Modal & other cellulosic fibres – Opportunities in end applications

Modal & other cellulosic fibres – Opportunities in end applications

Over the next decade, global demand for viscose fibre is projected to grow faster at seven to eight per cent, while specialty fibres like modal/micro modal, dyed, excel (Lyocell) expected to grow even faster, says Ajay Sardana.

Over the next decade, global demand for viscose fibre is projected to grow faster at seven to eight per cent, while specialty fibres like modal/micro modal, dyed, excel (Lyocell) expected to grow even faster, says Ajay Sardana.

Through the last decade, global cellulosic fibre market has witnessed continuous growth especially viscose which has shown strong growth at six to seven per cent (>2X overall fibre growth). Based on the superior properties, viscose along with other cellulosic (speciality) fibres like modal/micro modal, dyed, excel (Lyocell) are expected to emerge as the preferred fibre choices for different end consumer applications including apparels and home textiles.

Over the next decade, global demand for viscose fibre is projected to grow faster at seven to eight per cent, while specialty fibres like modal/micro modal, dyed, excel (Lyocell) expected to grow even faster.

Some of the key factors, which shall drive above growth, are rising prosperity, rapid urbanisation, burgeoning middle class and higher disposable income along with consumer preference for soft, comfortable, fashionable and biodegradable products.

Discover a fibre synonymous with softness & comfort

Birla Modal is a premium specialty fibre that offers superior softness. With its sheen, smoothness and breathability, it’s one of the most recommended fibres by the top brands and retailers globally. It’s a nature-based fibre made from wood sourced from Canadian Birchwood trees.

Birla Modal is the second generation in man-made cellulosic fibres, which couples great consumer and value chain benefits. ‘Modal’ as defined by the International Bureau for the Standardization of Man Made Fibres (BISFA) is a distinct viscose fibre genre, which has a higher wet modulus and satisfies a minimum value of tenacity in the wet stage at 5 per cent elongation.

Birla Modal has twin benefits: superior softness + strength akin to cotton. So, even after repeated washes, fabrics made from this fibre retain their softness without losing its perfectly brilliant sheen, colours as well as soft hand feel. It can be the right blending fibre partner when made with different fibres. The benefit of Birla Modal can also be appreciated when blended with cotton ensuring property benefit of both modal and cotton. Both being cellulosic fibres, processing can be done with much ease.

What makes Birla modal unique?

  • Moisture management: Effective moisture management facilitate efficient transport of sweat from the skin to the outside
  • Better fit and comfort: Garments with Birla modal provide better body fit
  • Brilliant colours with better sheen: For same colour depth, Birla modal requires less quantity of dyes compared to other cellulosic fibres
  • Cooling effect: Fabrics made from Birla Modal are cooler in touch compared to cotton

Birla Modal is also available as a finer fibre. It’s called Birla MicroModal. Apparels manufactured from Birla MicroModal are lighter, exhibits superior softness and good dimensional stability. It’s like the best friend to the skin and finds excellent applications across different end consumer applications:

Knitted apparels:

Premium Intimate wear:

  • Men (briefs/trunks/vests): Birla MicroModal with elastane, cotton modal elastane, cotton modal
  • Women (panties/bra/camisole): Birla MicroModal with elastane, cotton modal, cotton modal elastane

Knitted tights/leggings:

  • Women: 100 per cent Birla modal, Birla MicroModal and Birla modal with cotton (with/without elastane)


  • Men: Birla modal with cotton
  • Women: 100 per cent Birla MicroModal, Birla modal with/without elastane


  • 100 per cent Birla modal, cotton modal, Birla modal with elastane

Woven apparels:

Women tops/ethnic kurtis

  • 100 per cent Birla modal, Birla modal with cotton

Formal/causal shirts

  • Birla modal with cotton

Formal/casual trousers/blazers/suits

  • Polyester modal elastane

Home textiles:


  • Cotton with modal in pile

Bed linen/Duvet covers:

  • Cotton modal, polyester modal


  • Silk modal, Cupro modal, VFY modal blends LIVA is a new age fabric from the Aditya Birla Group. Unlike other fabrics, that are boxy or synthetic, LIVA is a soft, fluid fabric which falls and drapes well. A promise that is delivered through accredited value chain. The new-age naturally sourced fibre made into fabric in pure or blended form, transforms not just the garment but also the person wearing it. It is comfortable, soft, natural, and eco-friendly. The brand recently launched their eco-enhanced version of the fabric, called Livaeco, which made of wood pulp sourced from FSC certified forests.



– Ajay Sardana is Joint President, Pulp & Fiber Business with Grasim Industries

Sustainability drives viscose fibre innovations, says GlobalData

As the third most commonly used textile fibre in the world, it is no surprise that viscose has come under scrutiny over its environmental credentials. But more and more brands and producers are now taking steps to clean up their acts, writes GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Michelle Russell, Apparel Correspondent at GlobalData, comments: “As a semi-synthetic fibre made from wood pulp, viscose is often seen as a sustainable alternative to polyester or cotton, and a cheaper alternative to silk. Yet, while the fibre is not inherently toxic or polluting, the process to manufacture viscose has, in recent years, come under a lot of scrutiny.”

It is estimated that around 30 per cent of the tree fibre that creates viscose comes from ancient and endangered forests. And globally, 150 m of trees are logged every year and turned into cellulosic fabrics such as viscose.

However, in recent years, there has been huge investment in new processes. Birla Cellulose is manufacturing viscose fibre using 20 per cent pre-consumer cotton fabric waste, while Chinese viscose producer Tangshan Sanyou has managed to produce viscose staple fibre from 50% post-consumer recycled cotton textiles on an industrial scale.

Austrian cellulosic fibre producer Lenzing says all its white viscose, modal and lyocell fibres are now certified by TÜV Austria as biodegradable in all natural and industrial environments. Some innovative new start-ups are also finding new ways to produce cellulose-based textile products using sustainable raw materials. Finnish fibre firm Spinnova recently secured a $12.1 million investment to take its cellulose-based textile products to commercial scale – and has launched its first prototype clothing products made from a fibre based on wheat straw.

Textile start-up Infinted Fiber Co is planning to scale up its technology that turns textile, cardboard and agricultural waste into new textile fibres that can be circulated infinite times. Russell adds: “There has been a noticeable change in the attitudes of clothing brands wanting more sustainable inputs, which has driven an increase in the amount of investment in research and development (R&D) from viscose producers.”

Share This


Wordpress (0)
Disqus ( )

Hi There!

Now get regular updates from ITJ Magazine on WhatsApp!

Click on link below, message us with a simple hi, and SAVE our number

You will have subscribed to our Textile News on Whatsapp! Enjoy

+91 81082 88300