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What is TENCEL™ jersey?

When it comes to winter sewing, TENCEL™  jersey is my top pick for dresses and tops. Here’s what you need to know about this lovely fabric.

What is TENCEL™?

TENCEL™, as you may have guessed by the trademark, is a brand name for a particular type of lyocell and model fibres.

TENCEL™ modal fibres are extracted from naturally grown beech wood fibres by an environmentally responsible integrated pulp-to-fiber process, which is self-sufficient in energy and recovers co-products from component parts of the wood.

TENCEL™ lyocell fibres, which our meetMilk jerseys are made from, are extracted from sustainably grown wood sources. This extraction process uses a closed loop system which recovers and reuses the solvents used, thus minimising the environmental impact of production.

What is TENCEL™ jersey?

The meetMilk TENCEL™ jerseys we stock contain 94% TENCEL™ lyocell fibres and 94% elastane fibres. Elastane fibres are synthetic/manufactured fibres, and it is these that gives the jersey its stretch.

What are the properties of TENCEL™ jersey?

  • Drape – due to the TENCEL™ lyocell fibres, this fabric has extremely good drape, making it very flattering to wear.
  • Breathable and moisture wicking – as the TENCEL™ lyocell fibres originate from wood pulp, making it a semi-natural fabric, this fabric is extremely breathable, helping to maintain and regulate body temperature. These fibres are also up to 50% more absorbent than cotton, making them perfect for winter layers, or garments that are worn close to the skin.
  • Luxe feel – Similar to both silk and cotton, TENCEL™ jersey is silky and smooth to touch. It feels cool on the skin, and does not cling.

What should I make with TENCEL™ jersey?

TENCEL™ jersey is lightweight, drapey, and strong. It’s perfect for sewing tops and dresses that allow a bit of movement – loose trousers would also work. It is a little bit lightweight for details like zips – you will want a good interfacing if you’re going to put one of these in. A few of my favourite patterns for TENCEL™ jersey are:

Tops: The Mandy Boat Tee by Tessuti Patterns, the Brattle Top by Cashmerette or the Plantain T-shirt by Deer and Doe

Dresses: The Zadie Dress by Tilly and the Buttons, or the Esma or Georgie Dress by Sew Over It.


How do I sew with TENCEL™ jersey?

I have found that TENCEL™ jersey does not curl anywhere near as much as cotton jersey, making it much easier to sew with! You can get away with minimal pins.

To sew, use either an overlocker or a sewing machine with a zig zag stitch. As it is quite a lightweight fabric, check the tension first to make sure your stitches will sit nicely.

This fabric washes well – pop it in with your normal wash and tumble/air dry as required.

Check out our full range of TENCEL™ jerseys here.

Have a question about sewing with TENCEL™ jersey? Send me an email at, I’m happy to help.


Jessica Joyful