Lenzing Modal: 50 Years of Textile Innovation

Five decades of fiber innovation has passed since Lenzing Modal was introduced to the textile market, and the cellulose fiber continues to resonate with manufactures and consumers by tapping into the market’s growing demand for soft and ecological fabrications.

“Lenzing Modal has stood the test of time because the consumer wants comfort and color,” said Tricia Carey, Lenzing global director of business development for denim.

Research for a cellulose fiber that was comparable to cotton but with a higher tenacity profile than viscose began in the 1960s. The resulting fiber created by Lenzing scientists, originally called “Hochmodul 333” and renamed Lenzing Modal in the 1970s, was developed through an environmentally responsible process from tree down to fiber.

Derived from beechwood, which requires no artificial irrigation, Lenzing Modal is made only at the Lenzing headquarters in Lenzing, Austria at an integrated pulp and fiber production plant. More than half of the wood used is sourced locally from Austria and the remainder is from neighboring countries, cutting down on energy and transportation costs. Meanwhile, up to 95% of the Lenzing Modal production materials are recovered at the plant as a result of innovative environmental processes.

The fiber has become known for its unparalleled softness. Originally intended for the knitwear market, Lenzing Modal has been implemented into socks, towels and technical textiles, and into woven and denim applications for softness. Carey said, “The supply chain finds Lenzing Modal easy to blend and process.” It can be blended with cotton, wool, silk, bast fiber and synthetic fibers using conventional machinery.

Over the years, the portfolio of Lenzing Modal fibers has expanded into MicroModal, MicroModal Air, and Lenzing Modal Sun. The company continues to innovate and experiment with Lenzing Modal color and Lenzing Modal black, rope dyed Lenzing Modal fibers for lasting color with reduced water and energy usage.

Lenzing will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lenzing Modal at Texworld USA on Jan. 25 at 4:30 P.M. at the Lenzing Innovations Pavilion. There, attendees can mix, mingle and view 19 exhibitors focused on incorporating sustainable fibers into a broad range of product categories. “We are pleased to celebrate this milestone of 50 years of softness with Lenzing Modal,” Carey said.