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Like clothes, fabric choice is crucial for comfort – especially when creating intimate items such as knickers. With this in mind, there's only one fabric for us: TENCEL™ Modal fabric. But what is TENCEL™ Modal fabric? And why should you invest in TENCEL™ Modal fabric underwear? Below, we've covered everything you need to know about the what's, why's, and how's of the sustainable textile taking our underwear by storm.   

Comfy underwear is self-care. Whether you're a high-leg diva or a fan of a thong, a snug pair of briefs will put a spring in your step and boost your morale. However, if comfy knickers bring beige and boring bloomers to mind, you couldn't be more wrong. At Stripe & Stare, we believe briefs should be as bold and beautiful as the wearer, which is why we create luxurious knickers that don't compromise comfort to top up your confidence from the bottom up. 

Table of Contents

  1. What is TENCEL™ Modal fabric?
  2. What is TENCEL™ Modal fabric made of?
  3. Is TENCEL™ Modal a natural fabric?
  4. TENCEL™ Modal fabric characteristics
  5. TENCEL™ Modal vs cotton
  6. Is TENCEL™ Modal fabric good for your skin?
  7. So, is TENCEL™ Modal better than cotton? 

Firstly, what is TENCEL™ Modal fabric and what is it made of?

TENCEL™ Modal fabric is a sustainable fabric alternative to cotton. It is often blended with other materials for additional strength and is used to create clothing items such as pyjamas and – you guessed it – underwear. Due to its softness, it is also a popular choice for luxury household items such as towels and bed sheets.

TENCEL™ Modal fabric is made from cellulose – or, in more familiar terms, wood. It is responsibly sourced from beech trees, making it one of the best fabric choices for sustainable knickers! At Stripe & Stare, we source our TENCEL™ Modal fabric from Lenzing AG, TENCEL™, an Austrian company with an eye for sustainability. 

95% of our products are made with TENCEL™ fabric, and we're always learning new ways to help the planet, whether with 100% recyclable packaging or perfecting our production processes.

Tie dye print knickers on grass surrounded by daisies

Is TENCEL™ Modal a natural fabric?

TENCEL™ Modal is collected from naturally grown resources, and the entire process is self-sufficient, so it does not damage the environment. After being collected, the cellulose wood pulp is mixed with a solvent and spun to create a fabric. After it is dried and woven into a fabric, 100% of the collected material is put to good use, meaning there is no waste.


TENCEL™ Modal fabric characteristics

So, now we know what TENCEL™ Modal fabric is. But what does it look and feel like? 

  • TENCEL™ Modal fabric has a super-soft and silky texture.
  • It is easy to care for and wrinkle-free, so it always looks – and feels – luxurious.
  • It also has a little stretch, but due to the high fabric quality, it holds its shape well – so you don't need to worry about out-of-shape knickers. 
  • TENCEL™ Modal has many characteristics similar to cotton; however, it is much more absorbent and breathable – especially when compared to synthetic fabrics such as polyester – making it a fantastic fabric choice for creating comfortable underwear!


TENCEL™ Modal fabric vs cotton

Though TENCEL™ Modal fabric is an alternative to cotton, there are quite a few differences between the two. Below, we've listed the main ones.


TENCEL™ Modal fabric is renowned for its super-soft touch, which is why so many intimate items, including everything from knickers and underwear sets to luxurious lounge sets, are created with TENCEL™ Modal fabric. Compared to cotton, TENCEL™ Modal is softer, silkier and offers a much more luxurious feel against your skin.  

Of course, this isn't to say that cotton isn't soft. With each wear and wash, cotton fabric is known for becoming more comfortable and giving. However, this can also be a sign of its quality deteriorating. So, if you're looking for a long-lasting fabric that is consistently smooth and luxurious, TENCEL™ Modal fabric is the right choice for you.


Unlike cotton, TENCEL™ Modal fabric is durable and tough and has a longer lifespan than its alternatives. Even with a lot of care, cotton easily breaks down with prolonged use, making TENCEL™ Modal fabric the winner when it comes to durability. Additionally, TENCEL™ Modal fabric does not fade – meaning that your beautiful prints and colours will stay looking their best for longer! 


TENCEL™ Modal fabric has great moisture-wicking abilities: It dries quickly and prevents moisture from saturating the material, which helps regulate your body temperature. Cotton, however, retains moisture, so it stays damp for a long time. Because of this, TENCEL™ Modal fabric is often the preferred choice for household items such as bedsheets and intimate items such as pyjamas, as it reduces sweat – allowing for a more comfortable snooze. 


When it comes to breathability, natural fabrics tend to have the advantage. Natural fibres allow air to flow freely, meaning cotton is often the most comfortable fabric for warmer weather compared to other alternatives such as polyester. TENCEL™ Modal fabric is made up of a tight weave which is silky to the touch. Whilst artificial fabrics such as polyester and viscose tend to lack breathability, TENCEL™ Modal is lightweight, breathable, and absorbent, making it suitable for those who sleep hot or require a fabric that can help to regulate body temperature. 


Fast fashion is taking a toll on the environment, which is why at Stripe & Stare, we are always looking for ways to improve our processes and encourage sustainability. Biodegradable, sustainable, and kind to the environment, TENCEL™ Modal fabric is our best fabric for underwear. An eco-friendly alternative to cotton, TENCEL™ Modal fabric uses fewer chemicals than materials such as viscose and polyester and is less detrimental to the environment. 

Whilst cotton is a natural, biodegradable fabric, the process of creating cotton fabric uses a harmful amount of water and chemicals, which make their way back into the environment.  

So, is TENCEL™ Modal better than cotton?

Choosing the best fabric for your intimates is no easy task, and many of the differences between the two are up to personal preference. However, one thing that we don't believe in compromising on is sustainability, which is why at Stripe & Stare, we believe that TENCEL™ Modal fabric trumps cotton. 

Though cotton is a natural fibre, obtaining it is detrimental to the environment. It requires tons of water and is not a durable fabric, resulting in more waste in the future. Despite being man-made, TENCEL™ Modal fabric is breathable, luxuriously soft, and long-lasting.  

Our B-Edit collection is a world-first, fully biodegradable underwear line that decomposes in your garden within 180 days. From slips and slouch tops to beautiful lace sets, shop our luxurious garments guaranteed to become staples in your drawer! 

Close up of two models wearing jumpers and knickers sat down

Is TENCEL™ Modal fabric good for your skin?

For the most part, artificial TENCEL™ Modal fabrics retain heat, sweat, and moisture, making them a poor fabric choice for those with sensitive skin.  TENCEL™ Modal, however, is breathable, moisture-wicking, and soft, making it a good choice for your skin. The fibres quickly absorb moisture – even more so than cotton – allowing your skin to breathe and regulate your body temperature. 

Is TENCEL™ Modal fabric good to sleep in?

TENCEL™ Modal fabric is an increasingly popular choice for intimate items such as nightwear. Unlike other artificial alternatives such as polyester and viscose, it breathes with your skin. It quickly absorbs moisture, meaning you can sleep soundly and avoid that unpleasant feeling that comes from a night of tossing and turning. TENCEL™ Modal is also renowned for being luxuriously soft and silky, which makes it the perfect choice for sleepwear.  

Does TENCEL™ Modal fabric make you sweat?

TENCEL™ Modal is an absorbent fabric that quickly wicks away sweat and other moisture from your body. This means that your items collect fewer bacteria throughout the night, making TENCEL™ Modal a more hygienic fabric than its alternatives. 

Is TENCEL™ Modal fabric good for summer?

TENCEL™ Modal's breathability and softness make it the perfect choice for warm summer nights or days in the sun. Breathing with your skin, it helps your body to regulate its natural temperature and thus encourages a good night's sleep. 

Here at Stripe & Stare, we have a fantastic selection of TENCEL™ Modal sleepwear, including pyjamas, night slips, robes, and rompers. Whether you prefer simple yet chic neutrals or a bold and playful print, you can enjoy the luxuriously soft touch of TENCEL™ Modal and all of its benefits!

Model laying on a bed in her underwear

Why we use TENCEL™ Modal fabric for our sustainable underwear

If we haven't painted a clear enough picture of why we use TENCEL™ Modal fabric for our underwear already then we'd like to sum it up for you with a few key points. Number one, the level of softness that leads to comfort like no other. It's absorbency and breathability make it the perfect choice for body temperature regulation, keeping you cool and comfy all day and night. Its durability ensures you're buying into quality that will last. And finally its' sustainable process means you're doing your bit when selecting underwear that is both kind to you and kind to the planet.


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