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What is the difference between a 100% cotton shirt and a 50/50 cotton/polyester blend shirt? Is one better than the other?

Apr 07, 2015

When ordering decorated apparel is it better to choose a product that’s 100% cotton or a 50/50 blend of cotton and polyester?

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There may not be a universal answer to the question. Your choice will depend on a variety of factors that we will discuss. Personal preference, style, and comfort are going to indicate which fabric would benefit you the most as both options have their advantages.

 

Generally weighing slightly more than their 50/50 counterpart, 100% cotton fabrics provide a soft, natural fabric that’s fully breathable. Coming from the boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants, they work terrific for screenprinting or embroidery. Cotton is the best selling fiber in America and is the most widely used natural fiber cloth in clothing today.

 

Cotton is a hypoallergenic fabric, meaning it’s ideal for people with allergies or sensitive skin, so it is often used in the medical field. Providing a soft touch texture, cotton can keep the wearer warm in cooler temperatures while still providing adequate absorbency for perspiration in warmer temperatures. As a breathable fabric it has the ability to transfer moisture away from the skin at a quicker rate than synthetic fabrics. Cotton can be more prone to shrinkage and wrinkles over time if not properly maintained.

 

50/50 cotton blended with polyester fabrics are versatile and durable. They maintain shape longer and have a softer, lighter feel to them. Cotton blended fabrics are less susceptible to excessive shrinking, piling, wrinkles and static. However, they are not as breathable as 100% cotton. 50/50 cotton blended fabrics are ideal for an athletic look and heavy usage.

 

The style and type of performance you expect out of your decorated garments should determine which fabric choice is right for you. If you’re in warmer climates and are looking for a breathable fabric to absorb perspiration, 100% cotton may be the way to go. If you want something lightweight that will help speed up evaporation of perspiration and that’s less likely to wrinkle after washing, try the 50/50 cotton blend.


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