What is the Difference Between Tencel and Modal?

9 min read

There are subtle differences between the two fabrics in the comparison, even though they appear to be identical. You may prefer one cloth over another because of the subtle distinctions between the two.

The name is the most significant distinction between Tencel and Modal. Tencel, like Pepsi and RC Cola, is a trademarked name. It’s not a fabric term, although Tencel’s lyocell fabric is commonly referred to as lyocell. Both of these materials are classified as rayon.

Please continue reading to discover the similarities and differences between these two textiles. In this article, you will learn about the different types of fabrics and the materials used to make them. When it comes to material classification, both fabrics fall within the “other” category.

Are Tencel and Modal the Same?



No, not in a technical sense. Despite the fact that both modal and tencel are classified as rayon, modal is considered a second generation fabric, whilst tencel is a third generation fabric.

Both fabrics are made from wood chips, but the chemicals utilized are different. Tencel is a brand name, not a fabric, as previously stated. The fibers used to manufacture Tencel brand fabrics are not the same as those used to make other types of Tencel material.

Both materials were developed and are trademarked by the same business, Lenzing. Modal, on the other hand, is made from beechwood, and Lyocell and Tencel are made from eucalyptus trees.

This distinction explains why modal is gentler to the touch than Tencel.

What is the Difference Between Tencel and Modal?

Category Tencel Modal
Origin Lenzing labs Lenzing labs
Years of use 48 years originated roughly in 1972 55 years originated in 1965
Wood chips used eucalyptus trees beech trees
Fabric no, it is a brand name, lyocell is the name of the fabric yes
Strength stronger than modal stronger than rayon
Biodegradable yes yes
Softness can be very soft and smooth to the touch much softer and smoother than tencel
breathable yes yes
Absorbent no, it is moisture wicking yes, it is
Stretchable no yes
Care cold water best if cold water is used
Cost can be very expensive not as expensive as Tencel

Tencel vs Modal



Tencel, as the third generation of rayon, would be expected to be superior to modal, yet there are minimal differences between the two because they are both rayon.

It is possible to harvest wood chips from both natural and tree farm growths for the eucalyptus and beech trees (Tencel and Modal). Modal is considered the more delicate of the two textiles due to the differences in the components and methods of processing.

It is, of course, softer than Tencel, but both absorbency rates, comfort levels, and breathability rates are nearly the same for both. If there are any differences at all, they are minor.

Even though it was developed to be a low-cost alternative to silk like modal, Tencel may be rather expensive to purchase. The largest difference between the two is in the price of the two materials.

Tencel vs Micro Modal

Micro modal is a variation of modal that enhances it. That is to say, it is softer, more pleasant, and more resistant to shrinking than Tencel, therefore we use that term loosely. It’s also better at wicking away moisture than modal and Tencel.

The fact that it extends so much makes micro modal similar to ordinary modal. Tencel isn’t recognized for its stretchability, but it’s more prone to pilling than micro modal when it comes to laundry problems.

Also, both fabrics are produced by the same Austrian firm. Other firms may produce similar fabrics, but their quality and Lenzing fibers aren’t there. Look for the Tencel TM or Lenzing name on the labels to ensure you’re getting the real deal.

Tencel vs Modal Sheets



If you’ve ever heard the expression “six of one and a half dozen of another,” you’ll understand how similar Tencel is to modal. Even though they’re made of the same material, the tiny variations give the impression that they’re not.

Tencel sheets may have a higher thread count, yet modal sheets may be more pliable. Even on a hot night, you shouldn’t have to worry about sleep sweats with these two because they both breathe really well.

So, if the sheets are made of Tencel, they may last a little longer than modal ones. The lower cost of modal sheets compared to Tencel ones could sway your purchasing decision. When it comes to pricing, the latter cloth isn’t really a bargain.

Tencel Modal Fabric

Despite the fact that it still falls under the “other” category, this fabric is thought to be softer and more absorbent than cotton. You’ll mistakenly believe you’re wearing real silk due to its silky texture, rather than a synthetic material.

Soft and luxurious, this fabric is frequently used in intimate apparel. The fibers are mixed with cotton, bamboo, and other materials to create the greatest bedding and other products that will last for a long time.

Tencel retains all of its moisture-wicking properties when it is made into this fabric. Because of the thinness of the fabric, you should sleep comfortably cool.

Is Tencel Modal Breathable?



Yes, Tencel modal is believed to be more breathable than cotton or bamboo and to keep you cooler as a result. If you combine it with other breathable materials, you won’t lose any of that ability. Summer nights call for this fabric on your bed.

It should also keep you dry while you sleep because of the material’s capacity to wick away moisture. In the absence of an air conditioner or other cooling system, these are useful things to have in your bedding and clothing.

As a result, you’ll have an easier time washing and drying these garments than normal modal or rayon textiles. In comparison to their competitors, they are more robust and long-lasting. Regardless of how much you paid for them, they should last you a long time.

Be aware, however, that even in the bedding market, Tencel-related materials are more expensive than the competitors.

Does Tencel Modal Shrink?

As a rule, tencel shrinks a lot when used on its own. Moderate shrinkage resistance is known to exist in Modal alone. Together, you’ll see less shrinkage than with a Tencel-only cloth but it will still be noticeable.

In order to keep cotton from shrinking, modal is commonly used in conjunction with it. You shouldn’t see a lot of shrinkage when you combine Tencel with modal.

There is no doubt that we’re referring to lyocell fabric when we use the term Tencel. The same business, Lenzing, manufactures tencel, lyocell, modal, and micro modal.

Other businesses will produce comparable fabrics, but they will not be of the same high quality as those made by Lenzing.

Is Tencel Modal Breathable?



Lenzing produces a wide range of fabrics, all of which have a high level of breathability. In fact, if you reside in a particularly hot or humid area of the country, you’ll want to consider investing in bedding made of Tencel, lyocell, modal, or micro modal.

A excellent alternative to natural fibers like cotton and silk, the fabrics are extremely pliable. Costlier than 100 percent cotton, you’ll need to pay extra to acquire the same level of breathability and softness.

Being less expensive than silk does not imply that it is less expensive to buy or work with.

Tencel Modal Clothing

Comfort, durability, and softness are touted as new benchmarks for clothes with this fabric. Like cotton and polyester, it can be fashioned into a variety of various sorts of fabrics, making it a good option for those who desire something unique in their apparel.

In addition, when you wear apparel made of this material, you won’t have to give up any of the breathability you desire. You’ll also be obtaining long-lasting apparel that isn’t made entirely of natural fibers.

While Tencel clothing may cost a little more up front, you may save money in the long run by not having to replace it as frequently as other types of apparel.

Some Final Words

Despite their superficial similarities, these two fabrics can be used for distinct purposes because of their unique characteristics. In the end, the choice is yours because both have a lot to offer in terms of beneficial attributes.



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