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Cotton vs Polyester: Which Is The Best T-Shirt Fabric

Fabric is second in importance to choosing a shirt style. Cotton and polyester are the two most widely used and popular materials. Both materials are affordable and durable enough to withstand multiple washings.  Cotton and polyester are two fabrics that have distinct characteristics. Cotton is a natural fiber that comes from the cotton plant. It's known for its softness and breathability. Cotton is a comfortable fabric, which makes it ideal for hot weather and sensitive skin. 

Cotton tends to shrink and wrinkle easily after washing. Polyester, a synthetic fiber, is durable, resistant to wrinkles and has quick drying properties. The moisture-wicking properties of polyester make it a good choice for athletic clothing, but it does not have the natural feel and breathability of cotton. Cotton and polyester are often chosen based on comfort, durability and the specific use of garments. Blends of both fabrics offer a balance between their respective benefits.

Depending on your needs, however, you may prefer one option over the other. Continue reading to find out the pros and cons of both cotton vs. polyester clothing.

Cotton Vs Polyester: Which Should You Choose?

Cotton Vs Polyester: Which Should You Choose?

Polyester is more durable and resistant to stains. Cotton is more durable, but also softer. Before making a choice between Cotton vs. Polyester, it is important to weigh the pros and cons.

Cotton Facts

Take a closer look at this widely used, time-tested material. Cotton is still widely used in the clothing industry and has been for many decades. Cotton is a natural fabric that is also softer and more pliable than polyester.

Ringspun cotton is also the softest option and is very popular with screen printers. Cotton gear by brands such as Bella+Canvas are made with airlume-combed cotton and ringspun cotton. This increases the softness of cotton fabric.

Cotton is comfortable and breathable. It is also cheaper than polyester. Cotton is a commodity that fluctuates in price but it outperforms Polyester.

Cotton is a great choice for those with sensitive skin, as it is grown organically without the use of pesticides, insecticides or chemicals. Cotton has many benefits that outweigh its disadvantages. These include shrinkage after drying, color loss when washing and perspiration.

Cotton Advantage

  • Cotton is one of the oldest textiles used for clothing. It's still a popular choice. Cotton is a natural product that has a low price, making it incredibly popular among screen printers.
  • Ring-spun cotton is more softer than ordinary cotton and produces some of softest shirts available.
  • Cotton is a great fabric for all-year wear because it absorbs moisture, regulates body temperature and helps regulate the body's temperature. Cotton fibers are excellent at absorbing color, which makes them a great choice for tie-dying or other similar projects. Biodegradable means that it will break down over time.
  • Cotton shirts can also be a great alternative for those with sensitive skin, as they are soft. They are available in organic varieties. Cotton shirts provide comfort, which makes them a popular option. Exploring the pros and cons of cotton vs. polyester assists manufacturers in creating garments tailored to diverse customer needs.

Cotton disadvantages

  • Cotton is a commodity. Cotton is a commodity, so its price could change. Cotton is currently cheaper than polyester. However, this could change in the future if market conditions change.
  • Cotton is also more likely to shrink and wear out than synthetic fibers such as polyester.
  • Cotton is an environmentally-friendly material because it's natural and sustainable. Cotton producers use more pesticides than other materials. This does not apply to organically grown cotton.

Polyester Facts

The synthetic polyester fiber is known for its ability to wick moisture away. Like cotton, it is a popular choice in the apparel industry. Clothing made from polyester is durable, wrinkle-resistant and fade-resistant. This is a great option for a worker on the go who needs shirts that are durable and can withstand frequent washing and wear.

There are no 100% cotton options for other moisture-wicking performance and sports clothing. Polyester is less likely to run or pull, but is also the most durable.

Polyester Advantages

  • In the face of changing market conditions, polyester is more stable than Cotton. It is a synthetic fibre. It ensures that the price will remain stable. The fibers of this fabric are stiff and will not fray easily.
  • The fabric is less likely to shrink and wrinkle.
  • It can be washed and worn repeatedly without fading. It is less stain resistant than cotton due to its lower absorbency.
  • Polyester shirts are a great option if you want a shirt that wicks away moisture. Cotton shirts do not.
  • The material is also useful in colder weather to keep you warm.
  • Due to its lower absorbency, polyester dries quicker than cotton. Polyester clothing dries quicker than cotton clothing. You can save energy by using the dryer less often if you have a lot of polyester clothes in your closet.
  • Polyester is popular with athletes because of its strength, light weight, and moisture-wicking properties. It is therefore a great choice for athletic gear and jerseys.

Polyester Disadvantages

  • Polyester is a durable material, but it can wear out.
  • It's not as breathable, and it sticks to moist skin. The material is sensitive to temperature, so it's important to take extra care when using a heat press on shirts.
  • It is possible that polyester may not be suitable to sensitive skin due to its coarser texture.

 Understanding the pros and cons between cotton vs. polyester helps consumers make informed choices when buying clothes.

This Is A Comparison Of Polyester Vs Cotton For T-Shirts.

Exploring the comparison of cotton vs. polyester assists manufacturers in creating garments tailored to diverse customer needs.

  • Cotton is a fabric that is made from natural fibers, while polyester is made of synthetic fibers.
  • Polyester is a material with many environmental and functional disadvantages.
  • It is still inexpensive and versatile.
  • Cotton is soft, breathable and long-lasting.
  • This cotton is more expensive in the short term.
  • It can, however, be a better long-term investment as it will last longer.


What fabric should you choose when designing your own fabric? Cotton is more skin-friendly, but polyester is more durable. Each fabric has advantages and disadvantages. You can choose the right fiber between Cotton vs. Polyester for your project once you know the pros and the cons. Cotton of high quality is superior to polyester in T-Shirts, shirts and other clothing almost everywhere. But polyester-based synthetic fibres are usually more suitable for outdoor and activewear. Although a cotton sweatshirt or t-shirt of high quality will cost more than a polyester one, it is worth considering the longer life span. It may be cheaper to buy a quality item that lasts several seasons, rather than purchasing a new one each season.


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