Modal Vs Silk: Which Is Better & How To Choose?

Modal Vs Silk

Last Updated on May 22, 2023 by Wahid

In the fashion industry, the modal fabric is an affordable textile manufactured from semi-synthetic polymers. It’s a kind of rayon delivered from regenerated cellulosic fibers, such as viscose, cupro, acetate, and lyocell.

Silk fabric is considered the world’s most luxurious and durable fabric. There is something slippery & smooth about this shimmering fabric. In comparison with other fabrics, it has numerous unique characteristics & uses. 

Which should you choose between, Modal Vs Silk? Modal fabric is incredibly lightweight and actually softer and thinner than silk, which allows us to produce underwear that feels just as luxurious as silk. Well, let’s see how both fabrics compare.

Modal Vs Silk: Comparison Table

Cellulosic fibers like Modal are made from man-made cellulosic materials.Silk is the world’s most durable natural textile. 
Modal is commonly known by the trade names Lenzing Modal, MicroModal, Formatex, China Modal, and Modal Micro Air.Despite its elasticity, silk is able to be stretched up to 20% beyond its original size without breaking.
The fabrics are water-absorbing & dry quickly. Silk has excellent drape-ability due to its flexibility and resiliency.
Modal fibers are extremely soft to the touch. In addition to its strength, silk is a good tensile fiber. 
Modals are mildew- and moth-resistant, fabrics made from Modal drape & hang well. Silk produces shimmering optical effects in certain lighting conditions due to its triangular prism-shaped structure.
The material is stronger, more durable, and more flexible when wet.Due to its slippery and smooth surface, silk fabrics do not attract dirt. 
Fashion designers use modal fabrics to make dresses and accessories because they’re smooth, sheeny, and affordable. Almost like silk, they look luxurious.Despite its lightweight nature, silk is eye-catching, and its many desirable properties make it a pleasure to wear. 

Modal Vs Silk: In-Depth Comparison

Modal Fabric: What Is It?

  • Using the modal production method, highly purified cellulose extracted from plants or wood is solubilized. In addition to being semi-synthetic, it is also quite cheap to manufacture.
  • Viscose is modified to have a higher tenacity. However, the modal is more expensive than cotton or viscose rayon. 
  • The manufacturing process of synthetic fibers also consumes more power than that natural fibers.
  • The first modal was produced in Japan in 1951. Nevertheless, Lenzing AG, an Austrian textile company, began selling modal textiles in 1964.
  • Among today’s most renowned Modal manufacturers is Lenzing.
  • The modal versions of other manufacturers are made in Europe, as well as several East Asian nations, including India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, and China.

Silk Fabric: What Is It?

  • Recently, a lab-engineered biomaterial exceeded the strength of this textile, making it the strongest textile made from natural materials.
  • Despite its incredible strength, silk is primarily valued for its other properties.
  • Because of its softness, silk has been highly sought after throughout history.
  • Ancient cultures throughout the Old World were transformed by this simple fiber.
  • Silk produces shimmering optical effects in certain lighting conditions due to its triangular prism-shaped structure. 
  • A prism reflects light at different angles, which is why silk has such a striking rainbow hue.

Modal Fabrics: How Are They Made?

In Modal fabric, reconstituted beech tree cellulose is spun into a fabric. The fabric is generally thought of as being more eco-friendly than silk. Due to beech trees’ low water requirements, there is a 10%-20% reduction in the amount of water used in the production process.

While modal is plant-derived, its production involves using chemicals such as sodium hydroxide & carbon disulfate, making it semi-synthetic. There are a variety of rayon fabrics, but Modals are generally more long-lasting and feel softer than regular rayons.

Silk Fabrics: How Are They Made?

China holds the top spot among the world’s leading silk manufacturers, according to “World Atlas.” This East Asian nation produces 146,000 metric tons of silk yearly, outpacing its biggest competitor, India. In this country, only 28,708 metric tons of silk are produced each year.

Among the top four silk producing countries, Uzbekistan is 3rd, while Thailand is 4th. As well as having the world’s leading silk market, China also produces the most silk. In addition to the United States and the European Union, silk produced in India and China is consumed by both of these countries.

Modal Fabric Characteristics

  • Modal fabric is comfortable, soft, and lightweight, with the appearance and feel of silk.
  • Moreover, Modals are mildew and moth-resistant, fabrics made from Modal drape & hang well. 
  • In addition to being wrinkle and pill-resistant, they come in several sheens and colors.
  • The durability and breathability of the modal make it an ideal material for everyday clothing and sportswear.
  • However, high temperatures are not compatible with modal fabrics. 
  • Experiencing UV and sunlight directly will reduce their longevity and thermal stability.

Silk Fabric Characteristics

  • In silk, 80% of the substance is fibroin, a protein material, and 20% is sericin, which is silk gum.
  • The strength of the fiber comes from its continuous length.
  • Despite being moderately wrinkle resistant, silk is still able to hold its shape as a result of ironing.
  • In warmer climates, silk is a comfortable apparel option due to its good absorbency.  
  • In the summer, silk garments are comfortable, while in the winter, they are warm.
  • Washing the garment with mild soap or dry-cleaning the dirt can remove it easily.
  • There is a good affinity between silk and dyes.

Uses Of Modal Fabric

  • In the textile & apparel industry, modal fabrics can be found in knitwear, evening gowns, hats, suits, formal shirts, sportswear, sweaters, blouses, coats, and pajamas.
  • Fabrics such as modals are also used in upholstery, furniture, draperies, curtains, bed sheets, bathrobes, carpets, towels, & home décor.
  • Various cellulosic fibers such as modal, viscose, acetate, cupro, and lyocell slowly replace synthetic fibers such as acrylic, nylon, and polyester.
  • In the coming years, the modal fabrics market will grow slightly, particularly in China, with new apparel applications and home furnishings.
  • Modal fabrics are often used to create affordable clothes by world-renowned fashion brands. In low-cost garments, cotton is used primarily for its fiber content or in substantial amounts.
  • “Lenzing” estimates that 6.7 million tons of cellulosic fiber are produced yearly worldwide. Globally, they produce 6.2% of all fiber.

Benefits Of Modal Fabric

Due to its lightness and softness, modal is considered a high-end textile. Eco-conscious fashion designers have become very interested in it.


T-shirts and athletic clothing are ideal applications for Modal.


In addition to being extremely soft to the touch, modal is often used in bed linens, pajamas, & undergarments.


Despite its tough weave, Modal is breathable, making it an ideal fabric for sportswear and everyday clothing.

Water Absorbent

Cotton is 50% less absorbent than silk; sweat and water are absorbed through the fabric’s micropores.


Due to its tight weave & long fibers, the modal is very strong and suitable for clothing and household goods that get regular use.

Drape Well

Just like rayon & other silk substitutes, modal is perfect for clothing and decoration because of its beautiful drape.


It’s made from plants that regenerate, so fewer chemicals are used in its manufacturing than with other rayons.

Doesn’t Pill

In addition to being pill-resistant and smooth, the fabric is suitable for everyday use.

Color Fast

Warm water absorbs dye from the fabric, which doesn’t bleed dye when it is laundered.

Doesn’t Shrink

In contrast to most rayons, modal shrinks much less when washed.


In addition to being completely biodegradable, Modal is also recyclable.

Doesn’t Crease

It keeps its smoothness with minimal ironing and resists wrinkles.

Benefits Of Silk Fabric

Although, silk also resists mold and bacteria, they have many more using benefit as well. Let’s see how it goes. 

Soft & Luxurious

Silk is known for its soft texture & sophisticated look, which have made it one of the most prestigious fabrics. Silk has long been associated with luxury due to these qualities.

Wrinkle-Free Texture

Due to its wrinkle-free properties, silk is used in various products, such as pillows, duvets, bedding, and accessories.

Naturally Sourced

The natural origins of silk also make it stand out. The cocoons of silkworms are the source of silk, a 100% natural fiber. Creating silk threads requires softening and unwinding filaments before they are woven together.


The silk fabric is also temperature-regulating, so you can wear it in both summer and winter without feeling hot.

Thin & Lightweight

Due to its thin, lightweight nature, silk facilitates more efficient air circulation than synthetic materials, thus reducing body heat.

Strong & Durable

The fine texture of silk gives the impression of delicateness, but it is really one of nature’s most durable fibers. Silk filaments are stronger than steel filaments, in fact.


Whether you have allergies or sensitivities, silk is a fantastic choice due to its hypoallergenic properties. 


A silk fiber is also long & non-abrasive — this means skin irritation and dermatitis won’t occur when it brushes up against your skin.

Non-Inflammatory & Moisturizing

When you sleep, silk absorbs little moisture than other textiles like cotton. Natural oils & moisturizers will stay in place overnight because silk fibers are smooth and tightly wound.


As silk helps retain your skin’s moisturizing properties, it is also believed to provide anti-aging effects. Its smooth texture leaves no impressions on your skin, preventing premature aging & creasing.

Increase Cell Turnover

Silk fibers’ naturally produced albumen also speeds up cell turnover, reducing aging processes and enhancing your skin’s youthful appearance.

Healthy Hair

In addition to its skin-friendly properties, silk also provides superior hair care & maintenance as well. Mulberry silk pillowcases have a smooth surface that can also prevent breakage & frizz during sleep. 

Different Types Of Silk Fabric

Listed below are some types of silk materials you might encounter. Let’s take a look at them.


It is a very light & translucent chiffon material, which is great for swishing around. Generally, it requires gentle handling.

Crepe De Chine

A crepe de chine fabric feels slightly rough when touched. If you aren’t a fan of the sheen & smoothness of traditional silk fabrics, this fabric is a good choice. Anything from trousers to lingerie can be made with it.


Dupion silk is a dense, lustrous fabric that is heavier than other kinds of silk. Multiple colors can be woven together to produce iridescent effects. Formal wear often uses it.


Habutai is a Japanese weave that is simple and straightforward. In linings, it is commonly used.


The organza fabric is very thin and transparent and is usually paired with evening dresses.


Charmeuse is woven in such a way that it gives off a striking sheen, making it a type of satin. The fabric is soft, loose, and easy to wear and perfect for evening gowns.


Taffeta holds its shape more effectively than many silk fabrics, making it a good choice for elegant ballgowns and wedding dresses.


It’s hard to find silk velvet, so you are more likely to find rayon-blend velvet. In addition, velvet has a very soft pile, which may change color when rubbed against or with the grain. 

Silk is an amazing fabric. Silk fabric comes in a wide variety of styles, so you’re sure to get something you like.

Modal Care Guide: How Do You Care For Modal Clothes?

Washing and tumble drying are both possible with Modal. However, read the item’s instructions for washing, because modal blended fabrics might require different care.

Wash With Cold Water

Modal garments should be washed in cold water, despite their versatility. In contrast to most rayons, it does not need to be dry cleaned.

Bleach With Oxygen

As chlorine bleach weakens fabrics, it should not be used when washing.

Dry On Medium To Low Heat

Don’t let your items dry out too long, even if they’re a little damp, to prevent wrinkles.

Hang Up Right Away

Although Modal can be machine washed, always use a cold wash to keep it as eco-friendly as possible. Additionally, this will help reduce shrinkage.

Protect your special items with a washbag when washing sustainable lingerie.

Silk Care Guide: How Do You Care For Silk Clothes?

Since silk clothes are lighter in weight, they should be handled with more care. 

Don’t Wring Silk

Silk fabric is fragile, so wringing can damage it, resulting in the garment losing its silky feel.

Never Wash With Bleach

Silk fabric should never be washed with bleach. You can damage the natural fibers of your clothing if you do this.

Avoid Drying In Direct Sunlight

During long periods of sunshine, your outfit’s colors can fade, and silk fibers can be damaged as well.

Don’t Tumble Dry

Using a tumble dryer may damage or shrink silk because of its high heat.

Apply Silk Wash

For silk fabrics to maintain their qualities and extend their durability, experts recommend applying a detergent and wash specially formulated for silk.

A colorfastness test should be performed. Silk clothing can bleed while being washed. Check by dabbing a damp white cloth on a stained spot.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Modal Fabrics

Modal Fabrics Offer Some Of The Following Advantages:

  • High softness and comfort
  • Feels and looks luxurious
  • Anti-wrinkle properties
  • Pilling resistance is high
  • Suitable for tensile strength
  • Good elasticity
  • Excellent durability
  • Good resilience
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Moth & fungus resistance
  • Breathable
  • Affordable
  • Absorbent
  • Quick-drying
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to wash

Using Modal Fabric Has The Following Drawbacks:

  • Heat resistance is low
  • Abrasion resistance is low
  • Thermal stability is poor
  • Sunlight and UV sensitivity are low
  • Chemical protection is limited
  • Environmentally harmful

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Silk Fabrics

Silk Fabrics Offer Some Of The Following Advantages:

  • Dye and print well
  • Soft
  • Drape well
  • Lightweight
  • Very strong
  • Comfortable
  • Moth, soil, and mildew-resistant
  • Antibacterial material
  • Absorbent
  • Resists wrinkles & fading
  • Breathable
  • Elegant 

Using Silk Fabric Has The Following Drawbacks:

  • Dry cleaning is required
  • Expensive
  • When wet, stains appear
  • Aging yellows
  • Sun, moisture, and soap weaken it
  • Affected by insects and silverfish

Modal Vs Silk: What To Pick?

In many ways, Modal is comparable to silk in quality. If you are not familiar with Modal underwear, here are several reasons why you should choose it instead of silk.

Typically, the words “silk” invoke dual feelings of luxury & comfort as well. An incredibly elegant and sought-after fabric, silk is commonly used to make luxurious men’s clothing, including silk pajamas, boxers, undershirts, and tank tops.

Modal Vs Silk: Which should you pick between the two? Basically, your choice depends on your situation, your budget, and your preferences as well.


01. How Do Modal and Lyocell Differ?

Modal resembles lyocell, an organic rayon. Both are major competitors in the luxury fabric market. In contrast to Modal, Lyocell uses an organic solution instead of sodium hydroxide to make its fibers. Trees, such as beech trees & eucalyptus, can produce Lyocell.

02. What is better, silk or cotton?

Silk has great tensile strength, making it a very strong natural fiber. Despite cotton’s strength, its strength is highly sensitive to moisture, increasing by 20% when wet (compared to its dry strength).

03. How are silks classified?

Silk comes in a variety of types. In short, 4 types of silk are produced around the earth: Mulberry silk, Tasar silk, Eri silk, and Muga silk. In general, mulberry silk accounts for about 90% of the world’s silk supply, and mulberry silkworms are considered the most significant.

04. Is modal comfortable for hot weather?

Since it is 50% more absorbent than cotton, modal keeps your body dry and cool by wicking moisture from your skin. Known for its smoothness and softness, Modal is the perfect material for warm temperatures.

05. Does silk make a good clothing fabric?

Yes, as a natural fibre with thin strands, silk is incredibly lightweight & breathable. Therefore, it is commonly used in summer dresses, such as luxurious undergarments, kaftans, bedding, and among others face masks.

06. Is the modal smelly?

The properties of modal are also quite impressive. The fabric is lightweight & breathable, making it ideal for summer garments. Despite its coolness, it resists odors. There is no smell trapped in modal fabrics.

07. How expensive is real silk?

The cost of silk is extremely high. Although some reliable suppliers are able to offer it at an affordable price. When something appears to be extremely cheap, it’s probably a scam.

08. Are modals scratchy?

Modal has a very soft & smooth feel, so underwear, pajamas, and bed sheets are commonly made from it. Due to modal’s delicate nature, you won’t feel scratchy like you do when wearing cotton or wool.

09. What causes modal to stain so easily?

Modal is comfortable to wear because it is both absorbent & breathable. The fibers absorb and retain dye easily, giving them deep, vibrant colors that don’t bleed when they’re washed.

10. Is silk prone to water stains?

Whether you spilled water over your silk tie or caught in the rain while carrying a silk handbag, water can soak into the fabric. Despite the label’s instructions for dry cleaning your item, your item can still be removed without dry cleaning.

In Conclusion

In terms of differences between modal Vs Silk, their composition makes a significant difference. In general, both fabrics have vastly different textures. 

All modal fabrics are plant-based, whereas silk fabrics are made from chemicals. Modal is one of the softest fabrics you will ever own, and it drapes beautifully as well. The fabric has earned its reputation as top-class luxurious. Moreover, silk’s texture varies depending on its thread thickness, finishing, and fiber blend. Finally, now is the time to make your choice.

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