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Which Fabric is Right for Your Prints? What are the differences between cotton and polyester?

There are various types of materials available today, all of which have their own benefits and drawbacks, depending on your end goal. 

Here, we will guide you through the most popular fabrics and their uses as well as how this will help or hinder your printing methods.

Polyester

Polyester may not be as popular as cotton, but it has its benefits. 

It is mostly plastic which makes it incredibly sturdy and durable. To indicate its strength, recycled plastic bottles can be made into polyester fabric, and as it’s well known, plastic does not break down easily.

Some key features of polyester are:

  • Less fading: Polyester maintains its colour for longer after being dyed and will refrain from becoming faded. However, it doesn’t produce as vivid of colour as cotton. 
  • Holds shape: Good polyester garments will hold their way and won’t shrink in the wash.
  • Non-absorbent: Unlike cotton, polyester does not absorb moisture. However, it dries very quickly, which makes it ideal for the gym.
  • Less wrinkling: If you’re not keen on ironing, polyester is excellent, as it’s far more resistant to creases than cotton.
  • Not Breathable: Unlike cotton, polyester won’t allow your skin to breathe. When it comes to the warmer months, it may be time to give your polyester items a break and choose something more cooling.

 

Cotton

Cotton is the world’s most popular fabric. The main reasons for this are that it is comfortable and cost-effective. However, several other characteristics make it ideal to use for clothing.

Cotton is a natural, breathable fabric that lets your skin breathe, absorbing moisture and keeping your body temperature stable. Cotton is a durable material that will last but is still soft against your skin. It’s also versatile and great for dyeing into different colours and shades.

Some key features of cotton are:

  • Natural fabric: Cotton allows your skin to breathe, absorbing moisture and keeping your body temperature stable.
  • Durable: Cotton is a durable material that will last but is still soft to the touch. 
  • Versatile: Cotton is great for dyeing into different colours and shades and can support a variety of printing and embroidery methods. 

Cotton/Polyester Blend

A blend of polyester and cotton offers several benefits, and creators can combine the best qualities of cotton and polyester to create something unique, which for outdoor and winter garments, can be highly effective. The main advantages of this unique fabric blend are:

  • Polycotton is stronger than cotton: Cotton is the most popular fabric due to its soft touch, however cotton is prone to tearing easily. Polycotton has a unique elasticity which cotton alone does not have, making this material much more durable. 
  • Polycotton garments are easier to maintain: For cotton garments to last, they need to be cared for and looked after. With polycotton garments, they are made for heavy duty use, so they can be washed time and time again without losing flexibility or durability. This is one of the main reasons we see so much sportswear being made from this blend. 
  • Softer and more durable: Polyester alone is not a very breathable fabric. In the instance of gym-wear a polyester garment may stick and be uncomfortable once you start to perspire. However, when mixed with cotton- a notoriously breathable fabric, polycotton becomes a material that is soft on the skin, won't cause irritation, the garment is less prone to static and wrinkling and the wearer feels comfortable and supported.

 

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