Does Modal Fabric Shrink (How To Shrink Modal)


So, you’re thinking about buying a new bed sheet set from Modal? 

But before you do, check this out: “Modal fabric is an eco-friendly fabric made of regenerated cellulose pulp fibers that have been treated to resist shrinking.”

Then do the math and imagine after one wash, you have a bigger bed with less material. Yuck! 

How much more could life be if we just stopped worrying about small things?

This article will show us how modal fabric shrinks and also share some tips for avoiding shrinkage when washing your sheets.

What Is Modal Fabric?

Modal is a fabric produced from the soft and floss-like fibers of beech trees. The process for creating modal fabric is to use the wood pulp from beech trees and then recycle it into fine fibers that can be spun into yarns and subsequently used to produce textiles.

Because of its regenerative properties, the Modal fabric is machine washable, yet it has a delicate hand similar to silk or cashmere.

The word modal refers to a specific type of rayon. It’s a cotton-like fabric with an inherent sheen that can be obtained by adding another fiber to the cellulose. Modal fabric will shrink when you wash it, but if you pay attention, some brands do provide the appropriate care instructions on the label. 

What’s its purpose? For those interested in comfort and breathability, modal fabrics offer a natural alternative. Modal is often used in garments for sleepwear or activewear for this reason as well as for its ability to keep you cool and dry when working out (especially when mixed with moisture-wicking materials). Modal fabric can also be used to add extra softness to winter clothing.

How Much Does Modal Fabric Shrink?

Whenever washing your modal garments, always test out the shrinkage factor by pre-washing a single panel of the garment in warm water to see if it shrinks. If there is no shrinkage, then you don’t have to worry about finding the right temperature for washing your modal fabric when buying sheets online. 

The majority of the shrinkage in modal has to do with the “gauge” of the fabric. If you have a thinner gauge of the fabric, it will shrink more than a thicker gauge of a Modal shirt or jacket. Some companies try to compensate for this by giving instructions for washing at a higher temperature. Guidelines for ordering your sheets are mostly based on how much you plan to wash your garment. Be sure to check out how much modal fabric is contained within each sheet.

Modal fabric that shrinks slightly usually shrinks no more than 1%. A Modal sheet that shrinks at least 1% is likely to change shape and feel less soft once it is washed. A sheet that may shrink up to 2% will still be soft and wearable, but it won’t be as sewn-in as a 2% shrinkage.

When washing your sheets, choose cold water for the first wash. This prevents any unnecessary wrinkles in the fabric from forming during the first few washes. Then wash it again with warm or cool water after a few washes.

Does Modal Shrink Like Cotton?

Modal fabric surveys have revealed that they do not shrink like cotton. When you wash modal sheets, even if you wash them at the highest temperature, they do not shrink like cotton. But if you are using a lower temperature, there is a slight chance that your modal sheets may shrink by up to an inch or so.

These modal fabric shrinkage surveys have been done by many people and thread count, modal fabric type, and washing machine are the main factors for shrinkage. When you wash your sheets at a high temperature and then tumble dry, there is a possibility that your modal sheets may shrink. Even if they do not shrink, they tend to wrinkle. But if you don’t tumble dry them and air-dry them instead, they will not wrinkle at all.

Not all modal fabrics are the same as others. It’s also possible for your modal sheets to lose just a fraction of an inch in length and width. 

Does Modal Shrink When Washed?

Modal fabrics are very soft and highly breathable. They come in a variety of weights and styles, but the most popular, does modal fabric shrink? The answer is no, modal fabric doesn’t shrink at all when washed.

Each person’s perception of modal fabric shrinkage differs. Some people think that their modal sheets should shrink a little bit when washed while other people think they shouldn’t shrink at all. So what’s the best way? The answer is to only wash your sheets at the temperature that your modal sheet recommends.

Most modal fabric manufacturers actually provide washing instructions for their products. When choosing a modal on its own, you can trust that you won’t shrink it. It’s good to know that when you shop modal sheets online, it is important to pick up a sheet that doesn’t shrink.

You can even prevent the modal fabric from shrinking when washing it by sticking to the following tips.

Tips for Washing Modal Fabrics

Modal does have a tendency to shrink when you wash it. However, this shrinkage is not due to the fabric itself but is caused by the dyes and chemicals used to color the fabric.

  • As a general rule, avoid washing modal fabrics in water that is higher than 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 Celsius).
  • If you want your garments to retain their original size, then you should first wash them at a lower temperature and then dry them in a dryer that is not too hot. 
  • If you have post-consumer recycled fibers in your modal fabric, they may shrink more than materials made of virgin fibers. There is a chance that washing the modal sheets with warm water can cause shrinkage.
  • Most of the base materials used to make modal fabric do not affect the shrinkage of your sheets. Your modal sheets will shrink when you wash them at higher temperatures. 

Does Modal Fabric Shrink In The Dryer?

You don’t have to worry about modal fabric shrinking in the dryer because all modern-day modal fabrics are designed to prevent shrinkage. However, there are certain factors that could possibly cause the Modal fabric to shrink.

Modal fabric is a synthetic material and it’s a type of rayon. It’s made from the processed cellulose obtained from tree sources (i.e., wood pulp).

Modal fabrics are generally produced in China and Japan, but they are now produced in many other parts of the world as well.

Modal fabric can be blended with different fibers so that it can be used for different purposes. 

Fabrics that are made from the wood pulp of spruce, hemlock, and pine trees have a tendency to absorb a lot of moisture. Therefore, they are less likely to shrink than fabrics made from cotton or wool. The cellulose in the cotton and wool is absorbed by the water in the washing machine thereby resulting in shrinkage.

What Is Micromodal Fabric?

Micromodal fabric is a variant of modal fabric that has a high level of micrometer threads. Micromodal fabric is typically used for industrial applications such as medical devices and appliances. The weight of the fabric is between 120 and 200 grams per square meter (42 to 55 grams per square yard). Some micromaterial fabrics are able to be dyed in varying colors.

Micromodal fabric cannot be shrink-wrapped. Micromodal fabric shrinks when it is exposed to moisture and sunlight. The fabric does not shrink significantly, but it does have a tendency to wrinkle. Shrinking or shrinking down is caused by the external factors mentioned above. Sunlight and moisture both contribute to the expansion, contraction, and curvature of any given micromaterial textile sheet.

Micromodal is 100% biodegradable. The manufacturing process of micromodal involves the use of a solvent. The solvent is then removed and the material is sewn into various products using the open-end weave method.

Modal fabric is made from the cellulose in trees and it’s amazing for the environment because it’s much quicker to make modal cotton than it is to produce cotton fabric from scratch.

Does Micromodal Fabric Shrink?

Micromodal fabric is produced in different sizes, including 30 g and 55 g. It can be dyed in different colors as well. It has a higher density than other fabrics, allowing it to have less stretch, which is good for medical devices and other things that need to be strong and strong. One of the drawbacks of using micromodal is that it does not have any bonding agents or chemicals that hinder its ability to dry fast or permanently.

When micromodal yarns are used in fabrics, they have a tendency to shrink or deform. This happens because there is not enough material to hold the fabric together. The fibers inside the cloth will not stop shrinking until they reach their equilibrium; which is when they are in a state of being permanently stretched or shrunken.

In order to maintain its original size, you should ensure that you are using a lower temperature when washing your micromodal, colored, or printed fabric sheets. To avoid the possibility of shrinkage during winking, dyeing, and printing, you should use the best dry cleaning methods for the fabric. 

Can Modal Fabric Be Machine Washed?

It is not advisable to machine wash your modal sheets unless you have been advised by the manufacturer of the fabric. Modals, like other synthetic materials, don’t stand up well to hot temperatures. 

The heat from the washing machine can melt and distort the fibers and cause significant shrinkage. When this happens, you will be left with pieces of fabric that are significantly smaller than their original sizes.

Modal does not handle dyes or chemicals very well either. It is not advisable to use them in the washing machine. The machine will most likely cause damage to the fabric and cause any existing dyes or chemicals to discharge, causing the sheets to appear faded or discolored. 

If you have a colorfast fabric, you can attempt to wash your Modal fabrics in hot water. It is important that you use cold water to wash your Modal Fabric in order for it not to fade.

How Does Modal Fabric Feel?

Modal fabric feels soft and smooth. Modal fabric does not have as much of a tendency to wrinkle as cotton fabric because cotton tends to retain wrinkles. Modal fabric comes in a variety of thicknesses and there is a thicker style that feels soft like silk.

Modals have been known to be quite thin. Some kinds of Modals are thin enough that they can be seen through while others are very thick and they feel like cashmere wool or silk.

Modal fabric retains little wrinkles and it is also highly breathable. Modal fabric is an excellent choice of fabric for clothing because it feels soft and smooth on the skin.

Modal fabric can absorb up to 50% of its weight in water without feeling damp or wet. Modal fabrics are best made into clothing items because they feel smooth on the skin but they can also be used for household items such as bed sheets.

Is Modal Breathable?

Modal fabric is very breathable. Modal fabric is able to breathe because of all the tiny air pockets that exist between the fibers of modal fabric. Modal fabric breathes because it contains a lot of holes in its fiber structure and this means that moisture can easily travel into and out of the modal textile without significant resistance.

Modal fabrics are able to absorb about 50% their weight in water. They can also release the water vapor through their pores. When this happens the fabric will feel cool to the touch and it will begin to dry. Modal fabric is able to “breathe” because of its ability to allow moisture in and out while still retaining its original size.

Modal is a type of natural cellulose fiber that comes from tree sources and this material, by itself, is not breathable. Modal fabric becomes breathable when it is blended with cotton or wool and other synthetics.

What Is Modal Cotton? Does Modal Cotton Shrink?

Modal fabric is a type of cotton fabric suitable for all types of applications. Modal cotton is used in a wide range of products, including clothing and bedding. If a garment or textile sheet measures 50 cm (20″) wide, then it should be made from at least 12 layers of modal fabric woven together in order to prevent shrinkage.

The modal weave is usually made up of 14 different colors which are formed into various layers within the fabric and this means that you can actually print your own custom fabrics.

Modal cotton is a very versatile fabric and it will become softer when it is washed at high temperatures. Modal cotton can be used for many different things including clothing, bed sheets, handkerchiefs, shoes, and so on.

How Do You Get Wrinkles Out Of Modal Fabric?

Washing your Modal Fabric can cause the fibers to wrinkle because they are made from wood pulp. 

Modals can be easily ironed and many people choose to do so when they want their clothing to look crisper. However, it is best not to iron any types of fabric that have been treated with dyes or have been chemically treated.

Some people choose to use a steam iron. When using a steam iron, ensure that the iron is not too hot as this can cause damage to the fibers of your Modal fabric.

You can buy products that claim to remove wrinkles from your fabric but there are no guarantees that these products will work on Modal fabrics.

How To Shrink Modal Fabric?

You can shrink modal fabric with the following steps,

  1. Wash the fabric in cold water and then iron it.
  2. Press the fabric or dye into the desired shape. You can also use a steam iron on a low setting to do this.
  3. Wash the item in cold water again and then dry it with a beach towel or an old cloth that is used only for this purpose, as it will not be damaged by the hot water that is used to wash your cleaning clothes.
  4. Hang the item to dry.
  5. Use a steam iron to press or iron on a low setting the dried (lightly damp) fabric until it is completely dry.
  6. Iron your MOST expensive items with a nylon garment steamer which can be purchased at most retail stores or you can use an inexpensive electric bed sheet and place it beneath your item of clothing, wrapping the sheet around and crisscrossing over the item that you are about to hang to dry for best results.
  7. Use a steam iron on a low setting to press or iron the dried fabric until it is completely dry. 

The process of shrinking the cloth may take up to a day and even longer if you are using an old towel or towel that is not specifically used for this purpose.

Is Modal Better Than Cotton?

Modal is better than cotton because it was made using the fiber from trees, which is a renewable resource, compared to cotton which is grown and harvested from seeds. Cotton has limitations on how many times it can be harvested; therefore, over time this decreases its quality.

In addition to being able to be dyed in many different colors, the micro modal fabric usually has a long life span. It only begins to wear and tear when it has been frequently exposed to the sun, heavy winds, or other elements.

The manufacturing process of Modal fabric is very different from that of cotton. Cotton is produced from seeds and there is limited growth in its quality whereas Modal, as previously mentioned, is made using cellulose from trees and does not have any limitations in terms of manufacturing. 

Cotton also has a tendency to shrink, fade and wrinkle faster than modal fabrics. Then, durability and strength are also issues that cotton fabric faces when compared to modal.

Modal fabric is more expensive than cotton but it is significantly better for the environment because it is made from trees, which grow back.

Modal fiber has little to no elasticity compared to other fibers. Garments made from Modal fiber do not stretch as much as those made from other fibers like cotton and nylon. 

Modal fabrics are lightweight, therefore, making them less durable than other fabrics like nylon and spandex.

FAQ About Does Modal Fabric Shrink

What Are The Disadvantages Of Modal Fabric?

There are some disadvantages that people who are planning to use modal fabric for clothing may have to consider. People may have to consider the fact that all of the fibers in the fabric are not the same and there is a possibility that if you look closely, you will see some fibers here and there that are not very strong. The fibers in the material can break easily because it is synthesized from trees, which means it doesn’t have a very strong structure.

Does Modal Make You Hot?

Although Modal does not absorb much water, it is heavier than pure cotton and synthetic materials. Thus, it will still give you warmth but it will feel more heavy than cotton. Moreover, the fibers used in Modal fabric are also more prone to heat retention. Despite the fact that Modal fabric is not highly elastic and has a tendency to wrinkle, they are still very breathable and comfortable to wear.

Final Thoughts

Modal fabric does not shrink that much. However, there is a chance that modal sheets can shrink when you wash them at a high temperature, tumble dry them or air dry them in a dryer. In order to avoid this, make sure that you read the washing instruction and follow it closely to prevent any shrinkage from happening.

Modal fabric is ideal for making clothes and sheets because of its silky feel, durability and smooth finish. The modal clothing market is growing significantly because of the reduced pollution caused by the production of modal fabric compared to other fabrics.


  1. Quora – Does modal fabric shrink?
  2. AskAndyAboutCloths – Modal Fabric: Everything You Wanted to Know
  3. FAQ-Blog – What fabric is modal?
  4. Reddit – Let’s talk about Modal. How to take a tree and turn it one of the softest materials on the market. Part 4: Properties of Modal
  5. Quora – What is modal cotton?


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