Modal Vs. Tencel: The Difference And Benefits

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t know the difference between Modal and Tencel. And to be honest, most people don’t either! That’s because these two materials are pretty new to the market.

So, Modal vs. Tencel: what’s the difference? And what are their benefits? They’re different and yet the same. And they’re worth knowing about because they have unique benefits.

So in this post, we’re going to compare Modal and Tencel and figure out which is best for you!

Modal Vs. Tencel

tencel lyocell
Tencel Lyocell blue denim. Credit: canva

What is Modal?

It is a type of fabric that’s made from beech tree cellulose. It’s a semi-synthetic fabric, which means it’s not 100% natural (like cotton or linen), but it’s not 100% synthetic either.

It is the second generation of “regenerated” cellulose fiber from beechwood, typically eucalyptus trees. It is an enhanced version of rayon and was created due to the desire to produce a higher wet strength rayon fiber while retaining all the benefits of rayon.

It is known for being:

  • Soft with a sheen finish
  • Breathable and durable
  • Moisture absorbing properties
  • Wrinkle-resistant
  • Colorfast

What is Tencel?

TENCEL™ is the trademarked brand name given by the Austrian company Lenzing AG to their process of creating lyocell fabric.

Lyocell is the third development in cellulose fabric technology and an advanced version of Modal.

TENCEL™, too, has become the most well-known and trusted lyocell brand that “Tencel” label is automatically referred to as Tencel lyocell.

Tencel Modal Fabric

soft bed sheet
Soft Tencel bedsheet. Credit: canva

Tencel Modal is a combination of TENCEL™ lyocell and modal, two fibers that offer the best of both worlds – the luxurious hand of Modal with the strength and durability of TENCEL™.

It is a soft, durable, and comfortable fabric made from the wood pulp of natural trees. It has been used for decades in the fashion industry because it is breathable, easy to care for, and cool to the touch.

It is made from the wood pulp of natural trees. It has been used in garments by some of the world’s most well-known brands for decades because it breathes easily, resists wrinkles, and feels cool against your skin.

The variety of Tencel fabric is often the differentiator between sheet sets. There are three main options: Tencel lyocell, Tencel modal, and a combination.

Tencel Modal and Tencel Lyocell are both made from the cellulose from trees. The difference is that modal has been processed to create a softer fabric, more breathable, and less shrinkable fabric. Modal also has a tighter weave and feel to it.

Modal Fabric Vs. Cotton

Modal is a textile fiber made of cellulose derived from wood pulp. It’s known for its softness and its high absorbency.

The fabric is also more resistant to shrinkage than cotton because it has more stretch. It is one of the purest natural fibers available.

Tencel Benefits and Uses

pajama
Pajama. Credit: canva

Benefits

Eco-friendly

The process used to make Tencel Modal is an eco-friendly closed-loop system in which solvents are continually recycled and require less water and energy than traditional methods.

The fabric’s bio-degradability is also exceptional compared to most other materials.

Sustainability

In a closed-loop system, the fabric is made means that solvents are continually recycled and require less water and energy than traditional methods. This makes it a more sustainable choice.

Soft and sheen finish

The fabric is an excellent choice for those who want their clothes to be comfortable and stylish. The soft, smooth finish can reduce wrinkles on your shirt or skirt while also making them last longer!

Breathable and cool to the touch

This fabric lets air pass through it easily, so you can feel comfortable knowing your skin won’t heat up or get too hot.

Absorbs moisture more efficiently

These fibers are hydrophilic, which means they literally “love water,” so it is very absorbent and hygienic.

Versatile and durable

This fabric is becoming increasingly popular in activewear and outerwear because it is durable and versatile.

Colorfast

This fabric is less likely to fade over time than other fabrics.

Uses

Tencel Modal is often used in:

Clothing: T-shirts, underwear, yoga pants, leggings, pajamas

Home furnishings: Bed sheets, towels, upholstery

Activewear: Workout clothes, socks, pants

Outerwear: Jackets, hats, gloves

Akemi Tencel Modal Bed Sheets

Akemi is a well-known brand that produces bedding products from a 100% organic modal.

Tencel sheets are known for their durability, as they are made of an eco-friendly material that resists dust and dirt. This fabric is lightweight, breathable, and heats quickly.

The sheets are wrinkle-resistant and hypoallergenic. These sheets make for a great night’s sleep because they wick away moisture and regulate heat like natural cotton.

Drawbacks

Tencel Modal does have a few drawbacks:

  • It’s more expensive than other fabrics
  • The fabric is less stretchy than other fabrics
  • It doesn’t stand high temperatures during laundry
  • Its silky feeling might not appeal to everyone

How to Care

Just like any other fabric, you should follow the care instructions on the garment.

Washing Instructions

Here are several basic instructions to wash the fabric:

  • Machine-wash on a gentle cycle with cool water and mild detergent.
  • Tumble dry on low heat or line dry.
  • Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners.
  • You can tumble dry on low or air dry. Iron on low if needed.

How to Remove Stains

If you get a stain on your clothing, it’s best to treat it as soon as possible. The sooner you treat the stain, the easier it will be to remove.

To remove a stain:

  • Gently rub the fabric with a mild detergent and cool water. Rinse with cool water and repeat if necessary.
  • Do not use hot water or put the garment in the dryer until the stain is removed.
  • If you have a stubborn stain, you can try using a stain remover designed for delicate fabrics.

Does It Shrink?

Tencel Modal is less likely to shrink than other fabrics because of how it is made. However, you should still follow the care instructions on the garment to avoid shrinking.

FAQs

Is modal the same as Tencel?

Modal is a type of rayon, a semi-synthetic fabric made from cellulose. Tencel is the name of the brand that creates materials made from modal.

Is Tencel modal breathable?

Yes, Tencel Modal is a very breathable fabric. The fibers are hydrophilic, which means they absorb moisture quickly. This makes the fabric ideal for activewear and outerwear.

Is Tencel a natural fiber?

No, Tencel is a semi-synthetic fabric made from cellulose. However, making the fabric is more environmentally friendly than other synthetic fabrics.

Is Tencel high quality?

Yes, Tencel is a high-quality fabric. The fibers are strong and durable, so the material is less likely to tear or fade.

Is Tencel as good as cotton?

Some say Tencel is better than cotton because it is more absorbent and breathable. Others say that cotton is better because it is a natural fiber.