The doctor gave my husband a couple of prescriptions and the nurse told him to eat ice cream. Just for the record, no medical worker has ever told me to eat ice cream.

I went from work directly to the rehearsal. The director handed me a poem he wanted me to read at the end of the program, and I tucked it into my folder and went to my place. After 2.5 hours of singing madrigals I had gotten a bit hoarse. I fished out the poem and read it aloud, as I was supposed to do. It was only at that moment that I discovered it was one of Walt Whitman’s coming out poems. (Gentlemen, a comparable experience would be to stand up to do your piece and find that you were singing “I Feel Pretty.” Not that you wouldn’t be willing, but it would be a bit disconcerting.)

So you have to imagine me, sounding rather like Clint Eastwood, feeling relieved that I had gotten through the word “indissoluble” in the first line, and then finding myself reading about “high-towering manly love.” I trust that I sounded convincing.

Let’s talk about Tencel. “Tencel” is a brand name for lyocell, just as “Kleenex” is a brand name for facial tissue, and it seems to be used in the same way — that is, as a generic term, disregarding the trademark issue. Lyocell is, like rayon, made from plant fibers. This puts it — still with rayon — in the man-made natural fiber category.

Like microfibers, lyocell is extruded from a teeny-tiny shower head sort of apparatus, and like microfibers, it has extravagant claims made for it. Polyester microfibers want to be classed as “supernatural” rather than “artificial” fibers, though no actual miracles have yet been reported. Tencel actually calls itself a “nanofiber.”  We are going for spider web here, I guess. The European Union has declared it an environmentally friendly fiber — not just because it is made of cellulose, but also because the process by which it is made is clean, something most fibers cannot claim.

But all this, this is mere information. Tencel is the stuff of poetry.

“To wear clothing of TENCEL is to evoke a range of feelings:
a sense of satisfaction, security, sensuousness, but most of all luxury.”

“Moving across the body or in harmony with it, TENCEL fabrics caress the contours with an ease of motion that says luxury.”

This is the sort of thing the Tencel websites say.

It has become popular in sock yarns, and I have some woven Tencel twill from my favorite online fabric store which I intend to make into another pair of pants, this one having none of the flaws of the first pair. Whether it is real Tencel or generic lyocell I do not know. Judging from a swatch they sent me, I ordered the lovely gray-green of the swatch and some charcoal color with the same name and similar description. The charcoal has odd color striations, so I don’t know what I will make of it. But the stuff is very slinky and silky, and I suppose it could conceivably move in harmony with the body, though I am not sure why it would move across the body, unless you were making some enormous bell-like garment that would twine around your legs and trip you up, at which point it might move across your body as you fell.

I am singing on Sunday a song in which the poet asks his eyes when they will cry enough that he can drown himself in his own tears, so I guess I should not be so literal about the wild claims the makers of this new fiber are making. It is, after all, the first new fiber in 30 years, so they are to be excused for getting a little bit excited.

Not that I expect to have much sewing time this weekend. I hope to finish one or the other of my WIPS, and may find the time to cut the Tencel. Unless it really does snow 8″, in which case I may have snow days, which I can then declare PSDs.

If the Tencel turns out to be an experience that evokes a range of feelings comparable to ice cream or high-towering manly love, I will let you know.