What Is the Modal Fabric? How Is It Made and Its Uses?

What Is the Modal Fabric? How Is It Made and Its Uses?

If your top priority while shopping for clothing is exquisite softness, chances are your wardrobe boasts a plethora of modal pieces. Modal, technically a variant of rayon (also known as viscose), is renowned for its luxurious, silky texture. Marketed as a natural and sustainable alternative to synthetic fabrics like polyester, it is prized for its durability and resistance to pilling, surpassing even cotton in these aspects. Its superior absorbency and quick-drying properties have made it a favored choice in activewear, underwear, and bedding. With excellent stretch, graceful draping, and a cool touch even in humid climates, modal stands out among fabrics.

Compared to other rayon varieties, it boasts greater strength and shape retention. Moreover, modal is skin-friendly, lacking the synthetic petroleum-based elements found in acrylic, polyester, spandex, or nylon. Consequently, it does not shed microplastics during wearing or washing, ensuring a safer experience for the wearer.

The Modal Clothing Fabric

What Is the Modal Fabric? How Is It Made and Its Uses?

Modal fabric, also known as HWM rayon, is a prevalent choice in consumer textiles. This fabric falls under the category of semi-synthetic as it blends organic and synthetic components. Derived from cellulose sourced from hardwood trees, such as birch and oak, modal undergoes an intricate manufacturing process to transform raw tree material into a weavable fiber.

This new type of rayon marks a big change in how this fabric is made. The old types of rayon, created in the late 1800s, were costly and often caught fire easily. However, with the invention of viscose rayon in the early 1900s, most of the expense and safety issues were fixed. But making viscose rayon is needlessly complex and creates a lot of waste.

Modal rayon originated in Japan in 1951, bearing a striking resemblance to viscose rayon in many aspects. Nonetheless, modal rayon is crafted using a simpler process, resulting in reduced waste production. Consumers often observe a noticeable disparity in the texture of modal rayon compared to viscose rayon.

Modal rayon is favored for its lightweight and breathable nature, making it a hit in sportswear and bedding. With a high moisture-wicking capacity, it's a top choice for sheets, boasting luxurious thread counts of up to 300. Unlike cotton, modal rayon resists pilling, maintaining fabric integrity. Its main rival, lyocell, is a fully organic rayon. Modal's rise has led to a decline in viscose rayon production globally due to its cost-effectiveness and reduced environmental impact.

How Modal Fabric Is Made

The process of making modal fabric closely mirrors that of viscose rayon but with improvements to reduce waste and environmental harm. Most consumers and manufacturers prefer modal rayon to viscose for its superior quality.

The production of modal fabric starts with harvesting trees for cellulose, which is then purified into sheets. These sheets are steeped in a solution of sodium hydroxide, using lower concentrations compared to viscose, resulting in less toxic waste. The cellulose is then transformed into crumbs using carbon disulfide and immersed again in sodium hydroxide to create a syrupy solution. This solution is spun into fibers without aging. The fibers are treated with sulfuric acid, stretched into yarn, washed, bleached, rinsed, dried, and wound onto spools. Additional treatments like pre-shrinking or fire resistance may be applied before weaving the fabric.

Benefits of Modal Fabric

Modal rayon is often chosen as a substitute for silk or cotton. Initially developed as an alternative to silk, early versions were called "artificial silk" and were popular for scarves and nightwear until their flammability became known.

Modern modal rayon, like other advanced forms of rayon, is commonly used as a silk alternative. It's often blended with silk rather than used alone in products like scarves. Known for its softness, lightness, and breathability, modal rayon is widely used in sportswear, including yoga pants, bike shorts, and swimwear. It effectively wicks away sweat, is easy to clean, and proves surprisingly durable.

While not highly absorbent, modal rayon is favored for household textiles like bed sheets due to its silky feel, particularly for items in close contact with the skin for extended periods.

Baleaf's Modal Collection

Indulge in the irresistible allure of modal fabric featured in our Modal collection, inviting you to fall head over heels for its exquisite softness. Elevate your wardrobe with activewear pieces, like modal pants and modal tops, crafted from this luxurious fabric, offering comfort and style for a truly lavish lifestyle experience.

Evergreen Modal Joggers

Baleaf Evergreen Modal Joggers

Discover firsthand why customers rave about our Evergreen Modal Joggers, boasting exceptional softness and true-to-size fit. Transition seamlessly from workouts to leisure time, as these joggers double effortlessly as the ultimate loungewear bottoms for cozy relaxation in the comfort of your own sanctuary.

Evergreen Modal Flared Pant

Baleaf Evergreen Modal Flared Pant

Embrace every yoga or Pilates session with ease in our Evergreen Modal Flared Pant, crafted with 94% modal and 6% Spandex for unbeatable comfort. Designed to pass the squat test with non-see-through fabric and a smooth feel against the skin, these pants feature a high-rise style and wide waistband to provide maximum coverage and keep your tummy in check, while flaring out elegantly from the knee to the hem.

Evergreen Modal Bootcut Pants

Baleaf Evergreen Modal Bootcut Pants

Elevate your wardrobe effortlessly with our women's modal pants, designed to complement any top with ease.

Experience unparalleled softness in our Evergreen Modal Bootcut Pants, crafted from a blend of 94% modal and 6% Spandex, ensuring they pass the squat test with non-see-through fabric that's soft, breathable, and supremely comfortable. Featuring a high-rise style, wide waistband for maximum coverage, and flatlock seams for chafe-free wear, these pants boast a stylish bootcut design that adds a touch of sophistication to any ensemble.

Evergreen Modal Mid-Rise Sweatpants

Baleaf Evergreen Modal Mid-Rise Sweatpants

Experience ultimate comfort at home with our Evergreen Modal Mid-Rise Sweatpants, crafted from a luxurious blend of 94% Modal and 6% Spandex for softness, coziness, and skin-friendly wear. Featuring a convenient mid-rise style, elastic waistband with drawstring, three pockets, and flatlock seams to ensure a chafe-free lounging experience, these sweatpants are the perfect companion for relaxing in style.

Evergreen Modal Straight Bootcut

Baleaf Evergreen Modal Straight Bootcut

Experience love at first wear with the Evergreen Modal Straight Bootcut, where fans sing praises for its unparalleled softness and delightful comfort. Step into these pants and discover the sheer joy of wearing something truly terrific.

Evergreen Modal Pullover

Baleaf Evergreen Modal Pullover

Elevate your spring wardrobe with the versatile Evergreen Modal Pullover, ideal for workouts, lounging, or running errands with its skin-friendly, soft, and comfortable 94% modal, 6% Spandex blend. With a slim fit, high collar, half-zip for easy on and off, raglan sleeves for freedom of movement, thumbholes for added coverage, and flatlock seams ensuring no chafing, this pullover promises both style and functionality for any occasion.

Evergreen Modal Oversized Cropped Top

Baleaf Evergreen Modal Oversized Cropped Top

Stay cozy yet stylish during workouts and beyond with the Evergreen Modal Oversized Cropped Top, crafted from a skin-friendly 94% modal and 6% Spandex blend for unmatched softness and comfort.

Featuring a crew neck, an exaggerated fit for extra roominess, perfect crop top length for a flattering silhouette, and raglan sleeves ensuring a relaxed and carefree feel, this top promises both warmth and freedom of movement while flatlock seams ensure a chafe-free experience.

Bask in the Softness of the Modal Fabric

Once you experience the luxurious softness of modal against your skin, you'll never want to wear anything else, whether you're working out, relaxing at home, or on the go. The sheer bliss of wearing modal tops and pants will make every moment a delight, promising unparalleled comfort and a touch of luxury throughout your day.

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