Does Modal Shrink? How to Handle the Shrinkage?

Modal is the type of fabric that is often used for specific types of clothing, such as pajamas and underwear. You can also find towels and bed sheets made of modal fabric in the market today. It is a semi-synthetic fabric with unique qualities, such as durability, flexibility, and softness, which you can’t find in other fabrics. Modal still has ties with rayon, as it is also the fabric made from plants, only that it has distinct qualities when compared to rayon.

The flexible nature of the modal fabric makes it a little stretchy when you handle it. However, when compared to spandex, modal is not as stretchy as spandex. It has a bit of elasticity, but not enough to make it fit into your body when you wear it. But what about the shrinkage potential in modal fabric? In this guide, we will talk about how modal fabric can shrink and how to handle it.

Modal Fabric Characteristics

Modal fabric has certain characteristics that make it different from other fabrics. It is a semi-synthetic fabric made of plants, and it has characteristics similar to rayon, at least in some ways. However, modal has its own unique characteristics that make it suitable to use in specific types of clothing, such as pajamas and underwear. Here are the characteristics of modal fabric that you need to know:

  • Modal is the fabric with soft and breathable qualities, making it very comfortable for you to wear, such as when you sleep.
  • Modal has the flexibility that makes it stretch when you wear it, but it’s not as stretchy as spandex.
  • This is also the fabric that can absorb water better than cotton, and you can count on its durability.
  • Modal fabric is plant-based, meaning that it is eco-friendly, as this fabric’s production doesn’t damage the environment.
  • It can absorb colors well, so you don’t need to worry that the colors will bleed when you wash it.
  • You can throw away this fabric without damaging the environment, as it is biodegradable.
  • Last but not least, the modal fabric doesn’t create wrinkles when you wash it, so you don’t need to worry about ironing it after washing, as it will stay smooth.

Is It Possible for Modal Fabric to Shrink?

In most cases, the modal fabric doesn’t shrink. Yes, it might shrink, but the shrinkage is minimal when compared to other fabrics, such as fleece. So, you don’t need to worry when you wash clothes made from modal fabric. The clothes won’t shrink when you wash them, even though you are washing them at a hot temperature. Modal might have similar characteristics as rayon, but it doesn’t carry the shrinkage characteristic like rayon. Rayon might shrink from time to time, but modal fabric often keeps its shape without shrinking even after going through a lot of washing cycles.

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However, please note that modal also has the potential to shrink, albeit it’s very minimal. The shrinkage is also not as bad as fleece or any other fabrics. This is the reason you need to stay alert when washing or drying your modal clothing items. It’s important to always check the label of the clothing item on how you should wash or dry it. Its durable characteristic will make the clothing items made of modal long-lasting without shrinking if you maintain the clothing items you have with proper care.

Things that Can Cause Modal Fabric to Shrink

Modal fabric is quite resistant to shrinking, but certain conditions might cause it to shrink, although the shrinkage is not as bad as other types of fabric. The shrinkage of modal fabric is quite low, so you don’t need to worry too much about shrinking it when you wash it or dry it. Using the washing machine might also increase the chances for it to shrink if you use a hot temperature when you wash the fabric. Here are some things that can cause the modal fabric to shrink:

  • Modal fabric can shrink when you wash it at a hot water temperature, whether you are handwashing it or using a washing machine.
  • You can also shrink this fabric when you apply the highest temperature when you dry it, so you can find that the fabric will become smaller when you finish drying it.
  • You can shrink the modal fabric if it is a mix of modal and cotton, as cotton has the property that makes it easy to shrink.
  • Putting your modal fabric under the sunlight for a long period, such as when the weather is at its hottest temperature, will also give more chance for it to shrink.
  • Applying a high temperature when ironing the fabric might also shrink it, but it will often happen after you do it many times.
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How to Avoid Shrinking the Modal Fabric?

Clothing items made from modal fabric will have the potential to shrink from time to time. Please note that the shrinkage will be minimal and won’t be as bad as other fabrics. However, your clothing item will have a big shrinkage potential if the clothing item is a mix of modal and cotton or any other fabrics that have a high shrinkage potential. So, how can you avoid shrinking the modal fabric? Here are a few tips you can follow:

  • Don’t wash or dry your modal clothing items at a hot temperature and be sure to keep everything cool or at least in medium temperature.
  • Look at the clothing item you have and determine if it is a mix of modal and other fabrics. You should always wash the clothing item with cold water if it is a mix of modal and other fabrics, such as those prone to shrinking.
  • Keep your modal clothing items away from big heat for a long period to keep their softness quality and to avoid shrinking them.
  • Iron your modal clothing items on medium heat after drying them and be sure not to iron them on the wrong side of the clothes, as they might cause wrinkles.
  • It’s best to tumble dry the modal clothing items you have, and then hang it for some time until it dries in full.

Tips for Caring and Maintenance of Modal Fabric

As with any type of fabric, modal also needs constant caring and maintenance. You can’t expect it to always be in perfect condition if you don’t practice the proper caring and maintenance when you handle it. Here are some tips for caring for and maintenance of modal fabric:

  • To bleach the modal fabric, you need to use oxygen-based bleach to keep it in good condition and to avoid damaging it.
  • You need to use cold water to wash this fabric to avoid shrinking it when using the hot water temperature.
  • You also need to use low to medium heat when you dry the fabric.
  • Use low to medium heat when ironing this fabric to avoid damaging it or shrinking it later.
  • When washing with the washing machine, avoid using the harsh or normal washing cycle. Use the soft washing cycle instead.
  • If possible, don’t dry it under exposure to direct sunlight for a long period.


  • Does modal shrink in the dryer? Modal fabric can shrink in the dryer, but the shrinkage is very minimal when you compare it with other types of fabric. Please note that this fabric can shrink in the dryer only when you put it in the high-temperature drying mode. To avoid shrinking the modal fabric, you need to set your dryer to low to medium-temperature drying mode.
  • Does modal stretch or shrink? Modal fabric can stretch more than it is to shrink. However, the stretchiness of modal fabric is not to the point of creating elasticity for your clothing items. Yes, you can use it to create sport clothing items to make it stretch and fit into your body, but the stretchiness itself is not as good as spandex or other elastic fabrics.
  • Can you put the modal in the dryer? Yes, you can put modal clothing items in the dryer with no problem. However, please note that you need to set the heat on low to medium settings and let it dry that way. Don’t set the temperature in the dryer too high, as modal fabrics can shrink in high temperatures, although the shrinkage will be quite small.
  • Does the mix of 60 cotton and 40 modal fabrics shrink? The more cotton you have into the mix, the more chances the clothing item will shrink. Yes, the modal has the potential to shrink, but the chance is small when compared to other fabrics. You can expect the clothing item to shrink more at a high temperature if it is a mix of 60% cotton and 40% modal.
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Now, you’ve learned about whether the modal fabric can shrink. The modal fabric might have resistance from shrinking, but there is still a potential for it to shrink if you keep on exposing it to the high temperature, either when you wash it or when you dry it. The shrinkage can extend if the modal fabric is getting mixed with other fabrics, such as cotton.

So, it’s best to always check the label of your modal clothing items to know how to care for them in proper ways. This way, you can avoid shrinking your modal clothing items and keep them in good condition for a long time.