Modal fabric: A sustainable and eco-friendly made from cellulose

If you are looking for a sustainable and eco-friendly textile, the modal fabric is a great option. In this article, Dugarco will delve into the details of modal textile, including its origin, production process, applications, benefits, and potential drawbacks to give you a better understanding of this sustainable and potential fabric.

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1. What is modal fabric meaning?

Modal fabric is a semi-synthetic textile manufactured from natural beech tree fibers. Raw materials extracted from the oak tree trunk need to go through a laborious production and processing procedure in order to render them into wearable fiber. Its softness, tenacity, and breathability have helped it become more well-liked in the fashion sector.

modal fabric
modal cloth material

In comparison to cotton fabric, modal fabric is typically seen as more environmentally friendly because it is bio-based. The reason for this is that beech trees don’t need a lot of water to develop, hence the production process consumes 10–20 times less water.

Fabric name Modal fabric
Fabric composition Cellulose from beech trees and synthetic ingredients
Fabric possible thread count variations From 150 to 300
Commonly used in Sportswear, underwear, T-shirts, bed sheets,…
Fabric breathability High
Stretchability High
Heat retention ability Low
Recommended temperatures for washing Cold

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2. Origin of modal textile

The 1950s saw the first development of modal fabric in Japan, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that it really started to take off in the global fashion world. Modal material is produced in an environmentally and sustainable manner, utilizing fewer resources and creating less waste than conventional textile manufacturing techniques. As buyers become increasingly aware of how their purchases affect the environment, the popularity of modal textile keeps rising.

modal cloth
The origin of modal material

3. Application of modal fabric

It is not unexpected that modal material is currently one of the most often utilized fabrics in the fashion industry. Some of their applications consist of:

  • Activewear: It is perfect for activewear including leggings, shorts, and sports bras due to its softness, breathability, and moisture-wicking qualities.
  • Bed linens and towels: Because of its great absorbency and softness, the modal fiber is also perfect for towels, bathrobes, and bed linens including sheets and pillows.
  • Home furnishings: Due to their ability to drape effectively and prevent fading, the modal fabric is used in curtains, drapes, and upholstery for home furniture.
modal cloth
Various amazing applications of modal fabric

4. Modal material production process

The manufacturer must go through several difficult processing and manufacturing processes, which take a lot of time and meticulousness to complete in order to make the constructed modal fabric. Here are the procedures for manufacturing modal material:

  • The process begins with the harvesting of beech trees, which are the source of the cellulose used to make modal.
  • The cellulose is then formed into sheets and soaked in sodium hydroxide. Small fragments of those sheets are cut up and submerged in carbon disulfate to produce sodium cellulose xanthate.
modal cloth material
The production process for modal fabric involves several steps
  • Again, Cellulose xanthate is soaked in sodium hydroxide. The resulting liquid solution is spun via a spinneret to produce modal fiber.
  • The newly generated fibers are submerged in sulfuric acid to make yarn. The yarn is placed onto spools after being cleaned, bleached, and dried. The yarn may then be used to weave or knit to create modal fabric.


5. Benefits of using modal fabric

Modal is frequently used to combine with other textiles to give products a high-end feel. it has also become highly popular among fashion designers who are conscious of the environment. Here are a few advantages of modal fabric:

  • Breathability: Modal fabric has excellent breathability, allowing air to flow easily through the fibers. This makes it a great option for garments worn during physical activity or in hot weather.
  • Softness: Modal cloth is incredibly smooth and soft to the touch, making it comfortable to wear all day.
  • Durability: This fabric is more resistant to wear and tear than certain other natural fibers, including cotton. It provides a long-lasting option for clothes and textile items since it can resist shrinking, fading, and pilling.
  • Eco-friendly and biodegradability: Compared to other varieties of materials, modal is produced using regenerative plants, using fewer chemicals during production and creating less waste. Modal is also completely biodegradable, which makes it an ideal choice in the garment industry.
modal fabric dresses
Various advantages of utilizing modal fabric

6. Disadvantage of modal fabric

Modal material provides a number of benefits, but there may also be some drawbacks to take into account. The following are a few of the most prevalent drawbacks of modal fabric:

  • Limited durability: Modal material is more durable than some natural fibers, like cotton, but it is not as robust as synthetic fibers like polyester. For items that need great strength or abrasion resistance, it might not be the ideal option.
  • Requires special care: Modal fiber can shrink or lose its form when exposed to high heat, thus washing and drying may need to be done with extra caution.
  • Higher cost: Modal may cost more than some other types of fabric, such as cotton or polyester. Because of this, it can be less accessible for those who are on a limited budget.
modal cloth material
Modal fabric contains a variety of drawbacks as well

7. The difference between modal stuff and other fabrics

Clothing and textile goods can be made from a variety of materials, including cotton, polyester, viscose, lyocell, and modal. While there may be some parallels between them, there are also a number of significant distinctions.

Modal fabrics Viscose fabrics Lyocell fabrics Cotton fabrics Polyester fabrics
Origin From natural cellulose fibers From natural cellulose fibers From natural cellulose fibers From the cotton plant A synthetic fiber
Breathability Highly breathable Less breathable Highly airy Highly airy Less breathable
Durability Highly durable Less durable Highly long-lasting Less long-lasting Highly durable
Environmental impact Highly eco-friendly and biodegradable Environmentally friendly and biodegradable Highly eco-friendly and biodegradable Highly green and biodegradable Less eco-friendly and  not biodegradable
modal material
Modal materials’ distinction from other textiles including viscose, lyocell, cotton, polyester fabrics

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8. Instructions to care for clothes made from modal material more durable

With the right care and upkeep, the modal fabric may maintain its softness and form for a very long time. Here are some guidelines for caring for modal clothing to increase its durability:

  • When washing modal cloth, you should use a moderate, light detergent to prevent harming the fibers. Bleach and fabric softeners should not be used since they can potentially harm the cloth.
  • Since the modal fiber is heat-sensitive, it should ideally be washed in cold water to prevent shrinking or losing its shape. Using the dryer’s high-heat or hot water settings is also not recommended in the guidelines of caring modal fabric dresses.
  • Modal clothing material should be kept dry and cool to prevent moisture buildup. You should also keep it out of direct sunlight to prevent fabric fading.
modal fabric dresses
Some basic instructions to remain modal clothing more durable

Modal fabric is a promising material with the potential to make the garment industry more sustainable, ecologically friendly, and socially responsible. Dugarco hopes that this article has provided you with a wealth of beneficial knowledge.

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