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Does Modal Shrink In the Dryer or When Washed?

Modal is a fabric made from cellulose fibers that are found in beech trees. Because of this, it is technically a form of rayon fabric. Rayon is very prone to shrinking, so that leads us to wonder does modal shrink as well. I’m here to tell you in this guide.

Although modal is a type of rayon, it is meant to be a stronger version of rayon. That means that it is less likely to shrink as much as rayon does. However, modal isn’t completely immune to shrinking and can shrink if exposed to really hot temperatures.

In this article, I’ll explain what can cause modal to shrink and how to wash and dry it so that you don’t accidentally shrink. But sometimes you might want modal to shrink because it is a little big or you want to preshrink it. I’ll share with you how to do that as well.

Does Modal Shrink

Does 100% Modal Shrink?

Considering that it is a plant-based fabric, which usually isn’t as durable as synthetic fabrics, modal is very strong and fairly resistant to shrinking. However, modal is still made from plant fibers, so it isn’t shrink-resistant.

The same factors that cause other plant-based fabrics such as cotton, rayon, and linen to shrink will also cause modal to shrink. Usually, most shrinking occurs when you wash and dry the fabric, which is true for modal.

That means that 100% modal can shrink if you aren’t careful how you wash and dry the fabric. Granted, it won’t shrink as much as rayon or cotton will, so you don’t have to be as careful as you would with those two fabrics. But there are still some precautions that you need to take.

How Much Does Modal Shrink?

Because modal is harder to shrink than other similar plant-based fabrics, it is hard to put an exact amount on how much it shrinks. But just for reference, let’s take a look at how much two fabrics are similar to modal shrink.

You should know that rayon can shrink an indefinite amount and can even shrink more every time you wash it. Cotton can shrink up to 20% of its original size. Modal is thought to shrink about 50% less than cotton or rayon, which means that you can probably expect a 10% shrinkage at most.

Does Modal Shrink More Than Once?

Although it is harder to get modal to shrink in the first place, it can shrink more than once. This usually happens if you don’t use a lot of care when you launder the fabric. If you repeatedly wash and dry modal fabric under the conditions that can cause it to shrink (namely hot water and high heat), it can shrink a little bit each time you wash it.

Does Modal Shrink In The Dryer?

Does Modal Shrink In The Dryer

If modal fabric is going to shrink, this will most likely happen in the dryer. Remember that modal is a form of rayon and is made from the same basic material that rayon is made from.

But rayon is made from regenerated cellulose fibers that come from pine and spruce trees and some cotton fibers. Modal is made from regenerated cellulose fibers that come from beech trees, so it is stronger than rayon.

Rayon is more prone to shrinking than modal is. Modal is more similar to cotton than it is to rayon, but it still won’t shrink as much as cotton will. The main cause of modal shrinking is due to using a high-heat dryer cycle. Heat causes plant fibers to shrivel up, which is ultimately what causes fabrics to shrink.

As a comparison, it is best to air-dry rayon and dry cotton using a low-heat dryer cycle. Since modal is a bit stronger, it can be dried using a low or medium-heat dryer cycle. To make sure that you don’t accidentally cause any shrinking, a good rule-of-thumb is to treat modal like you would cotton and dry it on low heat.

Does Modal Shrink When Washed?

Does Modal Shrink When Washed

Modal is a really strong fabric when it is wet. It has a much lower chance of shrinking in the washing machine than it does in the dryer. However, that doesn’t mean that it won’t shrink at all, so you still have to be careful with how you wash it. It is important to use the right washing machine settings to prevent shrinking.

Does Modal Shrink In Hot Water?

Modal may shrink some in hot water, which is the most likely cause of modal shrinking in the washing machine. With that being said, modal will not shrink as much in hot water as rayon and cotton will. It is highly unlikely that modal fabric will shrink if you wash it using cold or cool water. As a general rule, you should wash it using a water temperature that is lower than 100 degrees.

How To Wash Modal So It Doesn’t Shrink?

It is very unlikely that modal will shrink in the washing machine if you use the right settings. By following the instructions below, you can prevent any unwanted shrinking that may occur when you wash your modal fabrics.

  1. Wash modal by itself or with similar items that are either made of modal or can be washed under similar conditions, such as cotton.
  2. Plant-based fibers are a little more delicate than synthetic fibers. Use a mild detergent to prevent any damage to the fibers.
  3. You should also use the gentle cycle and place any small or embellished items into a mesh laundry bag before you wash them.
  4. Set the washing machine to either the cool or cold water temperature.
  5. After washing modal, you can either dry it in the dryer using low or medium heat or hang it up to dry.

If you only have one article of clothing made from modal, you can also hand wash it. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Fill a sink or washtub with lukewarm water.
  2. Add a little mild detergent to the water.
  3. Submerge the item in the water and use your hands to move the soap around in the water so that it is evenly distributed.
  4. Let the item soak for about 30 minutes.
  5. After soaking, rinse the item under cool water until no soap remains in the clothing.
  6. Do not wring the excess water out of the item. Instead, gently squeeze out the excess.
  7. You can dry the item in the dryer using low heat or hang it up to dry.

Can You Shrink Modal?

There are some instances where you might want to shrink modal. One reason is that the clothing might have become stretched out or is slightly too big. Another reason is that you are using modal for a sewing project and want to pre-shrink it so that it doesn’t shrink later.

Whatever your reason for wanting to shrink modal, you should be able to do it pretty easily. However, you may not be able to control how much it shrinks. That means you may not be able to shrink it as much as you need it to shrink, or you may accidentally shrink it too much. But if you still want to try to shrink it, you can do so by following the steps below.

How To Shrink Modal Clothes

The best and easiest way to shrink modal clothes is to wash and dry them using high heat. I know that I’ve spent the entire article telling you not to use high heat, but you’ll want to use it if you want your attempt at shrinking it to be effective. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Place the modal items that you want to shrink into the washing machine by themselves. You don’t want to put other clothes in with modal if you’re trying to shrink it because it could cause them to shrink as well.
  2. You will still want to use a mild detergent and the gentle cycle, so you don’t damage the fabric in other ways in addition to shrinking it.
  3. Turn the dial for the water temperature to warm. Since modal won’t shrink too much in the washing machine unless hot water is used, you don’t want to necessarily use hot water because you can’t control shrinking as much in the washing machine as you can in the dryer.
  4. Let the clothing wash in the washing machine, then take it out and place it in the dryer.
  5. Once in the dryer, you have better control over how much the clothing shrinks because you can stop the dryer every once in a while to see how much it has shrunk.
  6. Turn the dryer to the high heat cycle and let the clothing tumble dry. You will want to check the clothing every 5 to 10 minutes to see how much shrinkage has occurred.
  7. Once the clothing has shrunk to your liking, you can put it back in the dryer on a low heat setting or hang it up to finish drying.

Does Modal/Cotton Blend Shrink?

Does ModalCotton Blend Shrink

Sometimes modal is mixed with other fibers, and a common one is cotton. Since cotton can shrink, will a blend of cotton and modal shrink also? It just depends on the percentage of cotton and modal.

A modal and cotton blend with a higher percentage of modal (or even a 50/50 blend) is unlikely to shrink because modal is more resistant to shrinking. Sometimes modal is even added to cotton to keep the cotton from shrinking so much.

But if the percentage of cotton is higher, it’s possible that a modal and cotton blend could shrink some if the cotton is not pre-shrunk. If the cotton is pre-shrunk, you shouldn’t experience much shrinking at all.

How To Unshrink Modal

If your modal clothing did shrink some, don’t worry. It is possible that you can unshrink it by stretching it back to its original shape. Here are the steps you need to follow to do this.

  1. Fill a sink with lukewarm water and add a capful of gentle laundry detergent, baby shampoo, or hair conditioner.
  2. Soak the modal fabric in the water for about 30 minutes to give the fibers time to relax and loosen.
  3. After 30 minutes, take the clothing out of the water but do not rinse it. The soap will help the fibers to stay loose.
  4. Gently squeeze some of the excess water out of the clothing. Then, lay the fabric flat on a dry towel and roll the fabric up into the towel.
  5. Press down on the towel to squeeze out the rest of the water from the clothing. The clothing should be damp but not dripping wet.
  6. Place the clothing on another dry towel, then gently pull on the fibers to stretch them back out to their original shape.
  7. Let the fabric air dry.
  8. Wash and dry the fabric using cooler temperatures in the future.


Unlike rayon and cotton, modal is one natural fabric that is fairly resistant to shrinking. However, it can still shrink some if you use the wrong settings. The best way to prevent modal from shrinking is to wash it using cool or cold water and dry it on a low heat cycle every time you wash it. If you enjoyed this article, share it with others and leave a comment. Thanks for reading!