You may have seen the word "modal" listed as fiber content in clothing. Modal is type of rayon textile made from 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 listed as a totally natural fiber because the wood pulp from the tree is heavily processed using a number of chemicals. Modal is classified as a bio-based textile.
Modal fabric is very soft and is often found in underwear, bedding and towels. It is often blended with cotton, spandex or other fibers. It is cool to the touch and very absorbent. It takes and holds dye easily. Modal is less resistant to shrinkage than cotton and tends to pill less as a result of friction on the surface.
Modal should be cared for following the guidelines for cotton. Modal can be washed in any water temperature - just follow label directions. Full strength chlorine bleach can weaken the fiber. Dilute solutions can be used safely for stain removal and whitening. However, even dilute solutions will weaken fibers causing them to rip and wear out if used too often.
Modal should taken from a dryer while slightly damp to reduce wrinkling. Modal, like cotton, most often needs a bit of ironing to look crisp. Extremely high temperatures when ironing can scorch the fibers. The scorching or yellowing occurs as the fibers begin to burn. Burned fibers cannot be revived.
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