What is the difference between Modal, Viscose & Rayon? Please explain?

What is the difference between Modal, Viscose & Rayon? Please explain?

Modal, viscose, and rayon are all types of semi-synthetic fibres derived from cellulose, but there are some differences between them in terms of production process and properties. Allow us to help explain.

Modal:

  • Modal is a type of rayon that is made specifically from beech tree pulp. It was developed in the 1950s and is known for its softness, smooth texture, and excellent drape.
  • Modal is produced using a process called the modal process, which involves spinning cellulose fibers using a specific chemical solution. This process results in a fibre that is stronger and more durable than traditional rayon.
  • Modal fibres have a high wet strength, meaning they retain their strength and shape even when wet. They also have good moisture-wicking properties, making them ideal for activewear and intimate apparel.
  • Modal is often considered more eco-friendly than traditional rayon, as beech trees require less water and pesticides compared to other sources used for rayon production.

Viscose:

  • Viscose is a generic term used to describe any type of rayon fibre. It is made from the cellulose of various plant sources, including bamboo, sugarcane, and wood pulp.
  • Viscose production involves dissolving cellulose fibers in a chemical solution and then extruding the solution through spinnerets to create fibres. The fibres are then treated to improve their strength and stability.
  • Viscose fibres are known for their softness, breathability, and versatility. They have a silky appearance and feel, making them popular for use in clothing, linens, and other textiles.
  • While viscose is a natural fibre derived from plant sources, the production process can be chemically intensive and may have environmental impacts such as water pollution and deforestation.

Rayon:

  • Rayon is a generic term used to describe any type of regenerated cellulose fibre. It was the first synthetic fibre produced from natural materials and was developed in the late 19th century.
  • Rayon can be made from a variety of plant-based sources, including bamboo, sugarcane, wood pulp, and cotton linters.
  • Rayon production involves chemically processing cellulose fibers to create a viscous solution, which is then extruded through spinnerets to form fibres. The fibres are then treated with chemicals to improve their strength and stability.
  • Rayon fibres are known for their softness, smooth texture, and ability to mimic the feel of natural fibres such as silk and cotton. They are used in a wide range of applications, including clothing, upholstery, and medical textiles.

So in summary, modal is a specific type of rayon made from beech tree pulp, while viscose is a more general term used to describe any type of rayon fibre made from various plant sources. Rayon is the overarching term for all regenerated cellulose fibres, including modal and viscose. Each type of fibre has its own unique properties and production process, but they are all known for their softness, smooth texture, and versatility in textiles. Modal is a popular choice at The Foundation because it is considered the highest quality in the rayon family of fabrics. So there you have it, we hope we have helped spell out the differences between modal, viscose and rayon which helps you choose the best sleepwear or thermals for your needs. 

Stay fabulous!

Photo credit Freepix


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