Material Study

Material Study: TENCEL®

Material Study: TENCEL®

 Western Rise Henley

At Western Rise we have a passion for creating products that are innovative and solve problems. We strive to design and build clothing to do more, and look to evolve and improve on what has come before.

These innovative solutions come to fruition in garment form and can emerge through finding unique fabrics, creative construction techniques, or new-age treatments.  

We have long been fans of Merino Wool for its ability to regulate temperature, manage moisture, and control odor, but for intense high moisture activity we sought a fiber that could wick and cool more effectively in heightened situations. A fiber with a fine hand, incredible performance, and high durability. What we found was TENCEL®.


TENCEL® is a fiber spun from the pulp of sustainably grown eucalyptus trees.  It is a regenerating cellulose fiber that is manufactured using an extremely efficient closed-loop system. The fiber is processed using a non-toxic, organic solvent of which 99% of the materials used are recovered and reused, making the fiber extremely sustainable.  

A single TENCEL® fiber is comprised of countless, hydrophilic, incredibly fine (500x thinner than cotton) nano-fibrils. Between the nano-fibrils are pores in the nanometer range acting as capillaries, a characteristic that does not exist in the synthetic fiber world.  

These combine to make an incredibly smooth and luxuriously soft fiber that handles moisture like a dream quickly moving perspiration away from the skin.




Moisture Management: TENCEL® is hydrophilic with great moisture absorption and fast moisture release. TENCEL® absorbs up to 20% water at 90% relative humidity, which is approximately the same water vapor absorption capacity as wool, yet TENCEL® dries three times faster than pure Merino Wool.  
Durable: TENCEL® is a high-tenacity cellulosic fiber that is twice as strong as cotton.  It is stronger than all other cellulosic fibers, and becomes stronger when wet.
Active Cooling: At high physical activity levels or hot and humid climates, the human body regulates temperature with the production and evaporation of sweat.  The quick moisture transfer properties of TENCEL® aid the body in maximum cooling in these conditions, and the fibers feel cool to the touch.
Breathable: The strength of the TENCEL® fiber allows for a loose knit while maintaining durability.  This results in an extremely open and breathable fabric.
Anti-Microbial: Like wool, TENCEL® absorbs moisture into the very core of the fiber.  Without moisture on the surface of the fiber, there is nowhere for bacteria to grow.  While this is true of most cellulosic fibers, TENCEL® shows 10 times less bacterial growth than cotton.
Neutral Electricity: Even at low humidity, TENCEL® fabric has a surface electricity resistance 3 times higher than Polyester causing it to carry little to no static electricity.



TENCEL® fibers are made up of countless nano-fibrils.  These nano-fibrils are extremely fine and incredibly smooth, making fabric created from these fibers luxuriously soft.  TENCEL® is an exceptionally technical fiber that still retains the soft hand feel of silk and excellent drape.




For high physical activity and high humidity environments, combining our ultrafine merino wool with TENCEL® makes for a cooler, lighter-wearing, temperature-regulating fabric.  It wicks 3 times faster than pure merino wool, is 50% cooler than pure merino wool, bolsters durability, and has a buttery-soft hand feel.  Combining two of our favorite fibers has led to a fabric that is damn near perfect.



          Western Rise Henley



Photo Credits: Lenzing Fibers

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