A fabric that looks good, feels better, and is natural as well; no wonder modal is becoming so popular! Wondering what modal fabric is? Let’s find out more about its properties, advantages, and disadvantages, in this Fashionhance write-up.
Did You Know?
Modal fabric was invented and trademarked by the Austrian company Lenzing AG in the 1960s. Lenzing has been making cellulose fibers for more than 75 years.
In order to give superior results, newer fabrics with innovative properties are being made. One such fabric which has become a strong alternative to common fabrics is modal fabric.
Originating in Europe, modal fabric is fast becoming a much sought-after textile due to its amazing advantages over other types of fabrics. In the last 10 years, the production of modal fabric has jumped from 30,000 tons to 100,000 tons per year. Just pure modal, or its blends with cotton or spandex are popular. It is used to make sheets, towels, lingerie, and clothing.
So what makes this fabric so much desired? In the upcoming sections, we shall discuss the properties, advantages, disadvantages, and washing and caring instructions of modal fabric.
What is Modal Fabric?
Modal fabric is a bio-based textile made from reconstructed cellulose. It is a type of rayon; the only difference being that rayon can be made from any tree, whereas, modal is made from only beechwood. Beechwood is a deciduous tree found in Europe, Asia, and North America. Although it is a natural fabric, the innumerable chemicals used in its production make it a bio-based textile.
Modal Fabric Properties
- Modal is a soft, smooth, and breathable fabric.
- It gives a natural and luxurious feel.
- It is cool, very absorbent, and dyes easily.
- It keeps shape and drapes easily.
- The color stays for long and does not fade easily.
- It is resistant to shrinkage.
╚ Modal has been described as the softest fabric in the world by all the people who have used it. This comfort factor is the main reason for its popularity. Plus, it has high strength, and it does not lose its shape even when wet.
╚ Even after repeated washing, the color does not fade, nor does its texture get affected. It is also safe to machine wash and tumble-dry modal clothes.
╚ Hard water deposits do not adhere to the fabric due to its smoothness.
╚ Modal is super-absorbent, plus resistant to shrinkage, making it a better option than cotton. It is 50% more water-absorbent than cotton. It even uses 10 – 20 times less water than cotton for cultivation.
╚ It is an Eco-friendly fabric, that gives you more advantages at no extra cost. Of course, the exact price may vary according to the brand, just like other fabrics.
╚ Modal doesn’t really have any major disadvantages. The only noteworthy drawback is that, it is prone to stretching and pilling.
╚ Taking simple precautions like not hanging or rubbing modal clothes will solve the problem. Most modal blends anyway don’t face this problem.
╚ After washing, it is necessary to iron modal clothes, just like cotton.
Modal Fabric Allergies
╚ Although modal is made from natural substances, it goes through lots of chemical processing. Around 2,000 chemicals are used during its manufacturing process, some of which can be harmful to humans. Thus, there is a risk of allergic reactions from modal.
╚ In fact, many people have experienced weird reactions after wearing modal. Some of the common allergic reactions are itching, blistering, redness, rashes, headaches, disorientation, swollen glands, etc.
╚ You can look for a ‘Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)’ certified mark, which assures that no harmful chemicals were used, when buying modal.
Care and Washing Instructions
╚ Since modal is colorfast, there are not many temperature restrictions when washing it. Sheets and towels can be washed with your normal laundry at any temperature, but clothes will need a more delicate setting.
╚ In order to ensure that your modal clothes remain in the best condition, wash them with the hands in cold water. It is always safer to use a mild detergent, as stronger ones can weaken the fabric.