Time was when fabric technicians focused on ensuring cloths shed their creases. Now that process has been put into reverse with the launch of a new process to give garments made from Tencel, and particularly Tencel denim, the look of permanent, all-over creasing.  

The finish, launched to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the fibre's launch, will be marketed under the name Scrunch. "What we were seeking was the more rugged look today's casualwear market demands," says Tencel R&D director Pat White.

In the past, achieving this sort of surface interest usually resulted in a stiffening of the fabric, which rendered it quite uncomfortable to wear. 

"What makes our 'Naturally Soft Scrunch' so innovative is that garments treated by the new process retain the soft handle, fluid draping and stretch properties typical of conventional Tencel, while the "creases" which lend added character are guaranteed permanent in the sense of staying in place through at least 50 launderings."

By Sonia Roberts.