Does Modal Fabric Shrink?

Does Modal Fabric Shrink

Modal fabric is a type of Rayon fabric used in making sportswear, underwear, etcetera. So you can imagine just how stretchable this miracle fabric is. But does it shrink? Well we’ll soon find out. Modal fabric is more lightweight than Viscose fabric (which is a fabric Modal fabric is a variation of and it is very prone to shrinkage), it is also much more breathable which is one of the reasons it is used in making sportswear, along with its elasticity of course. Not only that though, the fabric is considered to be one on the most comfortable fabrics to-date. Being compared to the likes of cotton and silk, which are each in a league of their own.

How Is Modal Fabric Made?

Because Modal fabric is essentially a type of Viscose/ Rayon fabric, it is made in almost the exact same way. The main difference with how Modal fabric is produced however is that most of the wasteful or harmful parts of Viscose/ Rayon production are not present in Modal fabric production. The process of Modal fabric production begins with the harvesting of trees, particularly Beech trees, these trees are then further broken down into smaller and smaller parts to the point where they’re turned into a thick syrupy liquid, which is then converted into Modal fibers when the syrup is pushed through a spinneret device with very tiny holes. The Modal yarn from these fibers is treated with chemicals that aid it from pre-shrinking, fire and wrinkles (So as you can see the fabric is treated to not shrink from the production line.) It is treated with many other chemicals before it can be called Modal fabric, which is then after used to make all kinds of clothing.

So Does Modal Fabric Shrink?

No, Modal fabric does not shrink under normal conditions. This is because of the fabric’s main properties like its stretchability and breathability, which means that Modal fabric is also very flexible and would not Shrink when washed or used quite a number of times. However it is worth noting that when exposed to excessive amounts of heat, Modal fabric is very likely going to shrink in length. When exposed to excessive heat, the fibers that make up the Modal fabric can lose a lot of moisture or humidity and thus shrink. Even when Modal fabric is put into a tumble dryer, it is more likely to absorb the heat from the dryer (despite how low or high the heat setting will be) and shrink as a result of that. When dealing with Modal fabric made of 100% pure Modal fibers, you should expect quite a little amount of shrinkage over time. But when Modal fabric is blended with another type of fabric, it is more likely to shrink, provided that the fabric is stiff or tough and doesn’t really offer any form of stretchability.

Flexible fabrics are resistant to shrinkage because when exposed to unfavorable conditions (that lead to the shrinkage), the fabric can simply be subject to those conditions and then return to its original shape without having much harm done to it.

Types Of Fabric Similar To Modal Fabric

  • Viscose Rayon – This is the first form of fabric, which Modal fabric originates from, with its cellulose-based make up to enter into the world’s textile market. However the methods od waste management leading to the successful production of this fabric are considered quite harmful for the environment, that is how Modal fabric came about and adequately killed two birds with one stone. One, by creating a production method that was more sustainable and safer for the environment. And two, by bringing the look of Viscose Rayon and making it better whilst possessing additional properties that traditional Viscose fabric doesn’t have. Viscose Rayon is more likely to shrink because of its resistance to stretching.
  • Lyocell – Another form of updated Viscose Rayon, this type of fabric carries with it a number of general benefits. Lyocell fabric is purely organic, unlike Viscose Rayon or Modal fabric which are both considered to be semi-synthetic because of the chemical treatments that they’re put through. Although Modal fabric is much better for the environment than Viscose Rayon. Lyocell fabric is specialized to an Austrian international corporation called Lenzing AG. Which means it can only be produced at and by this specific company only and nowhere else.
  • It is crucial to note that Modal fabric is only a type of Viscose Rayon fabric, because some of the same processes used to produce Modal fabric, from the very beginning are used to make Viscose Rayon fabric.

More On Modal Fabric

  • Modal fabric is warmer than cotton (up to 50%) and can retain its shape better than cotton even after rigorous physical activity or rigorous washing. This also means that Modal fabric is more durable than cotton (which is the world’s most popular fabric. But is also very likely to shrink when washed or used a couple of times.)
  • Modal fabric is very similar to Polyester fabric, to the point where the two fabrics are almost identical. However the main difference is in their compositional structures. With Modal fabric being made from tree fibers and Polyester being entirely a chemical/ synthetic material.
  • Modal fabric will not only shrink when exposed to an excessive amount of heat (Which is heat that exceeds your body temperature) over long periods of time, it will also turn to an unattractive yellow color.


Modal fabric is on par with the likes of silk and linen because of its rich, luxe, soft and silky-like texture. Although it is not cheap, it definitely isn’t as expensive as the aforementioned either. If taken care of correctly, that is not exposing the Modal fabric to unfavorable weather conditions, the Modal fabric is sure to last long and not shrink one bit. It is one of the most durable fabrics on the textile market today and that’s a big win since it has no plastic (with the exception of chemical treatments) in its make up.