Lately, we’ve begun to see a new term tossed around to describe synthetic products. Is a botanical fiber something different from other types of all natural fibers, or is it just more confusing sales jargon designed to draw in an unwitting consumer?
Let’s examine the facts and you can make the decision.
- Botanical is by definition: relating to plants or plant life or relating to the science of botany; a substance obtained from a plant.
- Natural is defined as: existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind.
- Synthetic, on the other hand, is defined as: a substance made by chemical synthesis, especially to imitate a natural product.
Lyocell (which Lenzing has branded as Tencel®) by definition is: a form of rayon which consists of cellulose fiber made from dissolving pulp (bleached wood pulp) and reconstituted through spinnerets into fiber. Lyocell is often referred to as a semi-synthetic fiber (Wikipedia) because it is manufactured from a naturally occurring polymer as opposed to a synthetic fiber derived from petroleum.
Rayon and Tencel® that is marketed as botanical come from trees (a great big plant) but then goes to a pulping plant that converts the wood chips into a chemical slurry and then reconstitutes the slurry back into a fiber.
Clearly, no one would consider this chemical goop to be natural, but the question becomes, does this man-made fiber really have anything to do with a plant? At what point do we consider it synthetic?
Cotton, on the other hand, comes directly from a plant and undergoes very little processing. According to the definition, cotton is truly both a natural and botanical fiber.
What do you want next to your skin? A semi-synthetic fiber made from chemical synthesis or all-natural cotton? We know what our customers prefer.