Lyocell – what kind of fabric, history of creation, advantages and disadvantages, application and properties

The content of the article

In order to make the right choice when buying linen with the Lyocell label, it is advisable to have information about lyocell – what kind of fabric donated by the textile industry to bedding manufacturers in 1988 and created from cellulose fiber as an alternative to highly environmentally friendly natural materials. If the product is made from raw materials obtained by chemical means, strong arguments are required to win in the fight against an analogue of natural origin.

What is lyocell

Relatively recently invented artificial material can rightfully be called a product of nanotechnology. In the manufacture of lyocell, organic synthesis of cellulose extracted from eucalyptus fibers with N-methylmorpholine N-oxide is carried out. The fiber obtained by chemical means is characterized by high strength, wear resistance, and is used in the manufacture of cables, protective covers, automobile filters. Safe to use, widely used by light industry for the manufacture of summer clothes, underwear, children’s clothes.

History of creation

The evolution of scientific knowledge from the discovery of cellulose to the creation of lyocell lasted 1.5 centuries. The French scientist Anselm Payen in 1838 for the first time announced the existence of a white solid organic compound having molecules similar to long unbranched chains. It turned out that this substance is the basis of various plant fibers, including cotton. After 54 years, the method of manufacturing cellulose from wood was patented, and after another 95 years, cellulose itself became the basis of an elite fabric, not inferior in quality to cotton, silk, wool.

Fabric trademarks

The largest manufacturer of textiles and clothing in the UK was Courtaulds, founded in 1794 by cousins ​​George Courthold and Peter Taylor. In 1904, in order to reduce dependence on natural raw materials, the company acquired patents for the production of artificial silk from cellulose. The material obtained by dissolving wood pulp in a soft cooxidant is called Tencel. Today the production is located in the USA, carried out by Lenzing, and Tencel is one of the most famous commercial names for lyocell..

At the World Exhibition of Viscose Silk 1900 D.I. Mendeleev proposed to produce artificial fibers in Russia, after which a small production was created in Mytishchi near Moscow. Today, the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Polymer Fibers (VNIIIPV), based on this plant, produces lyocell, known under the brand name Orcel.

Light green lyocell fabric

Lyocell production

A significant advantage of Lyocell over viscose is safe production. A mild oxidizing agent that dissolves wood to produce cellulose is non-toxic, does not decompose into harmful substances during production, and has no harmful waste. Schematically, the production chain of lyocell production can be divided into four stages:

  • Eucalyptus cellulose dissolution:
  1. the wood is crushed to form a powder;
  2. the resulting powder is diluted with methylmorpholine oxide;
  3. the mixture is heated to 100 degrees Celsius;
  4. the hot solution is placed in a bath for cooling and precipitation;
  • Solution filtration;
  • The formation of tissue is carried out in two stages:
  1. the fibers are pulled in the longitudinal direction;
  2. carry out desolvation and crystallization of the fibers to obtain the finished yarn;
  • Subsequent processing dyeing, drying, plain weaving, etc..

Unique fabric properties

Lyocell combines the best qualities of natural and artificial materials, and this could not but affect the cost. Products with 100% content are classified as expensive, therefore, products in which lyocell is combined with elastane at different percentages are more marketed. The properties possessed by lyocell tissue are impressive:

  • increased strength: does not break when exposed to strong in dry and wet condition;
  • high density of fabric provides high wear resistance;
  • hygroscopicity: absorbs moisture well, quickly evaporates it during drying;
  • hypoallergenic: fiber structure prevents the accumulation of dust, the appearance of bacteria;
  • high degree of breathability: the fabric “breathes”, helping to maintain normal body temperature in hot weather;

Advantages and disadvantages of lyocell

The demand for lyocell products is constantly growing, this is easily explained: the material is beautiful, convenient to use, more practical than many cotton fabrics, strong, useful and durable. Many of its beneficial properties are inherited from eucalyptus, from the wood of which it is made. The list of its advantages significantly exceeds the list of disadvantages, these include:

  • pleasant to touch, comfortable to use;
  • retains its original appearance, shiny surface for a long time;
  • presented in a wide range of colors, resistant to washing;
  • stretches well, fitting the figure;
  • maintains its shape during operation for a long time;
  • does not form pellets, it is easily ironed by steam;
  • has bactericidal properties;
  • does not cause allergies.

Lyocell bedding

The disadvantages include:

  • high price;
  • when washing gives a little shrinkage;
  • the ability to absorb moisture is not always a virtue.

Material application

Having information about what lyocell is good for, what kind of fabric it is, what are the main properties of the fiber, it’s time to figure out what areas find application for this material. Initially, a silk-like fabric with excellent consumer qualities was in demand only in the manufacture of clothing. The spectacular appearance of the canvas after applying bright thematic prints suggested the idea of ​​producing luxury bedding from eucalyptus yarn. After some time, Lyocell fiber began to be used as a pillow filler, blankets.

Lyocell bedding

A cloth made of eucalyptus fibers is a material that has a consumer look like silk, and strength – like cotton. This circumstance laid the foundation for its use in the production of luxury bedding. Lyocell sleeping sets are practical, can withstand a large number of washings without loss of quality, appearance. They are soft, delicate, silky, slightly cooling and, importantly, hypoallergenic. The cost of such linen is high, but products combining eucalyptus fibers with cotton or silk are quite affordable.

Lyocell filler in pillows and blankets

The hypoallergenicity and bactericidal effect possessed by eucalyptus fibers is the main reason for using them as a filler for bedding. Pillows, blankets, mattresses with lyocell for a long time retain their shape, elasticity, do not slip, let air through. They do not form pathogenic microflora, this is a great option for people suffering from allergies. To reduce the cost of such products, they use filler from a mixture of eucalyptus fibers and holofiber.


Lyocell is most widely used in the manufacture of garments. Products from it are softer than from natural materials, they stretch, hold their shape well, and spools do not form on them. The range of garments made from yarn of eucalyptus fibers is wide – from baby bathrobes to evening dresses and costumes. The high strength of the material allows the production of men’s and women’s trousers and jeans. Turtlenecks and polo shirts made from eucalyptus fiber yarn are very popular. Products serve for a long time, hygienic, undemanding in care.

Lyocell dress

Lyocell Care Rules

Lyocell is resistant to mechanical damage, but still should not be tested for strength. Observing the simple rules for washing, ironing, and storage, you can maintain the elasticity and shape of clothes, the elasticity of the pillow filler, and the color of bedding in excellent condition for many years. Here are the basic rules for caring for products and lyocell:

  • Long-term storage should be dry. Lyocell is hygroscopic, therefore, being in a humid place can contribute to the formation of mold.
  • To avoid color loss and reduce the percentage of shrinkage, the product is washed manually or by a washing machine in delicate mode. When spinning, the minimum speed mode is activated.
  • Ironing with strong heating of the iron is not allowed, maximum heating – silk mode.
  • Pillows filled with eucalyptus fiber require periodic ventilation and air drying, better in the sun.
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