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All you need to know

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The non-profit association Vesti la natura provides several free guides specially created to promote the use of low environmental impact materials among consumers and entrepreneurs

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Content index

What Modal?

Modal is an artificial textile fiber obtained by spinning the cellulose extracted from beech trees. Modal part of the viscose family, it is a variety of Rayon originally developed in Japan in 1951 and marketed in the form of "artificial silk".

The main difference between Rayon and Modal resides in the raw material used: Rayon fiber is commonly extracted from the wood pulp of different trees, while the fiber of Modal it is extracted only from beech wood.

It is important to know that Modal it is not a natural fiber, but an artificial fiber of natural origin: although the beech plant is the natural raw material used for the production of Modal, this textile fiber is born thanks to the help of numerous chemical substances.

When is fashion sustainable?

How to recognize it?

Where to buy it?

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How is the Modal?

The manufacturing process of the yarn of Modal involves the centrifugation of the cellulose extracted from beech plants, the wood fibers are spotted in liquid form and forced to go through small holes to create the yarn.

Modal: sustainability with superb softness (video)

Modal Textile Fiber

Modal it is about 50% more hygroscopic per unit volume than cotton (hygroscopy is the ability to readily absorb liquids). It is highly resistant to wear and UV rays, it does not discolour after the first wash, it maintains its characteristics even during aging, and it is a biodegradable fabric.

Comfortable to wear thanks to its extraordinary softness, Modal it has excellent air permeability, much better than traditional cotton: it is a good material for making sportswear thanks to its breathability, improves physiological circulation and body health.

Modal it has a fine, smooth, fresh and velvety surface, creating a touch effect similar to silk. The yarn is very resistant and the fabric is shiny. Visually, a piece of clothing made in modal it is easily distinguishable from other fabrics.

Resists shrinking and fading, smoother and softer than cotton to the point that hard water mineral deposits, such as lime, do not stick to the surface of the fabric.

Modal it is part of the viscose family, formerly called artificial silk, or vegetable silk, by virtue of its silky and airy consistency.


Characteristics of the Modal

Fabric Quality:

The qualities of the fabric may vary based on its blending with other fibers. Example: with Elastan or Lycra you gain in elasticity.

  Does not shrink / discolor
  Quick drying

Ecological Characteristics:

The ecological characteristics of the fabric may vary based on textile certifications or blending with other fabrics.

  Natural - Artificial - Synthetic  
  No GMOs
  Natural raw material
  Recycled raw material
  Mechanical extraction
  Chemical extraction
  Energy saving
  Sustainability class  

Textile Certifications:

The certifications that can be assigned to the fabric, but which vary according to different factors: manufacturing company, fashion brand, blending.

Global Organic Textile Standard
Organic Content Standard
Global Recycle Standard
Second Life Plastic
Animal Free
Fair Wear Foundation

This card can only be found on www.vestilanatura.it

Modal is it an ecological fabric?

Deciphering the 'green' aspect of a textile fiber is a difficult task, especially as technological advances continue to introduce the world of fashion nuove generations of eco-fabrics. The fabric Modal is one of these artificial ecological fibers of natural origin and owes its fame to the growing interest in sustainable fashion.

Although many ethical fashion brands use Modal as a green alternative to synthetic fabrics, should not always be considered as the most sustainable choice: being a fabric in great demand in textiles, various forms of Modal produced all over the world and few of these respect the environmental and social rules of eco-sustainable production.

Modal TENCEL ™

TENCEL ™ Modal (until 2019 called Lenzing Modal) is the textile fiber created and registered by Lenzing AG, an Austrian company specializing in ecological yarns: realizes artificial fibers of natural origin obtained from wood cellulose such as Modal e Lyocell, another ecological textile fiber extracted from eucalyptus plants.

Tencel Certified Logo

The Austrian company Lenzing AG is one of the manufacturers of Modal best known in the world, and markets its version of Modal under the name of TENCEL. Unlike other fibers Modal present on the market, TENCEL ™ Modal it is protected by a global certification system and is therefore a fiber that we can define as sustainable.

Lenzing has developed innovative environmental processes for the production of Modal, processes that are not commercially available to other manufacturers. These green technologies allow Lenzing to recover up to 95% of the resources used during production, minimizing emissions, and recycling resources for future fiber extractions.

It is easy to see why the fabric Modal is regarded by many brands as eco-sustainable fabric given its positive ecological footprint:

  • Its production has a minimal environmental impact.
  • Beech trees require less soil than cotton plants.
  • Global water consumption is 10 to 20 times lower than the water consumption of cotton.

Modal produced in China and Indonesia

While TENCEL ™ Modal uses certified beech plantations FSC - Forest Stewardship Council responsibly managed in Austria and neighboring European countries, other fibers Modal present in the market have less transparent origins.

For example, several manufacturers of Modal lesser known have been accused of destroying the rainforest in Indonesia. According to sustainable fashion commentator Summer Edwards, "the modal from Indonesia it is known to be produced with beech plantation forests cultivated in areas of razed rainforest ".

The items of clothing in modal products in China are made of fabric modal originating from Indonesia and these products have nothing sustainable, as they contribute to the destruction of rainforests: a story similar to the palm trees used for the extraction of the much-discussed palm oil.

How to choose a fabric Modal ecological?

A key factor to take into consideration in order to evaluate Modal as an ecological fabric is that the company Lenzing does not manufacture ready-to-use fabrics, but only sells yarn to textile companies, which subsequently create the fabrics.

The environmental impact associated with fiber weaving is significant: traditional methods use high levels of water and chemicals that are harmful to the environment. When evaluating the sustainability of a garment it is important to consider both the fiber and the processes of weaving, cutting, dyeing, packaging and transport.

Wanting to buy clothing in Modal with the certainty that it is eco-friendly, this should have the Tencel label which includes:

  • FSC certification for beech trees.
  • The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification for the production of the fiber.
  • Respect the regulations REACH tax to all companies producing in Europe.

Garments in fabric modal ecological are manufactured in Europe and North America, while we cannot define ecological as those produced in Indonesia, China, and other places, unless these have textile certifications that can guarantee its sustainability.

Clothing in Modal

Modal it is used to make clothing in 100% modal, or blended with other fibers such as cotton. Not being a cheap fiber, many fashion brands mix it with other fibers to lower the cost of selling to the public.

Thanks to its anti-bacterial properties, although there are no scientific tests in this regard, some fashion companies define the garments of clothing in Modal hypoallergenic. Other fashion brands that use this fiber define their products as anti sweat clothing.

Modal it is used for both sportswear and elegant clothing, but the difference between this and other fabrics is especially evident when used in direct contact with the skin.

Modal is used to produce menswear, womenswear and children's wear, but with the increasing demand for breathable and absorbent fabrics this alternative to cotton is also used in the manufacture of fitness clothing, swimwear, underwear, pajamas, bathrobes, sheets, pillows, mattress covers and other products.

Buy products in Modal

A showcase where you can find Sustainable, ethical and cruelty free fashion brands guaranteed by the supervision of our association:

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Maintenance of ecological fabrics

How do you wash the Modal?

The environmental impact of laundry detergents and household cleaners is devastating to our planet, so we highly recommend using ecological detergents.

Fabrics made in Modal they are light, highly breathable, dry in a short time and, above all, hardly produce creases, lending themselves very well to the production of "no-iron" garments, which save time and effort.

As for the washes, the garments in Modal they can be easily washed both by hand and in the washing machine. The golden rule of observing the etiquette also applies to the Modal, as it is the most effective way to check if the garments require separate washing or special treatments.


If you are preparing to wash by hand, you need to fill a basin with warm water and a little ecological liquid detergent, preferably for delicates. After leaving the clothes to soak for about a quarter of an hour, rinse under cold running water, wring lightly and hang out in the open air or on the drying rack, according to your needs.

Machine wash

For washing in the washing machine it is advisable to choose a program for delicate garments, preferably not higher than 30 degrees, add a little delicate liquid detergent, a teaspoon of bicarbonate and start the cycle, avoiding spinning to the end: ideal it would be to squeeze the garments slightly, to avoid deformation during drying.

Do you want to wash your clothes while minimizing water pollution?

  1. We have selected one of the most sustainable detergent and detergent brands click here to buy an ecological detergent
  2. You could use a Washing Ball to wash without using detergents click here to buy a washing ball
  3. You could use the nuovissimo Ecoegg, a nice ecological egg with which you can do about 720 washes click here to buy the ecoegg egg


Looking for more information on Modal? Ask your questions using the form below.

Ask Your Question!

Our answers:

Where can I buy the fabric in modal?

Vesti la natura has created a table with more than 40 sustainable materials, their respective applications in the textile sector, and their suppliers (even for small quantities). To access the table we ask you to donate a small financial contribution to our association. Click here for more information.

Eucalyptus or Beech?

Lyocell e Modal they are both are ecological fabrics, as long as they have the Tencel brand. Their characteristics are identical.

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