Lyocell Fabric: Unveiling Its Sustainability and Top 5 Brands Harnessing Its Benefits

The article offers an in-depth look at how Lyocell is derived from plant-based fibers and concludes by highlighting the top five innovative brands that use this sustainable material.

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Lyocell Fabric: Unveiling Its Sustainability and Top 5 Brands Harnessing Its Benefits

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Green Hive is reader-supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. To understand our thorough approach to rating brands and products, explore our comprehensive methodology.

Welcome to the green and glorious world of sustainable fabrics, where we will shine a light on a true game-changer: lyocell fabric. Imagine a fabric that's softer than silk, as durable as polyester, and even more absorbent than cotton. Sounds like a dream, doesn't it? Yet, this isn't a dream; it's the magic of Lyocell.

Lyocell fabric, a game-changer in the sustainable fashion world, brings a fresh perspective to the textile industry with its impressive qualities and eco-friendly production process. With a rising interest in sustainable materials, understanding the unique features of lyocell and its top providers becomes increasingly crucial.

So, buckle up for a journey into the heart of sustainable fashion as we explore the benefits of lyocell fabric and its top providers, and discover how this unique textile is transforming our wardrobes and our world!

What Is Lyocell Fabric?

Lyocell is a semi-synthetic fiber made from cellulose fibers, often derived from eucalyptus trees. It's considered semi-synthetic because its production involves the transformation of natural raw materials with a solvent spinning technique.

Unlike other synthetic fibers, lyocell is made using a closed-loop system, ensuring a sustainable, environmentally-friendly process that uses minimal resources and chemicals.

Lyocell Manufacturing Process

Creating a lyocell involves a series of steps.

It starts with the harvesting of wood cellulose, mainly from eucalyptus trees.

The wood pulp is then dissolved in a non-toxic solvent, amine oxide, resulting in a thick, sticky raw cellulose solution.

This solution is pushed through small holes to form thin fibers, which are then chemically treated, spun into yarn, and woven into fabric on conveyor belts.

Unlike other cellulose fabrics like viscose rayon, the lyocell manufactured is much more environmentally friendly due to its use of a non-toxic direct solvent - amine oxide. The final result is a cellulose textile that is soft, strong, and sustainable.

Does the manufacturing process of Lyocell harm the cellulose fibers?

No, the manufacturing process of lyocell does not harm the cellulose fibers. On the contrary, the gentle cycle of the solvent spinning technique helps retain the chemical structure and physical properties of the cellulose, resulting in strong, absorbent, and durable lyocell fibers.

Lyocell Fabrics: Pros & Cons

As we navigate towards a more sustainable world, semi-synthetic fabrics like lyocell have taken center stage. Derived from wood cellulose, often from eucalyptus trees, lyocell fibers are manufactured using an environmentally friendly closed-loop system. Despite its many benefits, lyocell also has its downsides, just like any other fabric. Let's delve into the detailed pros and cons of lyocell fabrics.

Advantages of Lyocell Fabrics

High absorbency

Lyocell's high absorbency is one of its standout properties. It's excellent at wicking moisture away from the body, which makes it an ideal fabric for warm climates or for individuals with high perspiration levels. This moisture-wicking capability is due to the nanofibril structure of the lyocell fiber, which has a high surface area that can efficiently absorb and then release moisture.

This characteristic also makes lyocell a great fabric for sensitive skin. It quickly removes moisture from the skin surface, reducing the risk of bacterial growth and subsequent skin irritation.


Despite its silky softness, lyocell is a highly durable fabric. The cellulose fibers used in its production are strong, making lyocell fabrics resistant to wear and tear. Moreover, lyocell fabrics maintain their strength even when wet, unlike other natural fibers like cotton that tend to weaken.

The longevity of Lyocell makes it a wise investment for clothing and home textiles. Items made from lyocell, like dress shirts or bed linens, tend to last longer, provided they are cared for appropriately.


The softness of lyocell is comparable to that of silk. It provides a luxuriously smooth texture that is gentle on the skin. The softness is a result of the fine and flexible nanofibril structure of the lyocell fiber. Unlike synthetic fibers, lyocell doesn't have a harsh or stiff feel.

Its delicate fabric texture, combined with its hypoallergenic properties, makes lyocell a preferred choice for individuals with sensitive skin.


Is lyocell breathable? Lyocell is a highly breathable fabric due to its moisture-wicking properties and the natural structure of its fibers. It allows for excellent air circulation, which helps regulate body temperature, making it suitable for a wide range of climates.

Whether used in a winter layer to wick sweat away from the skin or as a light, breathable summer garment, lyocell is versatile and comfortable. This is a key advantage over other synthetic fibers, which often lack the same degree of breathability.


One of the most compelling advantages of lyocell is its biodegradability. Unlike traditional synthetic fibers, which can take hundreds of years to decompose, lyocell is made from natural raw materials and is therefore fully biodegradable. This property further underscores its position as a sustainable fabric.

When lyocell garments have served their purpose, they can be composted and will return to the earth, completing a natural cycle. This eco-friendly end-of-life option is an advantage that sets lyocell apart from other cellulose textiles and synthetic fabrics, which can have significant environmental impacts due to their long decomposition times and release of microplastics.


Lyocell's smooth fiber surface and moisture management make it hypoallergenic. It's a non-irritating fabric that's gentle on the skin, making it an excellent choice for people with sensitive skin or allergies. The moisture management of lyocell can inhibit bacterial growth, which often leads to skin irritation and allergies.

In addition, the lyocell production process, unlike rayon and other similar fabrics, doesn't use any harsh or harmful synthetic chemicals that could remain in the fabric and cause skin reactions. For these reasons, lyocell is increasingly being used in products designed for sensitive skin, like baby clothing and luxury bed linens.

Let us discuss some of the disadvantages of Lyocell Fabrics

Prone to shrinking

Does lyocell shrink? While lyocell fabric is known for its durability and strength, it is also prone to shrinking if not cared for properly. Washing lyocell in hot water or drying it at high temperatures can cause the fabric to contract, resulting in a smaller garment size.

However, this issue can be mitigated by following the care instructions provided with lyocell garments. Typically, these instructions recommend washing lyocell on a gentle cycle with cool water and a gentle detergent and then allowing it to air dry or using a tumble dryer at a low temperature. To preserve the size and appearance of the lyocell material, it's recommended to iron lyocell on a setting that's warm, but not too hot.

More expensive

Lyocell's production process, while more environmentally friendly than those of many other fabrics, is also more costly. The use of non-toxic chemicals and the closed-loop system, while beneficial for the environment, lead to higher production costs.

This cost is passed onto the consumer, making lyocell garments more expensive than those made from traditional cotton or fully synthetic fibers. This price difference can be a barrier for many consumers, particularly those who are budget-conscious.

Limited availability

Despite its many benefits, lyocell isn't as readily available as other fabrics. Its production process is slower and more complex than that of traditional fibers, and not all manufacturers have the technology or resources to produce it. Therefore, lyocell fabrics and garments are not as widely distributed as other materials, making them harder to find.

While lyocell does have a few disadvantages, its benefits far outweigh these, particularly for those seeking sustainable, durable, and comfortable clothing options. As technology and manufacturing processes continue to evolve, we may well see an increase in the availability and affordability of lyocell garments, further expanding their potential in the fashion world.

Top Brands Selling Lyocell Clothing

Tentree - Lyocell Juniper T-Shirt

My journey with the Tentree Lyocell Juniper T-Shirt began as soon as I laid eyes on it. The striking graphic design caught my attention, but it was the unparalleled softness of the fabric that truly won me over.

The shirt, enriched by TENCEL Lyocell fabric, is produced using a closed-loop process, utilizing wood pulp sourced from sustainably-managed forests. This sustainable production process not only makes the shirt kind to our planet but also contributes to the fabric's unique characteristics.

Price Range: $35 - $40

Key Features:

  • Soft and sustainable material
  • 4-way Medium stretch knit fabric
  • Ribbed neckband

Pros: This shirt features Tentree's unique TreeBlend, a trio of recycled polyester, TENCEL Lyocell, and organic cotton. But it's the TENCEL Lyocell that really steals the show. Known for its incredible resilience, lyocell is gentle on the skin, providing a soothing feel that's nothing short of luxurious. Even on a hot day, this shirt, thanks to the breathable nature of lyocell, kept me comfortable and cool.

The Juniper T-shirt also boasts a sturdy ribbed neckband, which adds to its durability without compromising on comfort. The screen-printed graphic across the chest is distinctive and visually appealing, showcasing a flair for design that's both modern and timeless.

Cons: A few customers have complained that the T-shirt is a bit thin.

The 135 reviews and 4.8-star ratings show that Tentree Lyocell Juniper T-Shirt stands as a symbol of the perfect balance between fashion, function, and eco-friendliness.

If you, like me, value both comfort and conscious living, then this shirt is a wardrobe must-have!

Amour Vert - Zendaya Tencel Dress

A dress that's versatile, comfortable, and sustainable is the holy grail of any wardrobe, and that's precisely what I found in the Amour Vert Zendaya Tencel Dress. Its classic silhouette, combined with the premium TENCEL lyocell fabric, delivered a wearing experience that was nothing short of delightful.

I'm 5'10", so it was a pleasant surprise to find that the dress fit quite well. The size Small was a tad roomy, but in a way that added to the comfort and casual feel of the dress. Its length was perfect, allowing the dress to drape beautifully.

Price Range: $65 - $70

Key Features:

  • 100% TENCEL gauze
  • Hand Washable
  • Made in USA

Pros: As soon as I slipped on the dress, I could feel the soft, lightweight TENCEL fabric against my skin. Made from 100% TENCEL gauze, the dress is superbly breathable - a feature that was particularly appreciated during the hot summer days. Despite the high temperatures, the dress kept me feeling cool and comfortable throughout the day.

One of the best aspects of the Zendaya dress is its versatility. I found it incredibly easy to dress up for a fancy dinner or dress down for a casual day out. Paired with sandals and a straw hat, it became my go-to outfit for sunny summer outings. Even after a few washes, the dress didn't lose its charm, a testament to its quality and durability.

Cons: The product is a bit expensive.

The 4.5-star ratings and reviews show that this lyocell fabric is a perfect example of an ethical fashion that doesn't compromise on aesthetic appeal or wearer comfort.

Whether it's for a relaxed day off or a special occasion, this dress has become a cherished piece in my summer wardrobe. Highly recommended for those who love to blend style with sustainability!

Allbirds - Men's Tree Runners

As my husband slid his feet into his new pair of Men's Tree Runners for the first time, he couldn't help but exclaim, "Now that's what I call comfort!" And after weeks of regular use, his enthusiasm for these sneakers hasn't waned one bit.

What made these shoes even more appealing was the SweetFoam midsole, crafted from sugarcane-based green EVA. Not only did this innovative design element contribute to the overall aesthetic appeal, but it also added an extra layer of cushioning that made long walks and daily wear a breeze.

Price Range: $105 - $110

Key Features:

  • Bio-based TPU eyelets
  • Shoelaces made from recycled plastic bottles
  • Castor bean oil-based insole foam

Pros: The Tree Runners truly stand out in their category, thanks to their use of responsibly sourced eucalyptus tree fiber. My husband appreciated that these shoes were breathable and silky-smooth to the touch. The FSC-certified TENCEL Lyocell upper, made from eucalyptus tree fiber, provided a unique blend of comfort and sustainability. The fact that the shoelaces are made from 100% post-consumer recycled polyester was a wonderful detail.

The Tree Runners' thermoregulating material was another highlight for my husband. Even during the warmer days, these shoes managed to keep his feet cool and dry, thanks to the lightweight, breathable eucalyptus fiber. From a design perspective, the Tree Runners are a winner. Their classic style is versatile enough to pair with virtually any outfit, making them the perfect travel companions.

Cons: Some customers have complained that the new version of Tree Runners is a bit tight.

With over 6K reviews and 4.6-star ratings, Men's Tree Runners have proven to be a fantastic addition to the customers' footwear collection.

For anyone seeking a stylish, eco-friendly sneaker that doesn't compromise on comfort, these are undoubtedly a worthwhile investment!

Encircled - The Evolve Top

In a world filled with fast fashion, finding versatile pieces that are sustainably made and effortlessly stylish can be a challenge. Thankfully, Encircled's Evolve Top ticks all these boxes and more.

The TENCEL Lyocell fabric lends the top a more structured feel compared to Encircled's original Modal Evolve Top, while still retaining an ultra-soft and stretchy touch.

Price Range: $155 - $160

Key Features:

  • OEKO-TEX Certified
  • Ultra-soft
  • Ethically made in Toronto, Canada

Pros: The first thing that struck me about the Evolve Top was its incredible versatility. Boasting eight different styling options, this top truly lives up to its name. Whether I felt like flaunting a cowl neck, boat neck, or wearing it off the shoulder, the Evolve Top seamlessly adapted to my style of the day.

The top is designed to taper to the hip, making it perfect for tucking into skirts or pants. This seemingly simple feature drastically increased the number of outfits I could create with this single top. Knowing that the dyes used in the top are hypo-allergenic and free of toxic chemicals gave me an added sense of comfort.

Cons: A few customers have complained about the size fitting issues.

The 500-plus reviews and 4.7-star ratings show that the experience with the Evolve Top by Encircled has been overwhelmingly positive for the customers.

Whether you're in need of a casual top for everyday wear or a sophisticated piece for formal occasions, the Evolve Top is a sure bet.

Organic Basics - Soft Touch Basic Bralette

In my pursuit of sustainable fashion, I've tried a plethora of brands, but the Soft Touch Basic Bralette from Organic Basics has earned a special place in my heart. This piece isn't just about wearing a garment; it's about embracing a philosophy of comfort, style, and sustainability.

The Bralette is made from the TENCEL Lyocell fabric, which is a plant-based material created through a closed-loop process that transforms wood chips into cellulose fiber.

Price Range: $35 - $40

Key Features:

  • 95% TENCEL Lyocell fabric
  • Soft and stretchy
  • Do not use warm iron

Pros: The first thing I noticed when I put on this bralette was the incredible softness of the fabric. Made from TENCEL Lyocell fabric, this bralette offered a soft and stretchy feel that was unlike anything I've ever experienced. The lightweight material with minimal seams provided a low-visibility profile under fitted clothes, making it a perfect choice for any outfit.

The supportive and wide straps were another standout feature. As someone who values comfort, these straps provided the support I needed without digging into my shoulders or causing any discomfort. Plus, the v-neck, wrap-style design added a touch of femininity and elegance that was just as appealing.

Cons: A few customers have complained that the palette was a bit tight than expected.

The highly positive 40-plus reviews and 4.6-star ratings show us how a brand can seamlessly blend comfort, style, and sustainability.

I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone seeking a sustainable and comfortable alternative to traditional undergarments. Try it, and you'll fall in love with its supportive, soft, and sustainable charm just like I did!

FAQs about Lyocell Fabric

Is Lyocell a good fabric?

Yes, lyocell is a great fabric. Its numerous benefits, such as softness, breathability, high absorbency, and hypoallergenic properties, make it highly desirable for clothing items like dress shirts, bedding, and more.

Is Lyocell stretchy?

Lyocell fabric is not naturally stretchy, but it can be blended with other fibers like elastane to increase its elasticity. This makes it versatile for use in various types of clothing, from a rigidly structured lyocell garment to a stretchy, form-fitting active wear.

Is lyocell cotton or polyester?

Lyocell is neither cotton nor polyester. It's a semi-synthetic fabric made from cellulose, similar to rayon but with a more environmentally friendly process.

The difference between lyocell, cotton, and polyester lies primarily in their origin and properties. Organic cotton is a natural fiber obtained from the cotton plant, while polyester is a synthetic fiber derived from petroleum products. 

Is lyocell better than cotton?

In many ways, lyocell can be considered better than cotton. It is softer, more absorbent, and has a smaller environmental footprint due to the sustainable production process. However, its cost and availability may be a disadvantage compared to cotton.

Is lyocell a semi-synthetic fiber?

Yes, lyocell is a semi-synthetic fiber. It's created from natural materials like wood cellulose but requires a chemical process to transform these raw materials into fibers, setting it apart from both natural fibers like cotton and fully synthetic fibers like polyester.


In the realm of sustainable fabrics, lyocell stands out with its remarkable properties and environmentally friendly manufacturing process. As a cellulose textile derived from plant-based fibers, it champions the efficient use of natural resources and promotes a greener fashion industry. Its features align perfectly with the growing demand for sustainable, comfortable, and high-performing textiles in the fashion industry. As consumers become more conscious of their environmental footprint, the role of sustainable textiles like lyocell is likely to increase.


Regenerated cellulose by the Lyocell process, a brief review of the process and properties:  BioResources. (n.d.). Retrieved July 6, 2023, from

Wikipedia contributors. (2023). Amine oxide.Wikipedia.

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