You’ve worked with our design team in order to create the ideal uniform. Tailored, on brand, with the perfect style and fit. Then again, do you know what goes into that uniform? We have started a new series to guide you through some of the advantages and disadvantages of the four main fibers; wool, cotton, viscose and polyester. In this issues’ Fiber Guide 101 we are exploring Cotton.
Cotton is a naturally produced fiber, making organic and “green” cotton available through Fairtrade or the Better Cotton Initiative. In its natural form cotton has a matte, off white appearance. As cotton is a natural product, and because of the way it is designed and manufactured into clothing it has many advantages, such as its ability to control moisture, insulate, provide comfort, and durability. Cotton is an ideal fiber to use in a range of garments for a number of reasons; abrasion resistance, strength when wet, it does not produce static build up, and its natural properties mean cotton is hypoallergenic. Organic cotton is biodegradable and it also allows for sustainability possibilities, such as cutting room waste being recycled back into fiber form for re-use.
Like all fibers, cotton has its snags (pun intended). As Cotton is prone to becoming creased, it requires more ironing than fabrics produced from other fibers. It takes a long time to dry naturally, and synthetic fibers have stronger color retention and shrinkage resistance than cotton.
To get the best out of cotton you have to know when your end use plays to its strengths. Hopefully, this guide puts you in that position the next time you are determining your fiber needs.