What is Lyocell Yarn? Details that You Haven’t Heard Before

Md Mahedi Hasan

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Looking for a cotton substitute in any synthetic fiber is a daunting task. Thanks to Lyocell Yarn for being the sustainable fiber out there to get utilized fully!

What is Lyocell Yarn?

Lyocell Yarn refers to the plant based textile fiber type that comes from wood pulp. Lyocell is processed with other synthetic substances. Therefore, lyocell is not natural nor all synthetic yarn. It’s in the middle; Semi Synthetic Fiber. It is not a natural fiber like the most popular one-cotton. Instead, Lyocell has properties of being semi-synthetic. Being an American Enka Origin, this yarn has been receiving immense popularity since the late 20th century.

Figure: Lyocell Fiber and Lyocell Yarn
Figure: Lyocell Fiber and Lyocell Yarn

Although the yarn seems sustainable, there is the question of its benefits to the environment. Sometimes, these yarns are well-recognized to be the form of rayon where the closed-loop system helps to recycle the components. For its soft touch, high absorbent ability, robustness, and pilling resistance, this yarn receives the expected appreciation in the textile industry.

What is Lyocell Yarn Made of?

In the most basic sense, this lyocell yarn is a complete package of cellulose components from wood. In the manufacturing process, the hardwood oak and birch break down and get loaded in a digester made of chemicals.

Lyocell Yarn Manufacturing Process
Lyocell Yarn Manufacturing Process

This step is the one that softens the chips and transforms them into pulp. Water is well-used here for washing with a certain amount of bleach to sanitize. They get dried in sheets where the sheets take the form of squares. Filtering is the process where cellulose mainly dissolves into a transparent liquid to make thin fibers. Drying with applying lubricant helps the fibers to get shaped. After the carding process of ordering strands, these fibers get turned up in the finished products.

Lyocell Yarn & Its Revolutionized Properties

Lyocell yarn, made from cellulose, is mostly available in plants. The spinning cellulose process where fibers get shaped up into yarns has been only possible because of its properties. They are:

i. Moisture-Absorbance Ability:

This yarn tends to be hydrophilic. It absorbs moisture and makes it a perfect deal to be utilized in regular clothes.

ii. Anti-Bacterial:

The yarn also possesses an anti-bacterial property. This feature makes the yarn resistant to odor or any kind of bacterial growth.

iii. Resistant to Pilling

The yarn comes up with the prevention ability to pill that scorch the protruding loose fibers.

Can Lyocell Yarn replace Cotton?

The lyocell yarn tends to be soft to the point where it becomes difficult to explain between the fabric and the cotton. The bold and strong features with pilling resistance have surely taken the first step to overcoming cotton. It is positively assumed that the yarn is a sustainable alternative to cotton-like fabric because of its features of being soft, moisture-wicking ability, and breathability.

Difference between Lyocell vs Cotton
Difference between Lyocell vs Cotton

Lyocell yarn is also a suitable alternative to environmentally friendly products. The use of a closed-loop process has made it easier for the yarn to be created with degrading byproducts. Also, to grow cotton, there is a requirement of using water, fertilizer, and pesticides. In the case of Lyocell, there is no such need!

Advantages Lyocell Yarn

In case of benefits, Lyocell yarn makes sure to provide you optimum freedom to choose the correct fabric type. For instance:

  1. The yarn is eco-friendly and made of sustainable wood pulp.
  2. A great choice for biodegradable-conscious consumers.
  3. Does not cause you to waste fabrics.
  4. A perfect yarn for sensitive skin.
  5. Easy to care for.
  6. Requirement of low maintenance.
  7. Not only does it benefit you, but also it benefits the environment.

Application of Lyocell Yarn

Fabrics made with Lyocell yarn can be useful for any kind of making. For instance:

  • Clothes: The application of Lyocell depends on making dresses, even towels.
  • Commercial: Conveyor belts are last-longer as they are lyocell-fabric parts created.
  • Medical: Medical dressings are one of the areas of its use.
  • Filtration: For filtration material, this yarn is an especially useful component alternative.


How Sustainable Lyocell Yarn is?

Sustainability has no such rating to prove. All of it depends on how the yarn has been sourced. Mostly, Lyocell yarn is available in forests, especially in eucalyptus trees. Also, the manufacturing details keep the yarn sustainable if there is no use of harmful chemicals. So far, it is predictable that the yarn is a sustainable alternative.

Are Lyocell, rayon, and viscose the same yarn?

No, these 3 are completely different yarns. The only similarity is that these 3 are cellulose fibers-made yarn. Differences are mostly in each of their manufacturing processes. lyocell requires a closed-loop model whereas the rayon goes through only the chemical process of dissolving the wood pulp. On the other hand, viscose requires dissolution in chemical solvents.

Which brands use Lyocell in Sustainable Products?

Sustainable brands are committed to reducing emissions. Also, brands now focus less on the packaging, they prefer minimal packaging with plastic-free components. Some of our sustainable brands make the best use of Lyocell. They are:
1. Patagonia
2. Prana
3. Reformation
4. Ettitude.


Global Lyocell Fiber Market 2018-2022
Global Lyocell Fiber Market 2018-2022

To this changing pattern of customer demand for more sustainable brands, Lyocell yarn takes the comfort zone most out of the trend. It is a go-to solution if there is no room for fabrics like cotton, rayon, or any other. Days are not too far when Lyocell will be replacing the natural material fabrics and replacing itself with synthetic comfort for wear.  

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