Cotton and polyester are the two most popular materials in the clothing industry, but they couldn't be more different. Cotton is a natural material that's harvested from plants, while polyester is a synthetic (or man-made) material that's derived from a combination of petroleum, air and water. Today we're going to take a look at these two materials closely to determine which is the most durable fabric for work clothes.
Cotton Vs Polyester: What are the key differences?
When comparing these two materials, there are very few similarities. Cotton is known for its natural, breathable, absorbent and sustainable properties, while polyester is non-breathable, water repellent and less sustainable. You can see why these materials are so different when you consider the way that they're made...
How is cotton made?
Cotton is a naturally occurring fibre that's made of 100% cellulose, a plant material that can easily be recycled and reproduced time and time again. Natural cotton is coated with a waxy substance, that's designed to protect the cotton plant from harsh weather and predators, however, this waxy substance can be removed to create a cotton material that's very absorbent. When worn, cotton is soft on the skin, breathable and hypoallergenic, that's why it's used widely across the beauty and hygiene sectors.
How is polyester made?
Unlike cotton, polyester does not occur naturally. To make polyester fabric, polyester pellets need to be made, these are then melted and forced through tiny holes to create thread-like fibres. Manufacturers are able to change the thickness of the fibres by changing the diameter of the holes that the melted polyester is forced through. Once these fibres have been made, they can be woven into materials and used to create a variety of products including clothing and workwear.
Cotton and polyester blends
Nowadays, it's not uncommon to see garments that are made using a blend of both cotton and polyester. In fact, there are a number of benefits to combining these materials. The resulting clothing can be comfortable and breathable like cotton, as well as having the water-resistant, long-wearing properties of polyester. Understanding how these materials work can help you choose work clothing that fits your requirements perfectly.
Why is material so important for work clothing?
Most people wear their work clothing for at least 8 hours a day, that's a pretty long time to be in something that's uncomfortable or doesn't fit right. Unlike regular clothing, work clothing needs to be durable enough to stand up to the challenges of life on-site. This means, it shouldn't tear easily, it should be breathable and it should enable your workers to work comfortably all day long.
Above all else, your work clothing needs to keep your workers safe. Whether they're working on their hands and knees, up high, or in poor weather conditions, you want their work clothing to keep them protected at all times. Good-quality, safe workwear and PPE will prevent injuries and will improve efficiency. That's why it's important that you pick a material that ticks all the boxes wherever possible!
Read More: What PPE Should Be Worn On a Building Site?
What fabrics are commonly found in work clothes?
As we've mentioned, work clothing needs to be comfortable and durable, that's why it's common to find blends of both natural and synthetic fibres in work clothing. This can include, polyamide, polyester, natural and specialist fibres. Work clothing manufacturers will tailor their specific material blend to make them fit for purpose.
So, what is the most durable fabric material for work clothing?
If you were looking for clothing that would be the most hard-wearing and long-lasting, synthetic materials like polyester would be the best choice. It certainly is more durable than cotton which is better for keeping you comfortable while you're at work. Ideally, the workwear you choose should contain a combination of both natural and manmade fibres if you want it to be comfortable and last you a long time.
Here at Class Workwear, we offer a huge selection of customisable workwear and PPE. All of our workwear is made of durable, comfortable materials that will make working in any conditions a pleasure!
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