Key Difference – Cotton vs Flannel
Cotton and flannel are two very common words we often hear in the textile industry. Although most of us own and use clothes made of cotton and flannel, most of us don’t know the difference between cotton and flannel. Cotton is a fiber that is taken from the cotton plant. Flannel is a fabric that is made from cotton, wool or synthetic fiber. Thus, the main difference between cotton and flannel is that cotton is a fiber whereas flannel is a fabric.
What is Cotton?
Cotton is a soft white fibrous substance that grows around the seeds of the cotton plant (genus Gossypium in the family of Malvaceae) and is made into textile fiber and thread for sewing. The cotton plant is native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including Africa, the Americas, and India. The earliest use of cotton by humans date back to 5000 BC.
Cotton fiber is spun into yarn or thread and used to make a soft, breathable textile. Cotton is primarily used in the textile industry. It is used to make a number of textile products such as bedsheets, pillowcases, towels, robes, t-shirts, dresses, shirts, socks, underwear, diapers, etc. Fabrics like denim, terry cloth, corduroy, seersucker, etc. are also made using cotton. Cotton is sometimes also blended with other materials. For example, cotton is blended with linen to get the maximum benefits out of both materials, including wrinkle resistance and lightweight.
What is Flannel?
Flannel is a soft woven fabric typically made of wool or cotton. It can be also made of synthetic fibre. This fabric is often used to make bed sheets, blankets, sleepwear and tartan clothing. Flannel has been used since the 17th century, and it is supposed to be originating from Wales.
Many flannel fabrics are made with plaids, and many people assume that flannel comes in plaids patterns. In fact, flannel shirt refers to any shirt with a plaid shirt. However, flannel may come in different colors and patterns. Clothing made from flannel fabric help to keep the wearer warm in cold environments. Therefore, they are often worn during winter, often as pyjamas.
There are different types of flannel.
Types of Flannel
Baby flannel is a light fabric used for children’s wear.
Vegetable flannel is made using fibres from the Scots pine rather than wool.
Ceylon flannel is made using a mixture of cotton and wool.
Cotton flannel is a cotton fabric napped on one side or two sides.
What is the difference between Cotton and Flannel?
Cotton: Cotton is a soft staple fiber that surrounds the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus Gossypium in the family of Malvaceae.
Flannel: Flannel is a soft woven fabric, typically made of wool or cotton.
Cotton: Cotton is used to make bed sheets, dresses, t-shirts, pants, shirts, socks, underwear, diapers, etc.
Flannel: Flannel is used to make sleepwear, bed sheets, blankets, tartan clothing, etc.
Cotton: The use of cotton dates back to 5000BC.
Flannel: The use of flannel dates back to the 17th century.
Cotton: Cotton is used to create many fabrics including denim, terry cloth, corduroy, and flannel.
Flannel: Flannel is made using cotton, wool or synthetic fiber.
Heat vs Cold:
Cotton: Clothes made of cotton fabrics are mostly worn in warm areas because they are lightweight.
Flannel: Flannel clothes are mostly worn in cold climates.
Cotton: Fabrics made of cotton may have various colors and patterns.
Flannel: Flannel fabrics are mostly associated with plaid patterns.
“Cotton field kv06” By Kimberly Vardeman – Flickr: Cotton Harvest (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia
“Flannels 5” By LouisBeche – Flickr:uniqlo flannels (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia
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