Micro Modal Fabric: The Eco-Friendly Textile Revolutionizing Fashion
In the dynamic realm of eco-friendly fashion, a revolutionary force is quietly transforming the industry—Micro Modal fabric. Derived from the pulp of beech trees, this environmentally conscious textile has emerged as a game-changer, seamlessly combining sustainability, durability, and luxury in a single fabric.
As a compelling alternative to traditional textiles, Micro Modal fabric has caught the attention of the fashion world - thanks to its unique features and significantly reduced environmental footprint, especially when compared to viscose.
In the ongoing quest for sustainable practices within the fashion industry, Micro Modal fabric emerges as a standout contender.
In this article, we delve into the sustainable practices championed by Lâcher Prise Apparel, a leader in ethical fashion, providing an authentic exploration of Micro Modal's sustainability and ethical production. Let's embark on a journey to unravel the intricacies of this extraordinary fabric and its role in reshaping the future of fashion.
What is Micro Modal Fabric?
Micro Modal fabric is a type of Modal rayon, a semi-synthetic textile crafted from the cellulose extracted from beech trees. Renowned for its exceptional softness and luxury, it is often considered even finer than standard Modal fabric.
The production of Micro Modal involves a highly refined process, including the extraction of cellulose, chemical treatment, and spinning into fibers. This meticulous process results in a fabric known for its remarkable softness, breathability, and absorbency.
MicroModal, a refined version of Modal, stands out with an even softer and finer quality fabric. Originating in Japan in the 1950s, Modal fabric has undergone significant evolution, with the Austrian company Lenzing AG leading the charge. They offer specialized variants like MicroModal and Modal Air, known for their finer knit and softer texture.
Manufacturing Process and Environmental Impact
Modal's eco-friendly image is rooted in its manufacturing process. In contrast to cotton, the beech trees used in Modal production demand minimal water, leading to a substantial reduction in the fabric's environmental impact.
However, its semi-synthetic nature involves using chemicals like sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide during production.
While the reduced environmental footprint is promising, there are concerns about the potential impact of deforestation for wood pulp, and the use of chemicals raises certain risks.
Initiatives aimed at addressing these concerns include responsible wood sourcing and innovations to minimize chemical usage.
Despite these efforts, challenges in achieving a fully sustainable approach persist.
How Is Micro Modal Fabric Made?
Fabric Manufacturing Plant | Source: Thomas Net
The process of making Micro Modal is more refined compared to regular Modal, aiming for a softer and finer quality fabric.
The process of making Micro Modal involves:
- Cellulose Extraction
- Purification and Dissolving
- Chemical Treatment
- Washing, Drying, and Spinning
Here's a more detailed look at its manufacturing process:
The process begins with the sustainable harvesting of beech trees. These trees are known for their efficiency in water use and do not require irrigation or pesticides.
2. Cellulose Extraction
The wood from these trees is broken down, and cellulose is extracted. Cellulose is a natural polymer found in the cell walls of plants.
3. Purification and Dissolving
The cellulose is purified and then dissolved into a viscous solution. This is a crucial step where the quality of cellulose is enhanced for the softness characteristic of MicroModal.
The solution is forced through tiny spinnerets, which are like tiny nozzles, to form individual fibers. This process is known as wet-spinning. The fine quality of the spinnerets contributes to the extra softness of MicroModal.
5. Chemical Treatment
The fibers are treated with chemicals like sodium hydroxide to strengthen them. In MicroModal production, this process is carefully controlled and optimized for minimal environmental impact. A closed-loop process is often used, where chemicals are recycled and reused to reduce waste and pollution.
6. Washing, Drying, and Spinning into Yarn
After chemical treatment, the fibers are washed, dried, and spun into yarn. The yarn is then ready to be woven or knitted into fabric.
7. Fabric Finishing
The final fabric is treated through processes like dyeing, softening, and others to enhance its qualities such as color, softness, and drape.
The entire process is designed to be eco-friendly, with a focus on minimizing waste and environmental impact. The closed-loop process ensures that most chemicals and water are recycled and reused.
Comparison of Modal with Other Fibers
Modal is often compared with lyocell, with each having its strengths. While Modal offers enhanced strength and breathability, lyocell, especially TENCEL Lyocell, is praised for its eco-friendly production process.
Modal vs. Viscose Fiber
Modal and viscose are both rayon fibers, but they differ in their properties and production processes. Modal, classified as a high wet modulus rayon, stands out for its strength when wet and superior shape retention compared to viscose.
The production of Modal is similar to that of viscose, but it undergoes additional processing, resulting in a lighter and more breathable fabric.
While the Modal falls under the umbrella of viscose, its extra processing enhances its overall strength and durability.
In comparison to traditional viscose, Modal exhibits higher water-absorbent properties and excellent color retention.
Despite these advantages, it's important to recognize that both fabrics share a complex environmental footprint.
Modal's increased strength and moisture absorption make it a preferable choice over viscose in various applications.
We, at Lâcher Prise Apparel, employ a closed-loop process in the production of Modal, where 95% of chemicals are captured and reused. This sustainable approach significantly reduces waste, aligning with environmentally conscious practices.
Micro Modal vs. Cotton Fiber
Modal and cotton are two popular fibers in the textile industry, each with unique properties.
Modal, a semi-synthetic fiber derived from beech tree cellulose, is known for its exceptional softness and silk-like feel. It excels in breathability and moisture absorption, making it more water-absorbent than cotton. This quality, along with its durability and resistance to shrinking and pilling, makes it suitable for activewear and intimate apparel.
Cotton, a natural fiber from cotton plants, is renowned for its natural softness, comfort, and versatility. While it's easy to care for, cotton can shrink and wrinkle more easily than Modal. In terms of environmental impact, Modal's production is more energy and chemical-intensive, although it typically requires less water than cotton cultivation.
Modal vs. Lyocell Fiber
Micromodal and Lyocell are both sustainable and versatile fabrics, each with its unique set of characteristics.
Micromodal is a type of rayon made from beechwood pulp, renowned for its exceptional softness and luxurious feel. It boasts a finer fiber diameter than traditional modal, contributing to a smoother, more delicate texture.
On the other hand, Lyocell, also known by the brand name Tencel, is a cellulosic fiber made from sustainably sourced wood pulp, commonly derived from eucalyptus trees. What sets Lyocell apart is its eco-friendly closed-loop production process, which recycles and reuses solvents, minimizing environmental impact.
While Micromodal is celebrated for its unparalleled softness, Lyocell is prized for its moisture-wicking properties and breathability. Both fabrics share a commitment to sustainability, making them excellent choices for conscious consumers seeking comfort and style with a minimal ecological footprint.
However at Lâcher Prise Apparel, we commit to only using certified Lenzing Micromodal which refers to a specific type of Micromodal fiber produced by the Austrian company Lenzing AG, a global leader in sustainable fiber production. Lenzing Micromodal is made from beechwood pulp sourced from sustainably managed forests. The certification typically involves adherence to strict environmental and social standards throughout the production process.
Lenzing is known for its commitment to sustainability and transparency in the textile industry. When a product is labeled as "certified Lenzing Micromodal," it often means that the fibers used in the fabric meet specific criteria set by Lenzing for responsible and eco-friendly production. The certification adds an extra layer of assurance for consumers who prioritize sustainable and ethically produced textiles.
Bamboo Rayon vs. Micro Modal
Bamboo Rayon, derived from bamboo plant cellulose, is celebrated for its softness, strength, and natural antibacterial properties. It is breathable and highly absorbent, making it suitable for a variety of clothing, including activewear and bed linens. However, its environmental impact can vary depending on the chemical processes used in its production.
Micro Modal, on the other hand, is a form of modal fabric made from beech tree cellulose. It is known for its extreme softness, superior draping qualities, and smooth texture, often used in luxury clothing and intimate wear. Micro Modal’s production typically involves more eco-conscious methods, such as closed-loop processes that minimize chemical waste.
Benefits of MicroModal Fabric
Micro Modal comes with several advantages:
- Stretchability: Ideal for activewear and casual clothing.
- Softness: Makes it perfect for bed linens and undergarments.
- Breathability: Suits sports clothing and everyday wear.
- Water Absorbency: 50% more absorbent than cotton.
- Durability: Suitable for regular-use garments and housewares.
- Draping Quality: Comparable to silk and rayon.
- Eco-Friendly: Less water usage and fewer chemicals.
- Pill Resistance: Maintains a smooth finish over time.
- Color Retention: Effective dye absorption, no color bleeding.
- Shrink Resistance: Less prone to shrinkage than other rayons.
- Biodegradability: Fully biodegradable material.
- Wrinkle Resistance: Low maintenance with minimal ironing.
Lâcher Prise Apparel: Pioneering in Micro Modal Fabric Use
Lâcher Prise Apparel distinguishes itself in the sustainable fashion industry by steadfastly incorporating eco-friendly fabrics like Modal into its collections.
Prioritizing both comfort and sustainability in their fabric selection, the brand ensures that all materials are either plant-based, naturally processed, or recycled.
This approach reflects a profound respect for natural resources, aligning seamlessly with the principles of responsible and sustainable fashion.
In their commitment to sustainability, Lâcher Prise Apparel sources Lenzing™ Modal from responsibly managed forests.
Their Modal undergoes production in a closed-loop process, capturing and reusing 95% of the chemicals, a practice that significantly reduces waste.
This ensures that the fabric is both renewable and biodegradable, in harmony with the brand's eco-friendly ethos.
MicroModal Fabric in Lâcher Prise Apparel Products
Lâcher Prise Apparel proudly boasts the use of Lenzing™ MicroModal as the cornerstone of its fabric DNA, particularly renowned for its buttery soft feel in their knits and undergarments collection.
This choice not only ensures unparalleled comfort but also underscores their commitment to sustainability. Lenzing™ MicroModal stands out for its low environmental impact, thanks to its biodegradable and revert to nature, aligning seamlessly with the ethos of responsible fashion.
Within the collections, the versatility of this fabric knows no bounds, finding applications that cater to diverse styles and occasions. From cozy loungewear to sophisticated everyday essentials, the Lenzing™ MicroModal fabric weaves a thread of comfort and eco-consciousness into every garment they offer.
- Undergarments: Its softness and breathability make it ideal for intimate wear like underwear, bras, and lingerie.
- Activewear: MicroModal's moisture-wicking properties and breathability suit it for sportswear and activewear.
- Casual Wear: Its comfortable texture makes it popular for casual clothing like t-shirts, tops, and loungewear.
- Layering Pieces: MicroModal is often used for lightweight layering items such as tanks and tees due to its thin, breathable nature.
- Tops and Shirts: In more formal attire, MicroModal adds a touch of luxury and comfort, often blended with other fibers for added durability.
- Dresses: Micro Modal has excellent moisture-absorbing properties, wicking away sweat and moisture from the body. This feature makes it suitable for dresses that need to provide both style and comfort, especially during more active or warm occasions.
Lâcher Prise Apparel's practices provide a blueprint for the textile industry's evolution towards greater environmental responsibility. Modal fabric, especially in its sustainable forms, offers a glimpse into the potential for more responsible textile production.
As fashion trends evolve, Modal stands poised to play a pivotal role in the sustainable fashion movement, representing a perfect blend of luxury, sustainability, and practicality.
Understanding and supporting sustainable practices are vital for shaping a more ethical fashion industry. Modal fabric's adoption signals a shift towards more environmentally conscious choices without compromising quality and comfort.