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What is Tencel?

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Here at Only Child, transparency is important to us. We want you to feel as connected to each piece as we do. While each item that we offer is handcrafted by us in our little Oakland studio, the process doesn’t start with us. Our fabric has to come from somewhere and the process it goes through is integral to the story behind each item of clothing. 

This Fall and Winter we decided to bring a new fabric into our lineup: tencel.  Before tencel there was rayon, a fabric originally designed to be a more cost effective alternative to silk.  While rayon was first touted as a sustainable fabric made from wood pulp, the chemicals used to make it do more harm than good.  Tencel manufacturers learned how to improve on this system and have since created an eco friendly fabric that wears like a dream.


How its made:  Unlike its rayon predecessor, tencel's supply chain is transparent.  It gets made from sustainably harvested eucalyptus trees - no pesticides or genetic manipulation is involved.  Fast-growing eucalyptus tree varieties are native to almost every continent and climate, require less land than cotton production, and often grow on land that couldn't otherwise be farmed.  Tencel also uses much safer chemical processing than rayon and operates on a closed loop system, 99.5% of the chemicals used to create it get recycled back into the production process.


Tencel was awarded the Oeko Tex 100 certification, an international standard developed in 1992 to certify that it contains no harmful substances.  It has also been awarded the European Community Eco-label flower for products and services with reduced environmental impact.


How it wears:  With all of the benefits that tencel production provides, still the best part about it is how it wears.  Tencel has a smooth hand and flattering drape, it falls similar to a silk but with a little more substance.  It also is incredibly easy to care for, a quick machine wash and tumble dry is all it takes to keep this fabric looking fresh.  Because our particular tencel is a little bit thicker than others, you can hang it overnight to get the wrinkles out, making it a great fabric for travel.  



1 comment

  • Sarah Alegria: March 14, 2019

    How does tencel hold up in the spring/summer?

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