Lyocell fibers are used in several end-user industries such as home textiles, apparel, medical equipment, and nonwoven apparel such as baby diapers. Products such as casual wear; high-end designer clothes, sportswear, home textiles (including bedsheets, curtains, drapes, and carpets) and other products (such as medical gloves and surgical equipment) are made from lyocell fibers. With rising awareness about environmental sustainability in the textile industry, lyocell fibers have gained popularity among a broad spectrum of end-users owing to their eco-friendly manufacturing process.
Lyocell, derived from cellulose, is known as a man-made fiber. It is popularly known by the brand name ‘Tencel.’ Lyocell, a type of rayon fiber, is manufactured in a closed-loop method through a solvent spinning technique, wherein the cellulose undergoes a limited chemical change. Lyocell fibers are widely used in the textile industry in a broad range of apparels and home textiles. These fibers are also used in the medical industry in the production of medical equipment and surgical products.
Lyocell fiber is manufactured through an environmentally sustainable closed-loop method. Closed-loop manufacturing is a process, wherein most chemicals and solvents employed can be reused. Akin to most man-made fibers, the production of lyocell fiber requires more energy than that for natural fibers. However, according to Lenzing AG, low-carbon biofuels can be used to manufacture lyocell fiber.
Demand for lyocell fiber was the highest in the apparel application segment, accounting for over 55% of the volume share in 2013, owing to its favorable properties such as soft, absorbent, and superior qualities. Demand for lyocell fibers in home textiles application is also increasing rapidly, as these are used to make drapes and curtains. Lyocell fibers are biodegradable; hence, these are extensively used in the manufacture of surgical products and baby diapers.
Lyocell fiber is a strong and absorbent fabric, wherein the absorbent property and wet strength of the fiber is better than the traditional cotton fiber. These fibers are washable and resistant to shrinkage. Therefore, lyocell fiber is used widely in the apparel industry. Lyocell fibers are biodegradable materials; hence, these are used in various applications. For instance, these fibers are used in the manufacture of surgical products and baby diapers. Lyocell fibers are extensively employed in the production of surgical materials such as surgical coats for doctors and nurses.
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Demand for lyocell fiber is expected to increase significantly in North America and Europe during the forecast period. Developed countries such as the U.S. in North America and UK, Germany, and France in Europe are likely to drive the demand for lyocell fiber owing to the presence of well-established textile industries in these regions. The environmentalist approach of most countries in Western Europe has boosted the demand for lyocell fiber in the region. Although lyocell is a man-made fiber, it is produced from natural raw materials such as wood pulp.
Companies such as Lenzing AG, Aditya Birla Group, smartfiber AG, Acelon Chemicals & Fiber Corporation, Chon Bang Company Limited, Weiqiao Textile Company Limited, and Qingdao Textiles Group Fiber Technology Co., Ltd. have been covered in the report.
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