Of materials and fibers: modal

What exactly is modal? What is the difference to other fibers and what does it have to do with Tencel? 

What is modal?

Like lyocell, modal is a material made from wood. Beech wood is used for the production of modal. In order to obtain the cellulose fibers, it is softened in a caustic soda solution. The separated fibers are then spun into thread with the chemical carbon disulfide in a spinning bath and then further woven into the fabric Modal. 

Modal is also manufactured by the Lenzing company under the product name Tencel ™ Modal. You can therefore find the following names on the label of an item of clothing: 

  • Tencel ™ Modal
  • Lenzing Modal
  • Modal

advantages and disadvantages

If you compare modal with cotton, for example, the clear advantage is the lower amount of water that beeches need to thrive. Modal is also very comfortable to wear, hardly creases at all and has a cooling effect on the skin. The fabric is a lot more absorbent than cotton and more breathable. In addition, it does not shrink when washed and is very robust.

The disadvantage of Modal is that its production requires chemicals that can be harmful to the environment. This is because careful water purification after use is absolutely essential to prevent water pollution. Employees must also be protected because the substances and vapors are harmful to health. This makes it all the more important to question the companies and their ethos when it comes to the origin of the substances.

 

Is modal compostable? 

Pure modal is compostable. The fiber is often mixed with synthetic fibers or wool when weaving the fabric. The most environmentally friendly option is to completely do without synthetic fibers. Fortunately, there are more and more slow fashion brands that put this at the center of their designs and stand up for natural fibers and the environment. Wool is naturally degradable, but the extraction of wool is often unethical, which is why we at fairoase.ch want to do without wool. 

 

How does modal feel? 

The fabric is very similar to Tencel and feels pleasantly silky and soft on the skin. It is a cooling material and therefore perfect for the summer months. The glossy finish gives a classy look and can be combined for casual style and elegant outfits. 

 

What is the difference between lyocell and modal? 

Unlike modal, lyocell is manufactured without the use of chemicals that are potentially harmful to the environment. For this, it is extracted from eucalyptus, among other things, that first has to travel a long way to Europe. The beech wood for the fabric Modal, on the other hand, is more local and is considered a more sustainable resource. 

 

Swell: 

https://lampy.tugraz.at/~ictmisom/files/attachments/6848/560909_Faser.pdf

https://www.masterclass.com/articles/fabric-guide-what-is-modal-fabric#12-benefits-to-using-and-wearing-modal-fabric

https://utopia.de/ratgeber/modal-stoff-wissenswertes-ueber-den-stoff-aus-buchenholz/
https://www.greenpeace.de/themen/endlager-umwelt/textilindustrie/zu-robust-fuer-die-umwelt
https://www.tencel.com/sustainability