This post might contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, we might earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn More

Modal Fabric Vs. Cotton: Deciding Which Is Best

Modal Fabric and Cotton fabric are the two most popular fabrics used for manufacturing any garment, mostly t-shirts and undies. When purchasing a garment, besides its style, I also show interest in its fabric, which happens for a reason. I want to feel nice and comfortable when I am wearing something, I like the fabric to be soft and breathable, so this is why I am concerned about the materials a lot.

In this article, you will be able to read a comparison between modal fabric and cotton fabric. They both have so much to offer and have different benefits. I will discuss everything in detail and make you understand the distinctions between these fabrics better. So, let’s get started.

Key Takeaways

  • Cotton and modal fabric are among the most popular materials that manufacturers use for creating different types of clothing and home furnishing.
  • Cotton fabric is made of natural fibers from the cotton plant, which means that this fabric is all-natural.
  • Modal fabric is a semi-synthetic fabric made of beech trees, and in the manufacturing process, many chemicals are used as well; it is a biodegradable material.
  • They have significant features such as breathability, softness, durability, etc.

Modal Fabric Vs. Cotton Fabric – Head-to-Head Comparison

Modal Fabric – How It Is Made and Characteristics

Are you familiar with modal fabric? Modal fabric is a very trendy and expensive semi-synthetic fabric. Modal fabric is made from beech trees and is a biodegradable material. It goes through many manufacturing processes, which is why it is a semi-synthetic material. Manufacturers spin the beech tree cellulose and turn the wood pulp into yarn to provide a material called modal fabric.

It is very soft and stretchy and most manufacturers use it for creating underwear, especially pajamas, t-shirts, bed sheets, etc. It is also a perfect material and the best choice for many blends. Blending the modal fabric with different materials will increase the durability of the modal fabric. There are many other significant benefits of this fabric, and I will discuss them later in the sections below.

Also Read: Comparison of Micromodal vs. Modal

Cotton Fabric – How It Is Made and Characteristics

I can’t imagine that there may be someone unfamiliar with cotton since it is amongst the most used fabrics. Many types of cotton blends are used for different kinds of garments, home furnishing, and so on. Cotton is a natural fabric composed of natural fibers. Cotton fabric comes from cotton fibers, the most crucial part of cotton plants. It is composed of cellulose which gives the material the softness we desire. Let me explain in short terms how it is made.

First and foremost, they harvest the cotton, remove the seeds, and clean the cotton; once this procedure is over, it is time to spoon the cotton into the thread. This is how they get regular cotton; for combed and many other types of cotton, there are further steps to follow, but this article is not meant to be for that. Cotton has impressive features such as breathability; it is a very soft material and durable. It is widely used; manufacturers use cotton fabric to produce many outfits and home furnishing. Cotton fabric is used for underwear and bed sheets as well.

Also Read: Comparison of Cotton Vs. Poplin

Durability, and Breathability

Durability and breathability are two significant aspects that determine a lot about the quality of any fabric. As we already know, modal fabric is semi-synthetic material, which means that it is man-made compared to cotton, which is all-natural. Due to this fact, modal fabric shows durability since it is synthetic and can withstand harsh conditions. The modal fabric is at the top of the list when we are discussing durability. Cotton is also durable but not as durable as modal fabric since its natural fibers are more delicate.

Let’s move on to breathability. There is no better option than cotton if you want the most breathable garment. Cotton is the best for breathability; any cotton garment will keep you cool even on the hottest summer days. Modal fabric does a great job in terms of breathability as well, but I’m more of a fan of cotton. Even though modal is a more breathable fabric compared to many other materials, when it’s up against its rival cotton, then the modal fabric is a step back in this category.

Soft Feel of the Materials

Modal fabric is amongst the softest fabrics available. The chemicals used in the manufacturing process of this fabric play a significant role in the softness of the modal fabric. Compared to cotton, the modal fabric is the winner of this category.

Cotton is also a soft fabric but not as its rival.  Let me mention that for 100% cotton, which is regular cotton, many types of cotton are even softer than modal fabric. Most of your garments of modal fabric will provide you the soft feel and touch you desire, and they will fit perfectly as well.

Prone To Shrinking

The best feature of a modal fabric is that it is less prone to shrinking when compared to cotton. I guess you all know cotton is prone to shrinking and requires a lot of maintenance. Otherwise, it will shrink in most cases. Modal fabric shows resistance to shrinkage most of the time, so you don’t mind washing modal fabric garments in a washing machine or throwing them in a dryer since they will retain their shape.

Maintenance Requirements

Both of the fabrics have some maintenance requirements to be able to wear them for extended periods. As I have stated above, cotton is prone to shrinkage, so you should always make sure that you are washing them with cold water and in a gentle cycle. The better way is to hand wash the cotton garments, you can throw them in a dryer, but with a low heat program; otherwise, they will probably shrink. Air drying is the best option because you will avoid wrinkles and shrinking.

Modal fabric is more durable and can withstand heat. You can wash modal fabric outfits in any water temperature, but if you wear them with cold water, it would be a better option, though. You can use a dryer to dry the garments but with low heat. Please avoid using bleach since it may discolor the fabric.

Let me mention that modal fabric will not get wrinkled, which is another amazing feature of this fabric, while cotton gets wrinkled very easily, unfortunately.

Also Read: Comparison of Cotton Vs. Micromodal

Final Words

It was a fantastic comparison between modal fabric and cotton, and to be honest, I can’t state that there is an exact winner since they both have different benefits. So, I will let you choose the winner according to your demands. Hence, these are my final words for this comparison.

I hope this article will be an excellent guide for you and help you decide.