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For everyday fashion pieces such as shirts and dresses, TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers are typically coveted for the lustrous look they provide fabrics, a property commonly associated with fabrics such as silk. Denim, however, is a different story. With denim, there has always been a preference for soft, yet matte fabrics – a look reminiscent of the roots of this timeless textile, once used as factory workwear.
That’s why, for denim manufacturers, the launch of matte TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers in 2021 presented the solution, marrying the natural softness that partners have come to love about TENCEL™ fibers with a less shiner, lusterless aesthetic. “These days, we receive demand from brands for fabrics styles that have both a vintage denim aesthetic and a soft-flowing hand, all while retaining sustainability benefits.” said Mark Ix, Director North American Marketing at Advance Denim. “Matte TENCEL™ fibers are an innovation which address these requirements from all directions.”
“This fiber reduces the shine in final fabric by scattering light, resulting in a more authentic looking denim fabric, while retaining the original soft and luxurious properties of TENCEL™ fibers.” said Sabur Iftikhar Qureshi, General Manager Marketing at Artistic Fabric Mills, while Ali Kazmi of SM Denim Mills Pakistan added, “TENCEL™ Lyocell’s matte variant has a cotton-like look which adds great value to the cotton loving market out there. They enable the high-level of comfort that standard TENCEL™ Lyocell is known for, all while providing a deep and lustre-less appearance to fabrics.”
There is no denying that vintage-style denim has made a recent comeback, and yet, it’s constant material innovation and updated practices that makes the fabric a cultural mainstay, especially as issues of environmental responsibility and circularity come into play. That’s why collaboration across the supply chain has always been part of Lenzing’s mission to encourage wider adoption of botanic fibers within textiles and, likewise, working closely with mill partners has provided a crucial perspective into how certain fibers are optimized for the yarn and fabric-making process.
In response to the popularity of matte TENCEL™ fibers, Lenzing is set to unveil a specially curated “Matte TENCEL™ Denim Capsule Collection” at Kingpins Amsterdam this October. “This latest collection is a result of our ongoing collaboration with 13 mill partners across different regions and aims to expand upon our initial launch for greater design versatility, bringing cotton-like denim aesthetics to an even greater range of fabric application.” said Tuncay Kilickan, Head of Global Business Development, Denim. “Together with our partners, we explored the use of matte TENCEL™ fibers in heavier fabric constructions and compositions of 40% and more, which gave us stunning results with final fabrics delivering higher opaqueness and less sheen than ever.”
Kilickan continued, “Our initial focus was set on lightweight fabrics for women’s denim pieces. However, by continuing our R&D, we were able to go a step further, now also capturing the menswear segment where shine as a feature is even less sought out.”
“The introduction of 40% matte TENCEL™ in final fabrics greatly enhances their softness, while simultaneously reducing shine when compared to conventional TENCEL™ fibers. This transformation brings out the authentic character of the fabric in its purest form. As a result, the overall product exudes a premium, authentic denim look, perfectly capturing the original jeans aesthetic.” said Intizar Ali, General Manager Research & Business Development, US Denim Mills.
Panther Denim and its subsidiary Tat Fung Textile have also leveraged the expanded possibilities of matte TENCEL™ fibers, identifying key growth areas the fibers have helped them tap into, among which include the men’s segment while mill firm Crescent Bahuman pointed to gender-neutral collections trends as another reason to utilize the matte fibers.
Fiber innovation is a two-way street and for Lenzing’s mill partners, increasing the design versatility of cellulosic fibers such as TENCEL™ fibers is important, given the growing number of conscious consumers. “The reduced shine of matte TENCEL™ fibers help produce denim fabrics with a more natural, cotton-like aesthetic, yet they retain all the same features and environmental benefits typical of standard TENCEL™ Lyocell. It has helped us appeal to consumers seeking authentic looking, yet responsible denim.” Said Nauman Ahmad, General Manager Product Development at Indigo Textiles.
The inherent environmental benefit of TENCEL™ fibers, due to its closed-loop production process is another reason mill partners love its matte variant – which utilizes the same responsible practices- for denim fabrics with less shine. “Due to the closed loop process the production of matte TENCEL™ fibers reduces the amount of waste involved, which contributes to the overall sustainability of the denim fabrics,” said Ali Tekin, Research and Development Director at AGI Denim. Adding to this, Ashish Bhatnagar, Senior Vice President & Marketing Head at LNJ Denim said, “There are sustainability benefits to using a TENCEL™ product as opposed to conventional cotton.”
Arsal Kassim, Creative Director of Kassim Denim added, “The fibers are also highly receptive to various dyes and finishes. They can be efficiently dyed, allowing [us] to achieve all kinds of desired colors or shades while also reducing production time and resource consumption.”
When it comes to implementing the fibers, Matteo Vallarsa from Bhaskar Denim said, “Matte TENCEL™ fibers are easy for fabric mills to adopt.” And like conventional TENCEL™ Lyocell, its matte variant is celebrated as a blending fiber type in fabrics for its functional properties, on top of aesthetics. “The remarkable versatility of TENCEL™ fibers allows us to use it as both functional and luxury-enhancing fiber in fabric developments.” said Faisal Yaqub, AGM Business Development, Naveen Denim.
“Material innovation is at the heart of the denim business,” Mr. Junaid Safdar, Chief Operating Officer, BEXIMCO added. “Our work with the TENCEL™ team embodies this, and showcases the possibilities of design, fabric application and circularity at every turn.”
Images related to the announcement can be downloaded from here.