What is modal? Here's what you should know
You know those semi-synthetic clothes you usually find in the active wear aisle? More often than not, those clothes are made from a fabric called modal. Modal is breathable, soft and silky to touch – which is probably why it is the best material to work while you work out. Also, modal is an eco-friendly choice so if you’re all about saving the environment then modal is a great fabric for you!
What is modal?
Modal is a semi-synthetic rayon which is made from the fibers of the beech tree. The reason modal comes within the rayon category is that rayon is the term given to fabrics and materials made from wood pulp from any tree. And just like any rayon, modal is soft, silky and smooth. It is this soft and stretchy texture of modal which has made it a favourite among active wear and sportswear brands.
Where did modal originate from?
Initially, the concept of modal and modal fibers was developed in Japan. Then an Australian company called Lenzing started creating and selling modal making them the leaders or the kings of modal. They then went on to create micro modal and modal air which are basically lighter and more breathable versions of modal.
What makes modal superior?
Lenzing claims that the technique of producing modal is such that 95% of the production materials help in reducing carbon emissions and converse natural resources. With that in mind, it is safe to say that modal is eco-friendly and very good for the environment. Modal is soft and crease resistant, which is why it drapes very well across the body. Also, modal is very breathable which makes it ideal for active wear, lounge wear and sportswear clothing. Modal has one major benefit over cotton – modal is 50% less prone to shrinking when compared to cotton. Unlike most rayon, modal will not start pilling or shrinking due to its fiber strength.
What are the benefits of modal?
Since modal is very breathable and permeable, it always helps one stay cool and dry. Modal is also 50% more absorbent than cotton, which makes it ideal for humid conditions. Because modal is a very strong it is very long lasting and durable. It is also known for its colour fast and dye absorbing properties which ensures your modal clothing always looks brand new.
How to wash and care for modal?
Modal can be washed in warm water, but it is always best to read the wash care instructions. Never use bleach while washing modal because that might make the colours and dye fade. For stain removal or whitening modal fabrics, it is best to use an oxygen-based bleach to prevent fading and weakening fibers. While drying, modal should be dried on low or medium. Basically, you should wash and care for modal as you would cottons and linens. For ironing, use a medium hot iron – on the opposite side of the fabric so that it doesn’t lose its shine.
What modal items should I buy?
Modal is commonly used in household items like bathrobes, towels, and bed linens. A certain percentage of modal can even be found in t-shirts, underwear and shirts. Usually, 100% modal or modal mixed with spandex or cotton is used to make active wear and lounge wear items. If you are looking for absorbent, breathable, soft, smooth, strong and durable active wear, sportswear or lounge wear items then you should always buy ones made using modal. Modal underwear for infants and children is also a great buy.
How do I know I am buying authentic modal?
The best way to check if you are buying modal is by testing the absorbency properties of the item. Also, if the fabric is smooth, shiny and strong then it is probably modal. If the item shows no signs of pilling and does not fade after a few washes, then you have bought an authentic product.