Modal fabric feels like a warm embrace from your favorite blanket. The source is rare tree fibers and is soft. It is like silk but more breathable. Also, It’s ideal for clothing. It keeps you comfortable and relaxed even when it’s scorching outside.
Furthermore, the vibrancy of colors feels lovely against the skin. That also makes the fabric worth purchasing. Consider this article a knowledge hub for modal fabric, and dig deeper to know more about it!
Table of Contents
What is Modal Fabric?
Modal fabric refers to a type of rayon considered a semi-synthetic used in the consumer textile. It is made from beech tree pulp used for clothing and household items. Modal is another plant-based, durable, and luxurious textile. Also, it is expensive compared to cotton or viscose.
Modal’s origin country is Japan. Since the 1950s, modal has been there in the market. In the current scenario, the Austrian company Lenzing AG produced in most modal. It has a trademark for the fabric.
What is Modal Fabric Made of?
Modal fabric is made of cellulose from hardwood trees. Trees like birch and oak. The raw tree material enters into a complex manufacturing process. Beech trees are the source of modal fabric because they are a natural and sustainable source.
Beech forests are there in Northern and Central Europe. Cellulose from beech trees hardly requires artificial irrigation or any sort of planting. Apart from Europe, some modal fabrics come from Austria and neighboring countries.
The Manufacturing Process of Modal Fabric
The modal fabric manufacturing process is similar to the process of manufacturing viscose rayon. Since the model is an updated viscose rayon version, it eliminates the wasteful aspects of viscose production. Modal rayon is a superior product structurally compared to viscose rayon.
Modal fabric is manufactured in 7 stages. For instance:
Stage 1: Trees Harvesting
The modal fabric production process starts with the harvesting of trees. Then, they are rendered into cellulose.
Stage 2: Cellulose Extraction
Trees are broken into chips. Then, these chips go through the purification process to extract cellulose content.
Stage 3: Sheets Steeping
The extracted cellulose then gets formed into sheets. These sheets are steeped in caustic soda. The caustic soda can be sodium hydroxide.
Stage 4: Crumbs Break Down
Sheets break down into crumbs. Then, they get immersed in carbon disulfide to create sodium cellulose xanthate.
Stage 5: Fiber Creation
The cellulose xanthate then gets immersed in caustic soda. This step to create a syrupy solution may seem repetitive. The process is forced through a spinneret to create fibers.
Step 5: Yarn Formation
The modal fabric then gets immersed in sulfuric acid. The objective is to form a stretched yarn. The yarn is washed, bleached, and loaded onto spools.
In the end, it can be said that The modal yarn is subjected to pre-shirking, wrinkle, and fire resistance. It goes through several treatments applied to the woven nature into a fabric.
Types of Modal Fabric
There are two different types of Modal fabric in total. Such as: Viscose Rayon, and Lyocell. They are:
- Viscose Rayon
This type of rayon is a cellulose-based textile. It enters into worldwide mass production. Viscose rayon was expensive to produce. The invention of the viscose process makes an easy approach for the factories to implement.
It is similar to modal rayon. It is considered to be a predecessor to the modal fabric. The manufacturing process of viscose rayon is complex. It involves a chemical treatment process. One of the opposing sides is that viscose rayon is well-considered to harm the environment.
Lyocell is a one-of-a-kind fabric created from trees. It is the only organic rayon. It distinguishes itself by producing tree fibers that are unaffected by chemicals.
Modal rayon generates chemical waste, and lyocell uses a waste-free technique. It protects the environment. The closed-loop approach employed in lyocell manufacturing ensures that no solvents are wasted or released into the environment.
The Austrian company Lenzing AG leads global lyocell manufacture. This eco-friendly, unaffected fiber production distinguishes lyocell as a distinct and ecologically conscientious textile industry choice.
Properties of Modal Fabric
Modal fabric has specific properties. Modal fabric is as delicate as silk. It allows your skin to breathe while keeping colors vibrant even after washing. It’s tough, doesn’t shrink, and originates from trees in well-managed forests. For instance:
|Cellulose from trees. A combined form of organic and synthetic materials.
|Fabric Drape Ability
|Heat Retention Ability
|Prone to Wrinkle
|Prone to Shrinking
|Prone to Crease
|Prone to Pilling
|Sportswear, Accessories, Home Textile
Characteristics of Modal Fabric
Modal fabric comes with exclusive features. Such as
The fabric weave of Modal is breathable.
Modal fabric can hold color and dye well and for a longer period.
Modal fabric is of botanical origin. It means it is composed of cellulose from trees and other synthetic ingredients.
Soft to the Skin
Modal offers an incredibly soft touch against the skin.
Since the modal fabric is made from regenerative plants, very few chemicals exist in production.
From the source to the manufacturing process, modal fabric goes through a more sustainable production method than rayon.
Modal fabric has a better grip on flexibility. It is what makes the fabric ideal for items like t-shirts and other athletic wear.
Modal is strong and stable due to its tight weave and long fibers.
Ideal Product for Drape
Modal fabric drapes well compared to silk and rayon.
Applications of Modal Fabric
With Modal, you can make various kinds of applications. Such as:
- Alternative to Silk, Cotton, and Lyocell.
- Clothing Items: Yoga pants, sportswear, Bike shorts, and Swimwear.
- Household Textiles: Bath towels, towels.
- Accessories: Scarves, handkerchief.
- Medical Textile
Modal applies to many areas due to its versatility, comfort, and moisture absorption.
Is Modal Better than Cotton and Polyester?
Modal, Cotton, and Polyester have significant differences in their making, appearance, overall benefits, and quality. For instance,
Modal is a soft and breathable fabric. It is easy to care for as well. It can be prone to pilling when compared to cotton.
Meanwhile, cotton is a durable fabric that lasts longer.
Polyester has one of the unique features: it is resistant to wrinkles and shrinking.
Consider your purpose of use while comparing among them. Cotton is a natural fiber, but modal is also a sustainable fabric. Polyester, being synthetic, is easy to care for but not environment-friendly. So, ultimately, it depends on your usage and purpose.
What is Modal fabric like?
Modal fabric is incredibly soft when compared to other fabrics. It has a smooth feel against the skin, making it comfortable to wear in any weather. Besides, Modal fabric is breathable, which will keep you cool in warm weather.
Is Modal Fabric Stretchy?
Modal fabric is stretchy. But when it is compared to the elastane of spandex, it may not seem stretchy enough. The fabric is stretchy because of the well-constructed fiber and woven nature. Because of its stretchiness, the modal is ideal for athletic wear and t-shirts.
Is Modal Fabric Breathable?
Modal fabric is super breathable due to its fabric weave. Hence, it is great for sportswear, t-shirts, base layers, and other clothing items as well.
What is Modal Fabric Similar to?
Modal fabric is similar to lyocell. Lyocell is an organic form of rayon. It is eco-friendly and an organic solution that can replace the sodium hydroxide. Besides, the model’s luxurious softness and smooth texture against the skin seem to be quite similar to Silk.
What are the pros and cons of Modal Fabric?
Modal fabric has both advantages and disadvantages.
In short, the pros of modal fabric are:
1. Soft and breathable.
2. Moisture wicking.
3. It has a beautiful drape.
4. It can hold color for a long time.
Cons of Modal fabric are:
1. Less Durable.
2. Prone to pilling when it gets washed.
3. It requires delicate care.
What Does Modal Fabric Feel Like?
Modal Fabric feels soft, luxurious, and smooth against the skin.
In the end, we can say that Modal fabric is a form of rayon made from beech tree cellulose that is famous for its extraordinary softness comparable to silk or cashmere. It has excellent breathability and moisture-wicking properties, making it suitable for activewear and undergarments. It is renowned for flowing clothes due to its lush drape and bright color retention.
While modal provides comfort and elegance, it is less durable than cotton and requires special care. Despite its environmentally favorable origins, its manufacturing involves chemicals, which raises some environmental issues. Overall, the modal has incomparable softness, breathability, moisture absorption, and graceful drape, making it a popular choice for various apparel items.
Mahedi Hasan, is a Textile Engineer, as well as a Top Rated content writer at Upwork, Level 02 Seller at Fiverr, Level 02 Publisher at Ezoic. A passionate textile ad fashion content writer, fashion SEO expert, and fashion web designer. Having a B.Sc. in Textile Engineering Degree from Textile Engineering College, Noakhali (TECN). Department is Apparel Engineering. Highly Experienced fashion writer for the last 3+ years. Have extensive 7 years of experience on wholesale clothing business.