Difference Between Cotton and Polyester

Cotton vs Polyester

It is a fact that though there have been a number of threads and fabrics that have been made by man, it is cotton that reigns supreme in all parents of the world. This may be partly because it is a natural fiber as against all others such as nylon, polyester, rayon etc. Though wool and silk are also natural fibers, we are excluding it at the moment and would like to differentiate between cotton, the most comfortable fabric vs polyester, also referred to as poor man’s cotton.

Cotton, as it is a natural fiber, allows the fabric to breathe which means that it absorbs and releases perspiration quickly. Polyester fabrics keep the sweat next to the body, not allowing it to get released from the fabric. This means that the fabric is not breathable and you start to feel smelly in a few hours. Cotton fabrics remain fresh though a person may sweat as perspiration gets released out in the air quickly. Cotton does not cause irritation and even the most sensitive skin does not feel irritated with cotton. The same cannot be said about polyester fabrics and thus it is prudent to make infants and kids wear cotton as far as possible as their skins are much more sensitive than adults. Even the feel of cotton is much softer and supple than polyester even if it is smoother than a cotton fabric.

However, cotton has a disadvantage when it comes to durability. It also fades away much more quickly and colors that are given to a fabric do not last long. Polyester, as it is made by man is nearly indestructible and never fades. Polyester is also cheaper than cotton though prices of both polyester and cotton fabrics have a great range.

You may be thinking that just because cotton is a natural product, using it is better both for you as well as environment. However, if one takes a look at the production processes and the amount of energy released along with pollutants, it becomes clear that cotton is no less a culprit than polyester when it comes to use of toxins and chemicals during its production. Another factor that forces us to think twice is the fact that cotton is perhaps the most pesticide dependent crop, consuming nearly one fourth of all pesticide used around the world.

Polyesters are not just used to make fabrics; they are widely used to manufacture PET products used in our kitchens. Cotton on the other hand is mainly used for the purpose of textiles and not just as clothing but also as bed sheets, curtains, quilts and blankets.

In brief:

Difference Between Cotton and Polyester

• Polyester is more durable than cotton

• Cotton fades away in a short time period whereas polyester retains its colors and shine all the time

• Polyester is not breathable while cotton breathes thus allowing sweat to evaporate quickly.

• Cotton today is more in demand than polyester

• Polyester may not be suitable for those having skin allergies while cotton, being natural suits all skin types

• It is prudent to let infants and toddlers wear only cotton as their skin is very sensitive.