Is Modal Fabric Breathable? (Modal Fabric Pros and Cons)

The hot weather doesn’t always stop at the end of August. For some people, the need to wear breathable fabrics continues for another month. Finding the most comfortable and appealing material that breathes for an Indian summer is not going to be that hard

Is modal fabric breathable? Modal fabric is like rayon. It is not fully natural and it is not fully man-made material. Because it enjoys the best of both worlds it is a fabric that may be softer than cotton, stronger than rayon but lousy for those with allergies.

To learn more about modal and its strength and weaknesses, just continue to read our article. It has the facts so you know how to use this material well. Plus, you may pick up some interesting trivia about the fabric.

Modal Fabric Pros And Cons

Even though it is in a unique category, modal still has some very good pros that convince you to wear it. And some interesting cons that may have you thinking twice about having that fabric next to your skin.


  • Good for dyeing- it has great dye accepting fibers.
  • Loves to blend with others- this fabric brings strength and flexibility to other fabrics.
  • Loves to blend with others- this fabric brings strength and flexibility to other fabrics.
  • Has a smooth and soft texture- some people say it is softer than cotton.
  • It is very absorbent- in fact, this fabric should absorb moisture 50% more than cotton does.
  • It is very flexible- it moves easily plus it flaunts your curves.
  • It is very breathable- heat is moved quickly away from your body.


  • It is not hypoallergenic- first-time users may experience an allergic reaction.
  • It is not hypoallergenic- first-time users may experience an allergic reaction.
  • It may not be as durable as promised- even its ability to stretch can ruin its shape and fit.
  • It is not always made from high-quality fibers- which means your modal outfit may not be that strong.
  • The processing is not always environmentally friendly- deforestation is a problem.
  • Not for all seasons- it is a hot weather fabric only.
  • Buying the fabric can be expensive- for the price you would expect it not to crease or wrinkle.

Modal Fabric Properties


Now that you have read the pros and cons of modal fabric, it is time to let you get to know what the fabric is all about and what properties it owns.

- It is a very soft and smooth fabric that is nice to touch and have against your skin.

- It is a fabric that lets your body breathe and stay cooler when the temperatures outside soar.

- The fabric provides a luxurious and natural feel to the wearer.

- The fabric can be dyed easily so restoring the original color is not a challenge.

- Modal is very absorbent and keeps sweat away from your body making sure you feel no discomfort.

- Despite its stretch, it does keep its shape and drapes very well.

- The original color does not fade that quickly.

- Finally, the fabric resists shrinkage, keeping its shape after many washes.

Is Modal Fabric Breathable?

This is one of the modal’s strengths. It is a light fabric that absorbs moisture better than cotton does and allows heat to escape. These construction characteristics mean that you should stay cooler on hot days.

Another strength is that even after several washes, the fabric should not pill. That is a great feature when those hot days just do not go away. You can wear this fabric often and enjoy the benefits it brings to your daily activities.

The one thing you have to watch out for is if you have allergies. This material is not hypoallergenic and may trigger allergic reactions if you are not careful. Read the labels to make sure the chemicals used in making this fabric do not trigger any allergies you might not know about.

Other than that, enjoy the fabric and when you can’t afford new modal clothing, just dye it a darker color and pretend you did.

Does Modal Fabric Make You Sweat?

This is one material that should keep you cool on those hot days. It is designed to be very breathable and should not contribute to your sweating problem. Of course, there are those people who sweat more than others and no amount of breathability will help that issue.

Modal is a light fabric that lets heat escape as you go about your day. With that lack of heat retention, you should actually sweat less than you normally would. Plus, you should not feel any discomfort from any moisture as modal does absorb better than cotton does.

Then with its luxurious feel, your day should go by without a hitch as you are not worried about how you look or feel. With its ability to drape well, your figure will be complemented and maybe help draw a lot of attention to your figure without even trying to do so.

Modal Fabric Show Sweat?


Modal is supposed to be better than rayon and rayon is questionable when it comes to showing sweat. Rayon doesn't absorb moisture that well so it is not always the best choice to wear on a hot day that will ensure you sweat with each step.

Modal is supposed to absorb better than cotton but that does not mean that your sweat stains will be invisible. They may take longer to show up than if you wore other fabrics but they will eventually when you wear modal.

The key to wearing modal is to wear those colors that do not exhibit your sweat stains for the world to see. Choosing the right color is one way to hide the fact that you sweat more than anyone thinks you do.

So choose wisely and skip those colors that make you look and feel thinner but do not hide those nasty sweat stains.

Is Modal Fabric Good For Summer?

It is a good fabric choice on those days that are going to be warm or hotter than normal. It is a cooling material that lets a lot of your body heat find its way to the atmosphere as you carry out your duties.

With its high absorption rate, you should feel more comfortable on those days as well. You can’t beat this fabric when the heat is turned up and you are longing for those cool spring days that have long passed.

But there is a caveat to all of this goodness. If you work in an office or do a lot of shopping in a mall that has lots of air conditioning that won’t quit, bring a sweater or a shawl with you. Because modal is a cooling fabric, your body will not remain warm in cooler conditions.

Is Modal Fabric Warm?

Not really and as we were just explaining, modal is not the type of material you want to be wearing if you are working or doing a lot of errands where the air conditioning is excellent.

The reason for that is modal will let your body heat escape even under cooler conditions so you will not have that layer of warmth to protect you from that cooler air. That means under those conditions you should have a sweater at your desk or hiding in your purse to make sure you do not get a chill or catch a cold.

Modal has lots of positive aspects about it but keeping you warm on cool days is not one of those top attributes. Be prepared and make sure you have a backup plan when you have to work under cooler conditions yet want the drape and luxurious feel that modal brings.

Is Modal Fabric Good For Winter?


Only if you are constantly in a warm car or a building that turns up the heat every day. Other than that, it is best to wear a fabric that is made to handle the winter. Or if you wear great thermal underwear or layer underneath your modal fabric you can get away with wearing that material during the wintertime.

Other than that, save modal for those days when the temperatures are well above freezing. You can find other fabrics that drape well, complement your figure that work well in the cold temperatures winter brings with it.

There is one other exception to this rule an that is if you live in a region of the country that does not have cold temperatures during its winter season. Then you should be able to get away with wearing modal and not put your health at risk. Modal is not a fabric for sub-zero weather.

How Does The Modal Fabric Feel?

If you want to feel like Grace Kelly or some other sophisticated movie star, and they are few and far in between, then you should wear modal. It is a soft and smooth fabric that provides a luxurious feel to your body that makes you think you are part of the financial and entertainment elite.

Plus, the fabric drapes really well which means your figure will be complemented and you should draw the many male eyes in the room in your direction. It is a movie star’s material that elevates you when you wear it.

That is the best way we can describe this fabric as its description at times defy words, especially when you get material that is top quality. Then with its ability to breathe and keep you cool, your evening will be like Cinderella’s, magical and wonderful.

What's Modal Fabric Like?

Wearing modal is like being free. It allows you to do different activities without reminding you that it is there. It has a stretch factor that makes sure the fabric doe snot hinder your movements. Plus, it is flexible so you can change positions quickly without faltering.

On top of that, you are wearing a material that lets you be you without interfering with your creative expression or your unique personality. At least that is the impression we get from all the research we have done.

Modal is one of those one of a kind materials that let you be you and makes you look good while you are doing that. With its absorption rate, you should be comfortable and dry for a very long time.

Then, it is a fabric that expresses your taste in colors extremely well. With its ability to accept dyes, you can wear a different modal dress without buying a new outfit.

Why is Modal Fabric So Expensive?


The basic reason for why anything is expensive applies to modal fabrics as well. The cost of production is what drives the material to be more expensive than similar fabrics that perform as modal performs.

Even though it is said that the production of modal is cost-effective, it is still more costly to produce this fabric than other fabrics. It is the way it is in the business world. Cost influences purchase price and it is a fact of life we all have to endure.

Plus, the characteristics, feel, drape, and other important factors that modal has also influence the price somewhat. The more talented the fabric, the higher the price. Then you have to figure on the resource.

Modal comes from the beech tree and that resource can be depleted very easily. Manufacturers have to wait till the tree matures before they can use it and that delay raises costs.

Where Does Modal Fabric Come From?

The main source for modal fibers is the beech tree. Cellulose is extracted from the wood pulp and then re-spun to create the modal fiber. If it were only that simple. Unlike other natural fibers, chemicals play a large role in creating this material and those chemicals can add to the cost of the fabric as well as contributing to allergy triggering.

This process is why modal is considered a semi-natural and semi-synthetic material. It takes the best of both worlds to produce a fabric that is perfect for hot weather. The list of chemicals may turn you off of wearing this fabric, so we will leave those out for now.

Suffice it to say that you have almost a natural fabric you can wear instead of cotton, linen, and silk or wool. It is a good fabric if you can overcome those negatives that turn this material from being perfect to an above-average fabric.

Is Modal Fabric Toxic?

It is possible to put modal in this category as it is supposed to be better than rayon and rayon is made from toxic chemicals. Modal is also made from chemicals and they may be as toxic as rayon’s.

Those chemicals include carbon disulfate, sodium hydroxide, and sulfuric acid. The presence of these chemicals may have you thinking twice about wearing a modal made outfit.

It is the same process to make modal as rayon is made and if the fabric is advertised as Anything static resistant, stain-resistant, permanent press, wrinkle-free, stain proof, or moth repellent then you may be wearing toxic chemicals to your next formal event.

Is Modal Fabric Sustainable?


Our research indicates that this part of the fashion industry is not sustainable. The reason for that conclusion is that it takes a large number of beech trees to make this fabric.

What that means is that whole forests of beech trees can be cut down at one time ruining the environment for the time being. Fabric makers have to wait till the replanted beech trees grow large enough before they can make more modal fabric.

That takes time and it is possible that the beech tree may not make a comeback for a long time to come.

Is Modal better than Cotton?

In some categories yes it is. Modal is more absorbent than cotton, by about 50%, which makes it a very good fabric to wear when you expect to be hotter than usual. Plus, under the right management, the beech tree process is more eco friendly than growing cotton plants.

When it comes to changing the color on your cotton or modal outfit, this may be a tie. Both materials accept dyes very well and you can change your wardrobe without the expense.

With all that said though, cotton may be superior in other areas and it all boils down to your experience as low-quality items have a way of influencing one’s views of different fabrics.

Some Final Words

Despite all the negative aspects and the possible toxic nature of this fabric, modal is an excellent material to have next to your skin. It allows your body to remain cooler, you look better in modal outfits and you can move freely.

This is a fabric you should consider for your late spring to early fall wardrobe.

Leave a Comment: