If there's one fabric that's a total star when it comes to clothing, it's cotton. Just think: Have you ever been to a clothing store that didn't carry cotton clothing? The stuff is everywhere, and for plenty of good reasons. While a crop of new natural fabrics like bamboo are making their mark, cotton has been the traditional choice for ages. When it comes to naturally produced clothing, cotton has characteristics that make it the go-to choice for designers everywhere.
Cotton clothes absorb moisture like nobody's business. Then check out this figure from the Cotton Clouds, a yarn supplier in Safford, Arizona: Good old cotton can actually take up as much as one fifth its weight in water before even feeling damp. This is one reason cotton clothing remains the traditional go-to choice in hot and sticky tropical climates -- if you're gonna sweat, cotton will help keep you dry.
Cotton is also breathable. This matters even more when you're hanging out in hot temps. Ever worn polyester on a blazing hot summer day? If so, then you understand why breathability is such an advantage. All natural, 100 percent cotton -- the stuff that hasn't been blended with synthetic fabrics -- is microporous, which means it contains tons of super-tiny pores. These pores allow humidity and perspiration to make an escape instead of getting trapped between fabric and skin.
Cotton is hypoallergenic; it most likely won't give you or your kids an allergic reaction or upset sensitive skin. This is why is cotton has so many special uses such as infant clothing, cotton swabs, bandages and gauze. There's a reason cotton is so frequently used in sensitive situations: It's gentle.
Cotton doesn't itch or feel stiff; generally cotton is comfortable. Because it's so absorbent, cotton can be dyed any color and the results will look vibrant. Cotton is durable when dry and about 30 percent stronger when wet, which is why it's used for items such as baby wipes. Conventional cotton clothing won't fall apart after a few washes and can handle hot water with no problem. All-natural, organically grown cotton is biodegradable and renewable, which means it's not just good for you, it's good for the whole planet.
Original name: What Are the Advantages to Traditional & Natural Cotton Clothes?
By Lane Cummings, eHow Contributor
Cotton is a natural fiber that originates from the seed pod of the cotton plant. While cotton is not a perfect fabric and is prone to shrinkage, fading, losing its shape and other disadvantages, it remains the world's most widely used natural textile material.
The fact that cotton is an environmentally-friendly fabric is one of its strongest selling points, particularly during these times of greater environmental awareness. Cotton is a renewable resource, meaning farmers can plant and replant cotton crops each year, replacing them each time after the cotton is extracted. Cotton is also biodegradable, meaning that other living organisms can break it down and it won't take up space in landfills for countless years after disposal. It even comes in an organic variety, meaning the cotton plant grows without the aid of pesticides.
Cotton often is the first choice during hot summer months because of its inherent breathable quality which makes it cooler to wear. Cotton soaks up moisture easily and can take 20 percent of its weight in water before it actually feels damp. After soaking up body moisture, the cotton allows the moisture to evaporate into the air, keeping your skin dryer and allowing it to breathe. This makes your body more comfortable in extreme climates.
Cotton is an inherently soft fabric, making it suitable for the delicate skin of babies. Its gentle quality also makes it appropriate for people with very sensitive skin or skin allergies. Cotton is a user-friendly fabric and doesn't require any special care; you can toss it in the washing machine and hang it out to dry. Cotton is also durable; you can repeatedly wash it in extremely hot water and it will maintain its strong appearance.