Manmade materials vs. natural materials, polyester vs. cotton – the debate lingers on. However, here are some details on which is the best choice for you and the differences, uses, prices and costs of either, as well as their pros and cons.
Cotton is considered the best material in the world for comfort, whereas manmade materials and polyester have a certain quality that tend to make people shudder so, is all this justified?
The Uses of Cotton and Polyester:
Polyester is used for a wide variety of objects and in an array of manufacturing. Its used for everything from floppy discs, to food packaging and of course, materials for bedding and bed linen among other things. Cotton is also very versatile, it is used in everything from clothing, to towels, to linen and 2010 estimates placed its economic worth at over £70 billion.
Cotton is an extremely absorbent, breathable material and comes from the cotton plant. This means it is a great material for allowing the skin to breath and is also strong, durable and can be washed at high temperatures making it ideal for cleaning of heavy stains. However, cotton can vary in quality depending on the factors used in its manufacturing. Polyester is man-made and comes from a mixture of chemicals, as well as water, oil and coal. It is not susceptible to shrinking, dries very quickly and wont suffer from mildew.
One of the reasons polyester is so popular is the fact it costs a lot less to produce than cotton and so sells for a lot less. Whilst this is generally true, there are some man made materials that can cost more than others and can even reach near the same price as cotton. The price of cotton is also widely variable as it is dependent on quality, origin and also the brand.
Cotton is renowned for being breathable, meaning you feel cool in summer and warm in winter. This is great for bed linen in particular, giving the most comfortable sleep. This is also great for those who suffer from sensitive skin, as cotton linen has a soft comforting feel next to skin. Polyester on the other hand isnt as breathable. This means that during sleep, sweat from the body kept on the skin, rather than absorbed by the fabric. This definitely would not make for a comfortable sleep!
Polycotton blends have become popular in recent times as they blend the two fabrics into one and so allow for a cost effective, breathable and comfortable material that is more durable and wont shrink. Essentially, these materials take the best attributed from cotton and polyester.