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    No.428: Modal Fabric Creates Softest Bras for Boobs & Body

    Why Modal Fabric Creates the Softest Bras for your Boobs & Body

    When it comes to finding a comfortable bra, especially post-surgery or after a mastectomy, we are all about softness. But finding a super-soft bra feels next to impossible with all the scratchy lace and stiff padding out there in the lingerie department. But what makes one post-mastectomy bra style soft versus other wire free bra styles that are ridiculouslyoutrageously, and HEAVENLY soft?

    The answer? The fabric.

    While that may seem like an obvious answer, it can be difficult to know what specific materials we want or need when shopping for a bra, becauseoftentimes, we don't know what materials to look for. We all know cotton is soft, but most bras made of cotton are only moderately soft and don't give our bodies that skin-on-skin or barely-there feeling we all crave. And when healing from a breast surgery or recovering after radiation therapy, moderate levels of softness just aren't good enough.

    You need the dreamiest, most supple, and most sensual of fabrics that will make you feel like you are floating in a creamy, fluffy cloud. You need modal fabric. It's our fabric of choice here at AnaOno, and in case you don't have a chance to see our bras in person before buying them, we're happy to give you the full rundown so you can get a sense of just how luxuriously soft this material really is.

    What is Modal Fabric?

    Modal fabric is an ultra-soft fiber made from beech trees. It is stretchy, absorbent, and beyond breathable, making it the perfect foundation for our comfortable mastectomy bras and post-surgical bras. It is cool to the touch and moisture-wicking, yet will offer the support you need without irritating your sensitive skin post-surgery or scars.

    Modal vs. Cotton vs. Polyester

    If you’re wondering the difference between modal and two other common undergarment and lingerie fabrics, cotton and polyester, we broke it down for you in this easy chart:


    Modal 

    Cotton

    Polyester 

    Origin

    Cellulose from trees 

    Cotton plant 

    Petroleum

    Type of Fabric 

    Semi-synthetic 

    Natural 

    Synthetic

    Comfort

    Very soft and stretchy, holds its stretch over time 

    Soft but permanently stretches with wear

    Soft and flexible

    Durability 

    Highly durable due to its long fibers and tight weave 

    High tensile strength, making it very durable

    Highly durable, can last anywhere from 20-200 years 

    Moisture absorption and breathability

    Absorbs moisture very well, highly breathable

    Breathable and can be moisture-wicking 

    Breathable but is not moisture-wicking, making it not ideal for sweat

    Care

    Can wash normally, do not bleach, set dryer to low or medium 

    Can be washed in nearly any cycle, but can shrink in the dryer if you aren’t careful 

    Turn inside out to avoid pilling. Wash on a normal cycle and dry on low heat.

    Most commonly used

    Underwear and bras, pajamas, sportswear, towels, bathrobes, bedsheets 

    T-shirts, lightweight dresses, denim

    Suits, jackets, t-shirts, socks

    How is Modal Fabric Made?

    Due to the combination of raw material and cellulose, this fabric is considered a semi-synthetic that is then developed into a fiber through an environmentally conscious chemical treating process. At the end of the process, the modal produces an unbeatable silky soft quality that, unlike other stretch fabrics, will not lose its shape or quality when washed.

    Who Makes AnaOno’s Modal Fabric?

    At  AnaOno, we use highly sustainable Tencel® fabric in our bras. Tencel is derived from renewable raw material wood, which is then processed into a fiber that’s spun into this fabric. From having a low environmental impact during production to being biodegradable on disposal, this material is made for a sustainable fashion future without skimping on quality or comfort. 

    Tencel is not only known for its blanket-like softness, but it’s also celebrated for its many properties that make it ideal for clothing, and specifically for intimates. Some of its properties include color retention, excellent breathability, and its moisture-wicking properties that discourage bacteria growth on your skin, which is great for both healthy skin and odor control.

    Why Is Modal Great For Intimates?

    Why would you choose modal over cotton, polyester, or other material for intimates like lingerie, underwear, and bras? Here’s why we chose it, and why it’ll become your new favorite fabric: 

  • Eco-friendly. Modal is made from wood cellulose derived from beech trees. This type of tree needs much less water to grow, which makes modal a more eco-friendly material.

  • Holds shape. Modal is an investment! Since modal has such a tight weave and long fibers, it will hold its shape after multiple washes. What’s even better? The fabric feels softer after each wash.   

  • Highly stretchable. Your undergarments should move with you. Although it’s form-fitting, the soft and silky texture of modal allows for comfortable, easy movement without chafing.

  • Excellent moisture wicking properties. Did you know that modal is 50% more absorbent than cotton? The fabric allows sweat to evaporate quickly, so you won't feel sticky and have to sit in a pool of sweat all day.

  • Breathable. Modal allows air to circulate between your skin and the fabric, so you won’t overheat.

  • Great color durability. Even after multiple washes, your modal bras and underwear won’t fade. You’ll get years of wear from this garment without getting a yellow tint or a faded shade.
  •  

    Why is Modal Ideal for a Surgery Recovery Bra?

    Modal is the perfect fabric for your post-mastectomy bra or recovery bra for many reasons. As an incredibly luxurious fabric, it is cool to the touch, 50 percent more absorbent than cotton, and feels remarkably similar in texture to silk. Unlike cotton, it is resistant to shrinkage and less likely to fade in color or pill (you know, those little annoying bumps). It's excellent durability despite its silky texture is important since you'll spend a lot of time in these bras after undergoing breast surgery.

    In addition to being extraordinarily smooth and soft, modal fabric breathes remarkably well and features moisture-wicking properties. You don't want areas that are still healing to get hot and sweaty, so this quality is a major benefit to wearing a modal bra. It's also a stable material, so your supportive post-mastectomy bra will not lose shape, making it beautiful beyond surgery so you can continue to wear your comfortable wire-free modal post-mastectomy bras for years after your recovery from surgery.

    Modal allows your body to breathe and heal while feeling like a warm and cozy hug against your sensitive skin. As soon as you feel this dreamy soft modal fabric in your post-mastectomy bras, you'll want to replace all your bras in your lingerie drawer!

     

    SHOP SOFT MODAL MOLLY PLUNGE BRA

     

    Ultra-rich, smooth, and dream soft, modal is the ultimate fabric for post-mastectomy bras or radiation bras. Marianne wears The Molly Bra in Sand, our super soft t-shirt bra.

    Who Else Should Wear Modal Bras?

    Because of the fact that they're made with the softest fabric ever, modal bras are not and should not be limited to the post-surgery timeframe. In fact, AnaOno bras are a fave among survivors for years after surgery due to the fact that they offer that barely-there feel. Wire free modal is a fantastic choice for lounging or working. It is also naturally anti-bacterial, lightweight, and breathable, which can make it appropriate for light activity, such as walking or doing chores around the house.

    On top of that, this fabric is especially practical when making the best cotton bras for sensitive skin. That's because modal is hypoallergenic, which means it's a lot less likely to cause breakouts, itching, or irritation. If you're looking for a soft bra for sensitive skin, go ahead and grab one of these wonder-workers. This is extremely important for those undergoing breast surgery who also have sensitive skin because you never want to be in a position where you need to constantly itch or adjust near wound sites.

    In short, modal bras are for everyone, regardless of if they are undergoing surgery or not!

    Where Do I Find Modal Mastectomy Bras?

    We know shopping for post-mastectomy bras can feel overwhelming, which is why AnaOno offers a full range of recovery wear and loungewear made from 100 percent modal for breast cancer patients, survivors and thrivers, or those who know the pain of an underwire or structured bra. We also have stylish bras that blend modal with soft, stretchy lace for the perfect blend of soft support, function, and fashion. We make it easy to find styles that look great and feel fantasticfor the ultimate comfort and style you need no matter what stage of breast cancer or breast surgery recovery you are on. And did we mention they are all wire free and made with your needs in mind?

    We've put together this must-have list for our favorite ultra-comfy, super stretchy modal styles.

    1. The Molly Pocketed Plunge Bra is the newest addition to the AnaOno modal collection. Thanks to the deep plunging neckline, this style looks great with your favorite low-cut top but feels as comfy as a lounge bra. Wire free, luxe, and super-soft, this bra will take you from daytime cute and comfy to nighttime sexy and smooth. It's flirty, fun, and fashionable, without any discomfort. Molly is a must-have post-mastectomy bra. It's also an excellent bra for recovery from radiation because of the breathable and comforting modal material that never irritates sensitive skin.

    SHOP SOFT MODAL MOLLY PLUNGE BRA

     

    The brand new, Molly Bra  is our creamy, dreamy brand new modal style.

    SHOP THE MOLLY BRA

    1. The Monica Full Coverage Bra, also a new modal mastectomy bra, offers the most comfortable, full-coverage support. It's so soft, you won't even know you have it on! This style is great for fuller busts since it has a slightly higher neckline compared to our plunging bras. It's super-supple on sensitive skin and is pocketed to accommodate breast forms, a prosthesis or F(oo)Bs. It's sure to become your go-to for everyday barely-there wear both during recovery and long after you've healed.
    SHOP SOFT MODAL MONICA FULL COVERAGE BRA

     

    With adjustable straps, The Monica is as versatile as it is comfortable! A go-to for full coverage and modest support after breast surgery, mastectomy, or radiation.

    SHOP THE MONICA BRA

    1. The Rora Front Closure Bra was voted Best Post-Mastectomy Bra by InStyle Magazine and is the all-around favorite wire free front closure recovery bra. It offers an ideal fit and feel while you recover from breast surgery, including single or double mastectomy, and is a go-to for those looking for a comfortable, wire free, super-soft everyday front closure bra. It can even be worn beyond recovery thanks to its timeless, chic design. Nursing mothers and those with limited mobility from heart surgery, shoulder surgery or another major procedure also love the ease of the front-closure design. This universal style suits various breast surgery types, including reconstruction, flat, and au natural. This is one of our most popular picks for caregivers looking to provide support for a breast cancer patient, survivor, thriver, or previvor.

    SHOP SOFT MODAL RORA FRONT CLOSURE BRA

    "Very soft and extremely comfortable... I do not feel as if I am wearing anything and that's a big deal after a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction!" - Anonymous Fan of The Rora Front Closure Bra

    SHOP THE RORA BRA

    1. The Leslie Soft Leisure Bra is a comfortable post-mastectomy lounge bra style for your rest days, everyday wear, or even a light workout. The design features sporty mesh panels that provide breathability and light support with double-layer super soft modal. It is stretchy enough to step into it and comes pocketed to accommodate your favorite prosthetics or AnaOno Breast Forms. It looks amazing on flat, unilateral, reconstructed, DIEP flap, and those who've had a lumpectomy or radiation. We designed the Leslie because we all deserve something soft, comfortable, and beautiful. Trust us, you'll treasure this bra as soon as you feel the super-soft modal against your skin.

    SHOP SOFT MODAL LESLIE SOFT LEISURE BRA

    "This is the first comfortable bra I've had in years! The fabric is incredibly soft. The wide band at the bottom doesn't dig into my tissue. I have a huge rib cage so finding something that fits and doesn't gouge me in the ribs is difficult. This is the only bra I can wear all day. I would love these even if I hadn't had surgery." -Caroline

    SHOP THE LESLIE BRA

    1. The Delilah Soft Cup Bra is the perfect everyday bra that is feminine, flirty, and fun. It is easy to pullover, pocketed and comes with removable modesty pad for a super-smooth finish. This wire-free post-mastectomy bralette made of modal and stretch lace has convertible and adjustable straps so you can customize your fit. Ideal for double and single mastectomies, breast reconstruction, DIEP flap F(OO)Bs, or unilateral and flat with breast forms, the Delilah is also the best sleep bra for other breast surgeries, such as augmentation, reduction and lifts.

    SHOP SOFT MODAL DELILAH SOFT CUP BRA

    "This is THE softest most comfortable bra I've ever had and is very pretty too. Like a cloud hugging me.' -Sharon

    SHOP THE DELILAH SOFT CUP BRA

    1. The Lisa Wrap Front Wire-free Cami is the perfect addition (and alternative) to your post-mastectomy bra options and is a comfortable option for easy dressing and layering. This gorgeous, practical shelf-camisole will leave you feeling confident and your body looking beautiful. Versatile enough to wear in the boardroom, bar, and bedroom, it can keep you comfortable during recovery as well as years after you heal. It's a stunning choice if you're recovering from a mastectomy, lumpectomy, reconstruction, or other breast surgery.
    SHOP SOFT MODAL LISA WRAP FRONT CAMISOLE

     

    SHOP THE LISA CAMISOLE

    1. The Miena Robe is available with or without a drain management belt and is plush, lavish and functional. As the ultimate loungewear piece, this community favorite is thoughtfully designed to wear during treatment, recovery and beyond.

    SHOP SOFT MODAL MIENA ROBE

    "I lived in this robe for the weeks following my mastectomy. The fabric is soft and stretchy so that the robe is never pulling against your skin or binding you. Now that my drains are gone, I've removed the belt and am wearing this robe as a regular house robe." -J

    SHOP THE MIENA ROBE

    How Do I Care For My Modal Bras?

    You can wash modal on the gentle cycle using warm water and cool rinse. Hang or lay your lingerie on a flat surface to dry. The best perk of this material? While cotton and rayon shrink and can lose their shape in water, modal will maintain its structure due to its high durability and strength when damp or wet. That way your wire free AnaOno Post-Mastectomy Bra will stay crisp and beautiful while keeping that soft feeling for years to come.

    Does Modal Get Smelly?

    Modal does not get smelly because of its breathability and moisture-wicking properties. It has great moisture and odor control, unlike 100% synthetic fibers which will retain odor. A few examples of fabrics to avoid that can get smelly include polyester, nylon, spandex, or anything else synthetic. 

    Can Modal Go In The Dryer?

    While modal can be put into the dryer at a cool setting with no issues, it’s recommended to air dry your intimates in general. You should always read the care instructions of your product before you wash and dry your material; at  AnaOno, we recommend laying your garments on a flat surface to dry.

    Find your Perfect Bra with AnaOno

    The quest to find the softest bra ever can feel like a never-ending scavenger hunt. Refine your search by looking for a material that is guaranteed to keep you feeling great. You can never go wrong with the ultra-plush and incredibly luxe feel of modal material used in all post-surgery bras designed with intent by AnaOno. It will keep you feeling more than comfortable throughout your surgery, treatments, and beyond.

    Dana Donofree

    Dana Donofree

    Founder and CEO of AnaOno. After a diagnosis of breast cancer in her late 20’s, Dana took her own lived experience and fashion design background and (re)designed intimates for those that have undergone breast surgery. Dana’s story has been published around the world in outlets like New York Times, BBC, Huffington Post, The Today Show, and more.