Are you suffering from the dreaded E – eczema, which often leaves your skin painful, embarrassing and debilitating? This even gets worse when the clothes you wear don’t comfort you and further irritate your skin.
When you itch and scratch what do you do? You scrape the internet in the hope for some relief. And while searching for that perfect fabric you have a hard time. After an exhaustive search you settle down with organic cotton probably, as common wisdom has it, cotton is the only fabric a skin with a temperament can endure. But guess what, it seems that it is about time for a new assessment.
While most of us believe that we have to stick with cotton, we are not aware of the new kid in town, Tencel, which is made from the pulp of wood. It is a pure form of cellulose with no impurities. Created by Lenzing, it is manufactured using a closed loop system which has minimal impact on the environment, thereby maintains water and energy.
Research has shown that Tencel (the brand name for lyocell) is not only compatible but actually capable of soothing your eczema-flare ups. It is believed that the structure of the fibre plays an important role in identifying whether it is suitable for your skin or not. Two third of the fabric’s comfort is depicted by how well it can manage the moisture and heat, while one third is credited to the sensory comfort of the skin.
When compared with cotton, Tencel has a smooth surface and high moisture absorbency. It absorbs 50% more moisture than cotton. This is because of regular and controlled absorption throughout the fibre. While having superior moisture absorbency, the fabric remains dry on the surface. The higher water content gives the fabric a cooler feel. Tencel also retards bacterial growth and can be easily washed at 60°C or 95°C.
In one of the clinical trials, 27 women were enrolled. Out of the 27 women, 12 had atopic dermatitis while the other 15 had normal skin. Everyone was given 2 sets of garments, one of 100% Tencel and the other 100% cotton. Each woman was required to use either cotton or Tencel for the first week, followed by their clothes for the second week and the other trial fabric for the third week. The result proved that Tencel clearly outperformed cotton. It shrank less, breathed more and was much softer and stronger than cotton.
Lately, if you have been uncomfortable in cotton, then step out and look for Tencel or Lyocell. The newbie seems to be creating a niche for itself in the market, particularly for women with sensitive skin.
Planning to refurbish your wardrobe… what are the labels and fabrics you will be looking for this time?