Fabrics Database - Modal

Summaries for Modal

Key: Centre (0) Bad        Outer (6) Good

Characteristics / options defined by the above graphs are proportionally represented and approximate, and are only intended as a guide. As such they do not represent any industry standards. Among other things, fabric construction and weight will influence the perceived ranking.

Data Sheet for Modal


Regenerated Cellulose fibre. Modal fibres are a form of viscose fibres and manufactured through a complex chemical process. Converted into a series of intermediate cellulose compounds, the final spinning process regenerates cellulose from a cellulose xanthate dope. Involving strong sodium hydroxide and sulphuric acids as well as carbon disulphide, there are environmentally concerns surrounding the process. Modal fibres have improved wet strength over standard viscose fibres and is abrasion resistant yet soft to handle and has good drape properties. It is extremely adsorbent and breathable which combine to make garments made from the fibre comfortable.

Available as:

Knitted and woven in 100% and blended. Modal is supplied as 100% or more frequently in blends. In this latter application it is used to improve the underlying properties of the other fibres. Modal yarns can be knitted or woven and come in a range of yarn/fabric weights.


Treat to remove sulphur and use cellulose dyes. Modal fibres will have similar requirements to viscose as they will contain a significant concentration of residual sulphur based chemicals from their processing. It is therefore essential that a suitable bleaching/scouring is carried out prior to any dyeing process. 

Dyeing modal fibres is totally compatible with cotton systems and as such can be carried out with reactive dyes or in some cases direct dyes. It is also possible to get pigment dyed fibres that have been spun from coloured dope. If garments must be suitable for the heavier duty applications in work wear then reactive dyes, vat dyes or sulphur dyes would be recommended.

Dimensional Stability

Excellent dimensional stability.

Resistance to pilling

The abrasion resistance and pilling resistance of Modal is good

Moisture regain

Better than cotton 12-15%. Modal has a high level of moisture regain, typically 12-15% at 65% RH 20°C

Care information

Cool wash. Easy care, suitable for cool washing.


Knitwear, leisurewear. ladies’ knitwear, leisurewear

End of life Possibilities

Can be disposed of using all end of life opportunities. Modal is a variant of viscose fibre, being produced using the same process but under modified conditions. It can be treated as viscose fibre. It is 100% cellulose and as such it is biodegradable. The fibre has also the potential for re-use and remanufacture. Where used as 100% there is the possibility of using the fabrics as a raw material for regenerated cellulose fibre production. When present in blends, the end of life options are reduced. However if blended with other cellulose fibres then the blend can be treated as cellulose feed stock for a regenerated cellulose process. The re-use of the non-woven viscose fabrics will depend on the way they have been manufactured.

Eco aspects

Cost scope (economic impact)

Common trade names




Oakdene Hollins Limited, 2024 for the CRR Uniform Reuse Project www.uniformreuse.co.uk


The rationale behind the study has been to provide a means whereby current and potential fibres/fabrics for use in the corporate clothing sector, can be compared. Any such comparison will be dependent on a multitude of factors that will influence the choice. Although application is the foremost factor that will be influencing the material selection, service life and cost will also play an important role.

The information contained within the following data sheets is an attempt to draw together some of the salient points that may be of interest at the specification and design stage without trying to be exhaustive.

De Montfort University produces these data on the fibres/fabric groups and blends on a non exhaustive basis. De Montfort University therefore makes no representation, express or implied that any of the fibres/fabric groups or blends will be unaffected by other treatments or processes. Users of these data must address the possibility of any health and safety issues that may arise personally.