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A semi-synthetic fabric, modal is a form of rayon, a plant-based textile: modal itself is made from beech tree pulp, and is both more durable and flexible than standard rayon. Modal is occasionally blended with other fabrics such as cotton for additional strength.

Due to its origin in reconstituted beech tree cellulose, modal is considered to be an environmentally-friendly fabric, even more so than standard rayon, since beech trees require 10-20 times less water to grow compared to other trees which provide fabrics. Modal is still an eco-friendly option despite the fact that its production process includes soaking the fabric in chemicals such as sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfate (this is what gives modal its status as a semi-synthetic fabric). It is also softer than standard rayon, and feels like cotton to wear.


Modal is a stretchy, flexible material that is soft to the touch and comfortable to wear. It is a breathable and absorbent material (50% more so than cotton), and so is able to deal with the effects of sweating and moisture more effectively than other fabrics.

Modal is something of a super-fabric in terms of its long-lasting effects. It does not pill, nor lose its colour in the laundering process; it is also resistant to both shrinking and pilling, and stays smooth with only light ironing. As an eco-friendly material, it is also entirely biodegradable, and so does not contribute to environmental issues such as landfills or oceanic pollution in the same way that entirely synthetic materials can.


Modal materials are durable, and can be cleaned in the washing machine and put in a tumble dyer (be sure to look at the product’s label, though, since some modal products are blended with cotton and spandex and may have different cleaning requirements). Although modal garments can be cleaned in any water temperature, cold water is preferable; however, drying should be performed using low to medium heat, and modal items should be removed from the dyer as soon as they are finished. Hang them up immediately afterwards to avoid any possible wrinkling or creasing.

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