Modal cotton is a blend of cotton and modal, which is a type of rayon made from beech tree fibers. When modal is added to cotton, the result is a fabric that shrinks less, is softer to the touch and is more absorbent than fabric made from pure cotton.
Because of its silky feel, clothing manufacturers often use modal cotton in underwear and other fabrics that come into direct contact with the skin, such as sheets and towels. However, even though modal is made from beech fibers, it is not considered a completely natural fiber because many chemicals are used in its manufacture. Garment care instructions for modal cotton fabrics are similar to those for cotton fabrics, although the addition of modal to cotton makes fabric more susceptible to damage by excessive heat and chlorine bleach.