What is Modal Fabric? The Ultimate Guide to Determine its Sustainability

What is Modal Fabric? The Ultimate Guide to Determine its Sustainability

While most of us acknowledge cotton is one of the primary fabrics in our lives, others are constantly exploring more eco-friendly and sustainable fabrics. If you are among the latter group of people, then modal is one fabric for you to look out for.

This smooth sensitive fabric is created utilizing plants and is said to be incredible for active wear.

A couple of people also call it the fabric used to make underwear. While most of them just know it when they want something better for the environment.

For sure, it is definitely changing the fashion industry with its lightweight and breathable nature. Many brands use modal in their products as a lower-impact choice as opposed to rayon fabric in light of its specific characteristics.

However, the sustainability of modal fabric is a little complicated. Keep on reading as this article will answer all of your questions regarding what is modal fabric. How moral and sustainable is it? How it is manufactured and what are its pros and cons?

What Is the Definition of Modal Fabric?

Modal is a semi-synthetic fabric that is manufactured by using the pulp of a beech tree. The basic idea behind its use is that beech tree pulp is a great material for making underwear, nightwear, bed sheets, and towels.

modal is a semi synthetic fabric manufacturing using beeh tree pulp.

It is often described as a kind of rayon, another plant-based material. But it is fairly more durable and versatile than the standard variation.

Modal is often blended in with other fibers like cotton and spandex which makes it more durable.

However, it is generally seen as a lavish fabric due to its sensitive feel and high cost, as cotton and viscose rayon are cheaper than it.

What Kind of Fabric is Modal and How it is Made?

Modal is a man-made cellulose fiber that has grown a good reputation in the category of activewear.

Breathable and retentive, this alternative of cotton is used to make nightwear, shower robes, bed sheets, and a lot more.

In terms of green manufacturing, the production of modal fabric is more eco-obliging when compared to the manufacturing of rayon fabric. Now that you understand what is modal fabric, here is a complete breakdown of its production process.

1. Making of Wood Pulps

After harvesting, the beech trees are cut into small pieces which are called pulps. This method is either done mechanically or artificially.

2. Chemical Activity

The wood chips are cleaned to isolate their cellulose fibers. However, differentiating the process of modal with rayon, this cycle requires considerably less sodium hydroxide.

As a result, much less toxic waste is produced in the manufacturing modal fabric. The fiber sheets are also dipped in carbon disulfide solution before extrusion.

3. Extrusion

The fiber sheets are isolated and are compelled through a spinneret to make fibers. Spinnerets look like fine shower heads with minute openings. This cycle makes very thin strands.

4. Coagulation Shower

The removed strands are then put through a coagulation shower, usually containing a sulfuric acid. This shower converts the filaments into long, steady strands.

5. Washing of Fibers

The fibers are totally washed to kill any extra manufactured substances and residual chemicals. This step is important keeping in mind the environmental aspect of manufacturing.

6. Drying and Turning

The modal fibers are then dried to reduce their moisture content. At the point when dry, the fibers are cut into additional shorter lengths and subsequently transformed into yarn.

These particular fibers are woven together to make modal fabric. After that, the fabric is arranged to transform into anything that is preferred.

Modal Fabric Pros and Cons

After knowing what kind of fabric is modal and how it is made, let’s discuss its pros and cons

Profoundly absorbentYellowish Appearance due to Heat Exposure
energy efficientMay Cause Sensitivities
stretchy and breathableCostly
Modal fabric pros and cons.

Advantages of Modal Fabric

Profoundly Absorbent

There’s a huge reason why modal is a top decision for underwear and active apparel. With more absorbability than cotton, you won’t get the feeling of damp garments due to exorbitant sweat.


Not like other fabric choices, modal fabric requires little cleaning and brightening, resulting in a more limited washing cycle. Consequently, it is an energy-effective option.

Stretchy and Breathable

While purchasing modal fabric, many people have two questions in their minds. Is Modal breathable fabric? Or is modal stretchy? Answering these questions, we can say that the structure of modal fabric energizes breathability.

Subsequently, it’s a brilliant decision for athletic wear and regular use, for example, shirts due to incredible stretching abilities.

Wrinkle free

As previously mentioned, the modal fabric is a kind of rayon fabric and has a super-delicate, smooth surface. Modal filaments are incredibly adaptable and lightweight, so the fabric is great for garments that fit near the skin.

Another important advantage here is the modal fabric shrinkage. It opposes kinks and shrinkage and can control dampness and limit smell. Modular is durable and the texture opposes pilling and wrinkling.


Yellowish Appearance due to Heat Exposure

Modal is a plant-based material. Due to this, any intensity that goes past the internal heat level can cause the staining of the fabric.

May Cause Sensitivities

Is modal fabric toxic? Sensitive people don’t have a positive response to modal. It is said to cause unfavorable allergies like itching, rashes, and redness, and has caused blistering in a few outrageous cases.


Modular is certainly not a reasonable choice contrasted with viscose or cotton. Regardless of its low creation costs, the customer cost of modal fabric is high.

Modal vs Cotton: Is Modal Fabric Better than Cotton?

Keeping durability in mind, modal fabric lasts longer than cotton. It is also stronger as compared to other synthetic fabrics and can withstand many washing cycles. This makes it an incredible fabric for sports clothing or other high-wear textures.

cotton fabric

Assuming that you’re thinking about whether modal is breathable like cotton, you’ll view their breathability as practically identical. However, the serious level of stretchiness it provides and sweat-wicking gives it an upper hand.

Modal fabric is additionally more environmentally friendly than traditional cotton. It requires fundamentally less land, water, and synthetics to develop and process.

What is Micro Modal Fabric: Is it Better than ordinary Modal Fabric?

Micromodal fabric is a plant-based texture that is delicate, stretchable and shows resistance to shrinkage. Compared with ordinary modal fabric, it has more thin strands. So, it can be firmly woven to deliver a delicate silky texture that is impervious to dampness and intensity.

Hence, many fabric brands incorporate this fabric with items like innerwear, loungewear, and sports apparel.

Is Modal Fabric Sustainable?

Now that you know what is modal fabric, let’s describe it in terms of sustainability. It is produced using natural materials and is totally biodegradable. Thus, it does follow a majority of requirements for what makes a product sustainable.

Like rayon, modal is derived from cellulose which is a regular cell fiber. But the good thing here is that only the pulps of the sustainable beech tree are used. It requires an insignificant water system and zero synthetic compounds or pesticides.

They can likewise grow smoothly on lands that are improper for other vegetation. Thus, beech trees are sustainable assets with a fair yield under legitimate consideration. However, its production has an exceptional chemical interaction.

This can highly affect the climate and laborers in the production process. The degree of its effect is subject to the obligation of brands and providers to utilize better sourcing of trees. It also requires the forcing of severe guidelines on water and chemical management boards.

Lenzing Modal Fabric

For the modal fabric to be better and more eco-friendly, we need to be guaranteed that it was obtained from renewable beech trees.

Furthermore, we must ensure that the manufacturing was finished to the best expectations, including limiting the toxins emissions to air or water.

Today, one of the most renowned makers of modal is the Austrian organization Lenzing AG. They are presently advertising their version under the name Tencel Modal. Note that Tencel is frequently used to mean Tencel Lyocell which is another sustainable fabric. However, brands are now saying that Tencel can now be used with modal as well.

Therefore, explaining the difference here is important. Tencel Modal is protected by a worldwide certification system. Lenzing AG has created ecological cycles for assembling its modal, which is not economically accessible to other brands currently.

These less harmful advancements permit Lenzing to limit chemical emissions and conserve its resources.

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