Common Types of Workwear Fabric: Poly-Cotton vs. Pure Cotton

When searching for perfect workwear, either for yourself or your employees, it's common to get confused, especially if you don't have any knowledge about workwear fabric. Fabric choice, when purchasing a workwear item like overalls, shouldn't be as daunting as people imagine, provided you know some key tips to help you make an informed decision. Two of the most popular workwear fabrics are poly-cotton and 100% cotton. The perfect option is not standard for all, as it normally depends on your requirements. This article will assist to make a better decision next time you go shopping.

Pure cotton is natural and fully breathable, which are two features that make the fabric cooler to wear, especially in hot conditions. But as the thickness increases, breathability reduces.  100% cotton rips and wears out easily, although this is also determined by the kind of weave that's used. For instance, cotton canvas is a durable fabric, but it's heavy and thick. When it comes to safety, cotton fibres that haven't been treated for fire resistance can burn away and polyester will melt.

Since cotton is a natural fibre, the garments tend to be more costly compared to their synthetic alternatives. What's more, cotton is more environmentally friendly since it's biodegradable.

Cotton's synthetic alternative, polyester, doesn't breathe well and tends to stick to the skin whenever perspiration starts. Polyester is an elastic fibre compared to cotton, meaning it's more tear resistant than regular cotton. Since polyester is synthetic, it's independent of natural forces and is cheaper than pure cotton.

The poly-cotton fabric is as the name suggests. The material is made up of two fibres: polyester and cotton. The combination ratio varies, but 35 per cent polyester and 65 per cent cotton is a very common combination. This blend is normally designed to offer advantages of both polyester and cotton fibres in one fabric. It creates a mixture that's tear resistant and more breathable. What's more, it offers more comfort compared to a polyester fabric and is less costly than cotton fabrics. The poly-cotton fabric blend has become more popular due to its durability, price and colour availability.

So which fabric should you pick?

The final workwear fabric decision between polyester, cotton and poly-cotton should be determined by your work environment, personal preference and the work that's being done. If your employees work around machinery indoors, tear-resistant poly-cotton will be favourable. However, if they work outdoors in an environment that's subjected to hot climate, pure cotton is preferable. Cotton promotes safety, so it's suitable for employees like welders. Consider all these factors before making a choice.