You may come across the word “modal fabric” on the care tag of your laundry clothing before washing them. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of the word before. Although it has been around for more than half a century, it is not as well-known as cotton, bamboo, polyester, or rayon, but it is a real fabric. Although modal fabric may appear to be an exotic or even a new space age material, it is only a type of rayon fabric manufactured from the fibers of a single type of tree.
It’s a rayon fabric of some sort. Modal fabric comes in a variety of styles and offers a number of advantages. Here’s everything you need to know about modal fabric, including what it is and where it originates from, as well as its benefits and drawbacks.
What is modal fabric, and how does it work?
Modal fabric is a type of material derived from beech trees. It’s a rayon kind, and it was manufactured by the Austrian manufacturer Lenzing AG. Despite the fact that it is manufactured in Austria, it was initially invented in Japan in 1951, hence Austria cannot claim exclusive credit for its creation. They were, however, the first to produce modal fabric for commercial use, launching the product in 1964.
To learn more about the origins of modal fabric, it is created from beech tree pulp, and the fibers are transformed into a textile/fabric by a number of processes. Modal is a biologically based textile that is sold under the labels Lenzing Modal, Formatex, and China Modal.
The natural/artificial argument
Although modal fabric is manufactured from tree fibers, many people assume it is a natural or organic fabric. However, when the processes for converting the fibers into fabric are examined, it is commonly understood that this is a synthetic fabric rather than a natural one.
A number of chemicals and intensive industrial processes are used to treat the wood pulp. Although the material’s foundation is organic, it can no longer be termed a natural fabric after processing.
Is modal fabric environmentally friendly?
Some customers are concerned about the environment and prefer to buy clothing and other textiles manufactured from natural or organic materials and produced using environmentally acceptable methods. The fibers of modal fabric are created by sieving wood pulp through machinery with microscopic pores after it has been converted into a liquid. Once the small fibers have been formed, they are woven together to turn the pulp into a fabric that can be used to build a variety of textiles using rayon fabric. Cutting down trees to manufacture the material, on the one hand, consumes additional forest/wood resources. On the other hand, the Lenzing Modal firm claims to be committed to leaving the minimal possible carbon footprint and is deemed carbon neutral. When it comes to carbon footprint, their innovative processing technology outperforms the methods used to make cotton fabrics since it uses ten to twenty times less water and uses less land area in the cultivation of their basic materials.
Furthermore, Lenzing AG processes that their processes produce fewer pollutants into the environment than other fabric producers and that they save natural resources by employing 95 percent recovered materials. This goes well beyond the natural/synthetic debate, delving into the processes and their potential consequences for the planet. It’s worth noting that modal fabric is one of the most popular options among eco-conscious fashion designers.
It is ecologically ethical to use materials that would otherwise be deemed garbage since it saves precious resources that would otherwise be wasted. These acts have two advantages: they keep waste items out of landfills and they reduce the quantity of trees harvested for industrial reasons. When it comes to the subject of whether or not modal fabrics are a suitable choice for naturalists, there are two schools of thought.
There are several compelling reasons why it is better for the planet than other materials, but the processes involved in its material are not entirely natural, therefore each individual must make their own conclusion based on the knowledge available about the processes involved. Understanding the processes that go into making modal fabric will help you decide if it’s good for you.
The methods of production used by the producers varies.
We’ve gone over the production process for the patented Lenzing Modal fabrics, but it’s worth noting that modal fabric is also produced by various companies across the world. Before we leave the subject of environmental responsibility, it should be noted that some modal fabrics produced in Indonesia are known to be made from trees harvested from rain forest areas where clear cutting has occurred to clear the land, resulting in damaging activities in these places.
Many of the modal clothing manufactured in China are made from Indonesian modal fabric that has been harvested without respect for the environment. Is it true that brand matters? When it comes to individuals who refuse to support companies that harm the environment, where the modal fabric originates from makes a huge impact. It’s understandable that Lenzing AG provides a product that considers the environment, while other manufacturers lack openness in their processes.
Modal fabric characteristics
The term “modal” refers to a rayon with a high wet modulus. This material was designed to offer a number of advantages that are extremely advantageous to the user. When you try on new clothes frequently, you decide whether or not to buy them depending on how well they fit and how comfortable they make you feel while wearing them. The velvety softness of modal fabric on the skin is unrivaled. When utilized to produce clothing, one of the most comfortable advantages of the material is its comfort. It has a lustrous sheen to it, and it drapes naturally and dances with you without stifling your movements.
This fabric is extremely breathable. Because of its viscosity, it helps sweat to flow away from the body and absorbs moisture efficiently, wicking it away from the skin, yet it does not retain moisture. Because it does not build up static and is a robust and durable material, it is very resistant to adhering. When used to manufacture clothing fabric, modal is usually combined with cotton fibers. It is lighter than cotton fabric alone, and it provides a cooling effect on the skin. It also has a good resistance to shrinking and a uniform drape.
The many types of modal fabric mixes and their applications
Modal fabric is a rayon mix that may be used for a number of materials. Modal fibers are frequently combined with a cotton mix when used in clothing. Stretchy properties of modal mixes with spandex and lycra materials make it perfect for leisure wear and active wear such as yoga and other sports clothing. Modal fabric is also used to produce underwear and is good for medical and hygiene items due to its absorbency. It is also utilized in the manufacture of vehicle tires as a rubber reinforcement since it is so robust and powerful. When cotton fibers are mixed together, modal fabric improves the properties of cotton by resisting shrinking and adding strength and durability.
Modal cotton mixes drape well, but one significant advantage over cotton alone is that it maintains its form and is very resistant to twisting and wrinkling. The fabric has low pilling, making it easy to maintain and care for. It absorbs fabric dyes nicely, and the colors don’t bleed as easily when washed, so they seem newer for longer.
What is the best way to care for modal fabric?
Modal fabric, which is comprised entirely of beech wood fibers, may be washed in any temperature of water, however cold water is the best alternative. Modal fabric requires a different form of care than most other rayon fabrics. Dry washing is recommended for most rayons, however it is not required for pure modal. One unique feature of this fabric is that chlorine bleach weakens the fibers, thus it should never be used.
If you need to bleach modal fabric clothing, use an oxygen-based bleach that does not include chlorine. After washing, the item may be machine dried on a low to medium heat setting. It’s critical to take modal fabrics from the dryer as soon as the procedure is finished, otherwise they’ll wrinkle. Fold the garment or, better yet, hang it up immediately away. Because the fabric resists pilling, it’s easy to maintain because you don’t have to care time removing small lint balls that can accumulate on other rayon-based materials.
What is the most effective way to utilize modal fabric?
We’ve looked at the various applications of modal fabric, and it can be found in anything from the tires that propel our cars down the road to the underwear that keeps us warm. One distinguishing feature of modal fabric combined with cotton worth mentioning is that it is not a warm fabric. Because of its coolness, this combination is one of the ideal materials for spring and summer clothing. It’s breathable, absorbent, soft, and comfortable, and it naturally cools the body. However, it’s not the material of clothing you’d want to wear in the fall or winter.
If you’ve never heard of modal fabric before, you’re suddenly an authority on the subject. It’s one of the most versatile commercially produced and disseminated materials on the planet. Although the material is processed with a variety of chemicals and mechanical processes, the company is committed to keeping carbon emissions to a bare minimum as well as protecting the environment by using lower areas of land and less water than most other fabric manufacturers. Modal fabric is responsibly sourced from beech wood fibers that would otherwise be considered waste products.
The Lenzing AG firm maintains a high degree of openness that demonstrates their dedication to protecting our planet’s delicate environment, which is one of the reasons why their modal fabric brand is so popular among designers and customers who share their values.
Before you can make an informed decision on which fabric is ideal for supporting environmental issues, you must first understand how each is manufactured, what the product’s basis is composed of, and how the textile’s manufacture affects the environment. Although not all modal fabric manufacturers adhere to environmentally responsible requirements, those that do provide a product worth supporting. Modal fabric is used to manufacture some of the planet’s greatest summer clothing and undergarments.
It’s simple to care for and maintain, and buying from the proper suppliers means you’re helping manufacturers do their best to sustainably acquire natural materials without endangering our fragile environment. You now have all of the information you need to decide whether modal fabric is the correct choice for you.