Derived from beech trees, Modal is a semi-synthetic cellulose fiber considered to be twice as soft as cotton. The beech tree itself originates from an ancient, very resistant, deep-rooting plant, making it extremely sustainable because it does not require any chemicals to thrive nor extensive watering; rainwater suffices for a healthy growth. Also, they have the ability to multiply by rejuvenation, which reduces the amount of labor needed to sustain them.
Considered the mother of the forest, a beechwood forest is home to about 7000 different species and provides a wide range of raw materials. In general, beech forests develop vigorously in Northern and Central Europe, and have also become an important part of their landscapes and hence, culture. In order to create modal, the fibers of the tree are spun with reconstituted cellulose, which is a chemical substance. Cellulose is renewable and abundant and thought of as a nearly inexhaustible raw material resource. After the spinning process, the micro modal is woven into the fabric that we are familiar with.
Generally, micro modal is an appreciated fabric, especially in the world of underwear because of how soft to the touch it is. It is resistant to wear, washing, and the color applied to the fabric has the power to stay bright and brilliant for an extended amount of time. Another distinguishing characteristic of micro modal is that it has a high wet strength, adding to its durability and ability to keep its shape. Because of this, it can confidently be tumble dried.
One huge advantage of the beechwood fiber is that it gives modal a certain fineness to the touch which is comparable to that of natural silk. Also, Modal is biodegradable because of its organic nature, which only adds to its ability of being eco-friendly, unlike polyester for example, which would take a few hundred years to degrade.
Environmental concerns have been rising for a few decades regarding the use of cotton because of its important strain in the ecosystem; micro modal is the new black. It is more and more popularized and commercialized in the fashion world. Well loved by the consumers, the material is especially ideal for undergarments because of how soft and comfortable it feels. Many have described this fabric as a second skin.
"Rayon, Modal, and Tencel - Environmental Friends or Foes.” Yes it's organic, http://www.yesitsorganic.com/rayon-modal-tencel-environmental-friends-or-foes.html. Accessed July 16th 2017.
“What is Modal?” SuperNatural, https://supernaturalcollections.com/blogs/blog/15005825-what-is-modal. Accessed July 16th 2017.
“Cellulose for textiles.” Research institute of Sweden RISE, http://www.innventia.com/en/Our-Expertise/Chemical-Pulping-and-bleaching/Biorefinery-products/Specialty-cellulose-for-textiles/. Accessed July 16th 2017.