired up to create Tencel CombiPolish, a new treatment that results in smooth, gentle textiles.
The treatment combines Lenzing’s Tencel lyocell fibers with Novozymes’ biopolishing process. Under their agreement, Tencel fibers will go through the biopolishing process to create what both companies believe to be exceptionally high-quality textiles.
The innovation comes at a time when consumers are increasingly demanding more organic and sustainable materials.
To make Tencel, lyocell fibers—which are close in quality to long-staple cotton—are extracted from wood. Textiles made of 50 percent Tencel and 50 percent cotton are generally strong and breathable, making the fabric highly attractive to consumers.
Biopolishing, meanwhile, is a process during which dead cotton and protruding fibers (which cause clothes to look fuzzy) are removed by enzymes that can be added while garments are dyed. This not only saves time for the manufacturer, but also helps the environment by saving water and energy.
Christian Wieth, Novozymes’ global marketing manager for textile, said, “Tencel is one of the most innovative and sustainable fibers available and is of exceptional quality being silky-smooth and breathable.”
He added, “We are excited to work with Lenzing, a company with similar focus on sustainable innovation, and we are delighted that our enzymes can help Tencel stay looking and feeling great for longer.”
The companies’ next step is to begin marketing the new product.