The purpose of this article is to introduce the reader with Modal fibers; there properties, applications etc and why at all there is a need to introduce this fiber. Herein Modal acts as a second-generation viscose rayon fiber fulfilling humans eternal quest for a fiber combining both aesthetics and utility performance.
Modal is a wood pulp based cellulosic fiber, made out of pure wooden chips from the beech tree, technically as the European Schneider Zelkova tree. While viscose rayon can be obtained from the wood pulp from a number of different trees, Modal uses only beech wood, thus it is essentially a variety of viscose rayon; a generic name for modified viscose rayon fiber that has high tenacity and high wet modulus.
Modal was first developed by Austria based Lenzing AG Company who trademarked the fabrics name, but now many manufacturers make their own versions. It was initially imported from Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Germany; but now for Indian market, it is catered to by Lenzing, Austria, which has tied up with Rajasthan Textile Mills.
What is Modal: Definition
Modal fibers are defined in International Standard ISO 206: 999 (E) as high wet modulus, high breaking strength regenerated cellulose fibers produced by using particular viscose rayon, and regeneration bath compositions which allows greater molecular orientation during stretch and coagulation of the fibers.
Again, Modal as defined by the International Bureau for Standardization of Manmade Fibres (BISFA) is a distinct viscose rayon fibre genre, which has a higher wet modulus and satisfies a minimum value of tenacity in the wet stage at 5% elongation.
Today Modal is widely used in clothing as a replacement for cotton, with an annual productionof more than 4000 tons with Indian textile industries. Modal may be used on its own or in ablend with cotton, wool and other synthetic fibers viz. spandex etc.
100% Modal requires ironing, and has tendency to pile due to long fibers.
Modal is more expensive than viscose rayon and cotton.
Processing the beech wood into a cellulose fiber is a man made process which uses more energy than processing natural fibers.
Thus it is cleared that Modal fiber is replacing the cotton from its current dominant market. It's eco‐friendly, 100% biodegradable characteristics has made it accepted globally within a shortperiod of time.