Does Modal Shrink? (How Much When Washed, Dryer, Hot Water)

Many movies have been made where humans shrink under different circumstances. They say that art imitates real life and those movies seem to copy what fabrics do when exposed to certain elements during the laundry process. They shrink.

Does modal shrink? Modal yarn is supposed to be a better version of rayon. That means that this fabric will not or should not shrink as much as rayon can and does. But modal is not impervious to shrinkage. It can shrink, especially if it is washed in cold water.

To learn more about the modal fabric, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need for you to use this material better. Modal is often called the underwear fabric as it is used more for delicates and helps keep them from shrinking.

Does Modal Shrink When Washed?


It seems that this fabric is very strong when it is wet. That is a good characteristic to have as that cuts the shrink factor down to size and lets your underwear remain the right size longer.

In fact, it is this characteristic that has many underwear manufacturers blend their cotton wares with modal to prevent shrinking. Modal is a fabric that starts from natural fibers and uses man-made techniques to be developed into the material you can use in your sewing projects.

It is neither natural nor man-made fibers. This construction gives the material its unique anti shrinking capability. But modal will still shrink if not cared for properly. Also, modal was developed by the Japanese in 1951 and gave it the properties that rayon did not have.

This fabric does absorb moisture well and still remains nice and soft. The natural fibers come from the beech tree and are processed like bamboo to make good fabric.

Will Modal Shrink in Hot Water?

It is possible as modal is not invulnerable to shrinking. It will shrink at some point but it resists that movement as long as it can. Usually, the instructions are that you wash modal like cotton using a cooler temperature no higher than about 100 degrees F.

Then you iron modal like it was made of wool. This is a complex fabric to launder as while it resists shrinking you may still see some take place if you do not give it the right care.

Hot water and a hot dryer are the two techniques used to make modal fabrics smaller. With that said, some people have claimed that if you wear modal clothing in cooler climates or environments, you should expect some shrinkage to take place.

Just keep a watchful eye over your clothing to make sure you do not lose a size when you least expect it.

Can You Put Modal in The Dryer?


Yes, you can as you launder this fabric as you would normally launder cotton. That means avoiding hot temperatures when you use your dryer to get your clothes nice and dry.

The good thing about modal is that you do not need to clean it at the dry cleaners. You can handle the cleaning task yourself and wash and dry this material as you would cotton. But like rayon and some synthetic materials, heat is not modal’s friend.

Pure modal can be washed at any temperature but drying at any temperature may not be a good idea. Like most fabrics, you need to read the cleaning labels first before turning up the heat.

Those laundry instructions are essential to keeping modal nice and clean as well as wrinkle-free. Never assume how to launder a fabric as that is when mistakes take place.

Does Modal Shrink in The Dryer?

It can. The recommended temperatures for drying modal in the dryer is low or medium heat. Going too high and you will most likely shrink your modal clothing item. High heat is the way to shrink this material.

Other things you should watch out for is that you do not use hot water when washing this fabric and when you use bleach, turn to an oxygen bleach instead of chlorine variety.

Chlorine bleach is not a good chemical to expose the modal clothing to and you should end up with ruined clothes if you do. The processing of this fabric is what gives the material its strength.

Modal is very breathable as well as lighter. Also, the processing makes this fabric stronger so it resists those laundry ills that harm other fabrics. The only thing is there are a lot of chemicals in modal so you may want to be choosy when you select your modal clothing items.

How Much Does Modal Shrink?


It is hard to place a percentage on how much modal will shrink as that rate depends on the type of care it is given and what other fabrics it is blended with. Rayon shrinks a lot and the best figure we could find is that modal shrinks about 50% less than rayon does.

That is a very good result and tells you that your clothing should not lose its shape any time soon when it is blended with this fabric. Modal is designed to be batter than its cousin, rayon. It seems that the manufacturers have taken the best rayon has to offer and improved on those qualities to make modal a better fabric.

Those qualities make it easier for you to use the steam function on your iron so you can get the wrinkles out faster. A dry iron is not good for this fabric.

Will 50 Cotton 50 Modal Shrink?

Generally, the answer is no and we have to say generally because nothing is perfect and sometimes manufacturers use lower quality fabrics to ensure a higher sales volume. Check the quality of the material before buying it.

Because it is hard to get modal to shrink, that is why it is blended with cotton fabrics. You do not lose any comfort, or softness in the material when it is blended with modal, it just gets stronger and lasts longer.

If your cotton and modal blended does happen to shrink, check to see if you bought the items at a bargain price. There are some manufacturers out there that are not that ethical and they get around the non-shrinking ability of modal and make sure those items shrink on you.

Saving some money initially may not be saving you any money in the long run.paying a little more upfront may get you the quality that will last you for years.

Does Modal Shrink Like Cotton?


Not really although this fabric may be a bit vulnerable to hot temperatures like cotton is. But to be on the safe side, avoid using high water temperatures and drying heat. Hang drying may be slow but it is one of the best ways to preserve your clothing.

That is why modal is blended with cotton. That combination helps cotton retain its shape and size. The strengths that are found in this fabric are used to build up the weaknesses found in cotton.

Plus, modal is very breathable so you do not lose that strength that cotton has. The good news is that modal resists static. That means you should be shocked less when you rub your feet on the carpet.

Modal is a good fabric when it is blended with cotton and makes cotton look even better.

How To Shrink Modal Fabric

In one word--- heat. While some people say that modal shrinks when worn in a cool environment, that has not been totally proven at this writing. The reason is that modal absorbs the moisture around it and that moisture helps the fabric to shrink.

But if you really want to shrink modal material, then you need to use heat. The first step is to wash the fabric in the hottest water temperature your washing machine can create.

If that one cycle doesn't do the trick, then you are to put your modal clothing in the dryer and set it to the hottest temperature on the dial. A combination of these two elements should shrink your modal fabric.

Be careful about using any chemicals to help the process. You will have those naysayers claiming that even heat won’t shrink this fabric but they would be mistaken. They may not have investigated this deep enough to know any better.

Is Modal Fabric Stretchy?


That is what they say. Besides not shrinking another top characteristic modal has is that it can stretch. This makes it an ideal fabric to use when making athletic clothing and T-shirts. Everyone needs a little stretch now and then even if they do not get outside and exercise.

Even though modal is not a natural or a man-made fabric it has a lot of positive characteristics that make it a great fabric to wear. It does not create static, absorbs moisture well, it is breathable and it does not shrink. That is a good line up of positive attributes that make modal a great fabric to use in any sewing project.

The stretch factor is just another bonus as even that characteristic does not remove the soft and comfortable feel this material comes with. You still can avoid discomfort when you use modal in your clothing.

Does Modal Stretch When You Wear It?

Unlike rayon which can stretch when you wear it, modal retains its shape even after several washings. It is a strong material that is better than rayon in a variety of categories. Remaining in shape is one of those categories.

While we have sung the praises of this top fabric throughout this article, modal is not perfect. It may not stretch or shrink but it is not the type of material you want to wear if you have allergies.

It is not a hypoallergenic material and you may or your allergy sufferer may experience rash, itchiness, and other symptoms when putting modal on for the first time or after many times.

Some people also question the durability of the fabric claiming the stretchiness, that is built into the material, will ruin the clothing item quicker. They recommend using modal for bedclothes only.

One other weakness is that modal may lose its color when exposed to the heat or the sun.

How To Stretch Modal Fabric


One of the best ways to stretch modal fabric would be by wearing it when you do lots of physical activity that requires you to stretch out. But modal is a tough fabric and it may be hard to get the stretch you want because this fabric does retain its shape quite well.

That is why it is used a blended fabric. It helps other fabrics retain their shape and make sure you can use the clothing more than once or twice. You can try pulling the fabric with your hands and see how much stretch you get.

The natural stretchability this fabric comes with allows it to work with just about any body shape or size. Just make sure not to get the material in a size too small for your body.

Don’t try to stretch modal when it is wet as that is when the fabric is at its strongest. The best thing to do is not attempt any unnatural or purposeful stretching of this fabric as you may ruin it.

Some Final Words

While modal appears to be an ideal fabric to work with. It has strength, breathability, resists both stretching and shrinking, and absorbs moisture. It also protects cotton and other laundry vulnerable fabrics from shrinking and other fabric ailments.

Then modal is soft and comfortable so you can use it in many sewing projects and not feel any discomfort. Just make sure you do not have any allergies.

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