Developing a product
A Tencel case study

Page 1: Introduction

Courtaulds is an international chemical company with annual sales of more than £2 billion, employing 17,000 people in 45 countries worldwide. It developed from a small silk weaving business in England in 1816 and became well known in the early part of this century after pioneering the mass production of viscose rayon. This first man-made fibre has played a vital role in the textile and...
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Page 2: Developing a unique fibre

In the world of fashion there is a clear link between the tastes of consumers for materials and garments and the demand for the type of products on offer. Though particular clothing fashions may change not only with the seasons but also from year to year, the materials making up such garments will have a longer product life-cycle. A product life-cycle tracks the life time of a product from...
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Page 3: Research and development

Courtaulds created TENCEL as a result of its search for a new high performance cellulosic fibre to be produced by an environmentally favourable process. The first research work began in 1978 and the development journey through to end product marks a truly international achievement. The research took place in the UK, mainly in Coventry but also in Grimsby where limited quantities of the new...
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Page 4: Targeting large stores

TENCEL was initially introduced to the market via a select group of weavers, dyers, finishers and designers, targeting the casualwear and sportswear sectors of the market. Targeting involves identifying a market segment and then developing a marketing mix which is geared to the needs of customers in that segment. The emphasis was on 100 per cent TENCEL products but, as its versatility became...
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Page 5: Marketing strategy

TENCEL has been targeted at fashion range builders and selectors who, via expert spinners, weavers, knitters, dyers, finishers, printers and designers, supply textiles to a variety of outlets. Its combination of fibre properties makes it ideal for end-uses not previously open to man-made cellulosics - such as softtouch denim jeans, chambray shirts, shorts and yarn-dyed colour woven blouses and...
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Page 6: Conclusion

Courtaulds was the first company in the world to produce lyocell staple fibre commercially and by 1996/97 the demand for its branded fibre, TENCEL, was such that the entire output around the world has been sold. Although initial quantities reached the market from a small pilot line in Grimsby, the company’s first full scale plant costing $90 million opened in Alabama, USA in 1992. It was...
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