What Is Modal Fabric?

  You may have seen the word "modal" listed as fiber content on clothing and linens labels. While the word may be new to shoppers looking for new pajamas, underwear and other clothes, modal is actually just a type of rayon fabric made from the fibers of the beech tree.

  The term rayon applies to fabric/fiber made of the wood pulp from any tree. Modal uses only beechwood. It is not usually considered as a totally natural fiber because the wood pulp from the tree is heavily processed using a number of chemicals.

  Modal fabric can be a knit or a woven fabric. It is very soft, drapes well, resists creasing and has a smooth lustrous finish. The fibers are often blended with cotton, spandex or other fibers because of its qualities.  Because modal is both absorbent and air permeable or breathable, it is cool to the touch. The fibers take and hold dye easily resulting in deep, brilliant colors and produces no dye bleeding during cleaning. Modal is less resistant to shrinkage than cotton and tends to pill less as a result of friction on the surface.

  Modal is growing in popularity in the United States and can be found in activewear, underwear, shirts, towels, bed linens and bathrobes. The items may be made from 100% pure modal or from fabrics made by blending modal fibers and other fibers like cotton or spandex.

How to Iron Modal Clothes

  Some modal garments depending on how they are woven and constructed may wrinkle excessively when washed and will require ironing. Use a medium hot iron and always iron on the wrong side of the fabric. For extra protection, use a pressing cloth between the iron and the modal fabric. Extremely high temperatures when ironing can scorch cellulosic fibers. The scorching or yellowing occurs as the fibers begin to burn. Burned modal fibers cannot be revived.

                                                                                                                              Eden Zhou

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