How to Care for Modal Fabric

Christina Schnell

Made from tree cellulose, Modal is a popular trade name for a specific type of rayon. The scientific name for modal is "high-wet modulus," and its reputation for durability, luster and comfort has led many designers to use Modal in mass-produced clothing.

Clothing companies use Modal for everything from T-shirts to dress shirts.

Caring for Modal requires little more than basic washing and drying, which makes it more low-maintenance than either natural fibers or rayon — and popular with those of us who don't like to pay for dry cleaning.


Modal is a specialized type of rayon; most regular rayon fabrics require hand washing or dry cleaning. Always double-check the fabric label before laundering or drying an item.

  1. Wash Modal on gentle cycle using warm water and cool rinse. Use the amount of detergent necessary for your laundry load size and machine. While rayon shrinks and becomes misshapen in water, Modal maintains high durability and strength when wet.

  2. Avoid using chlorine bleach with Modal. It can be sensitive to dyes and highly potent cleaning agents.

  3. Remove your Modal items from the washer and put them in the dryer using the Low-Dry or Tumble setting. While Modal can withstand the Permanent Press cycle, avoid drying it on high for an extended period to prevent melting of any trim or embellishments.

  4. Press Modal with an iron set on low to medium heat while the fabric is still slightly damp. Hang Modal items in your closet after laundering to avoid wrinkling.