Is cotton synthetic or natural? Why
Polyester - synthetic fabrics vs. natural fabrics
Synthetic fibers have become an indispensable part of the fashion world. Polyester should take first place among synthetic fabrics, as it is the most widely used synthetic fiber in the clothing industry. In Germany, too, polyester, which is made from petroleum, is the most popular fiber.
Polyester as a miracle material
Polyester seems to be a real miracle material. Especially those who don't like ironing can enjoy the fabric because it does not wrinkle due to the high elasticity. Hanged to dry after washing, it can be put on again after a few hours because it is polyester dries much faster than pure cotton.
The fabric is very robust against climatic influences because it is special weather and light resistant is. At the same time he is very hard-wearing and tear-resistant, which is why polyester is almost always found in outdoor clothing. Due to its low weight - the fibers are very thin and light - it is suitable for hikes and backpacker tours where heavy luggage is a nuisance on the back. But outdoor fans don't just wear polyester on their bodies - it can also be found in tent fabrics, sleeping bags and warming blankets.
An all-rounder for swimwear and sportswear
Sportswear in particular relies on polyester. The stuff is breathable, stores heat better and lets the sweat evaporate at the same time. The mostly water-repellent top layers make it perfect for jogging in the open air.
Swimwear also adopts the properties of polyester because the fabric dries so quickly and is elastic. But polyester is not only an all-rounder in the clothing industry. For allergy sufferers, polyester bedding is perfect, as it does not provide a breeding ground for mites and is therefore more hygienic.
The other side of the coin
But even if this chemical fiber proves to be very useful in many areas, it still has disadvantages.
The non-renewable resource crude oil is used in the production of polyester. Shouldn't it be better to use cotton? Cotton is a natural material, skin-friendly, has a low allergy potential, is heat-resistant and durable. But natural resources are also consumed in the cultivation of cotton, and quite a lot. Cotton, unlike man-made fibers, needs to be heavily watered. Depending on the country and its climates, between 10,000 and 29,000 liters of water are required for 1 kilogram of cotton. These huge amounts of fresh water can be saved with polyester.
Not every skin type can tolerate synthetic fibers
Since polyester is a chemical, it is not always suitable for people with very sensitive skin. Skin irritation and reddening can occur, especially in combination with sweat, e.g. during sports. Natural fabrics such as cotton are more appropriate here, even if they are not as breathable and give off moisture poorly.
For people who sweat a lot during sports, polyester fabrics can be a disadvantage, as the mass of moisture cannot penetrate the fibers so quickly and you are ultimately drenched in sweat.
Ultimately, everyone has to decide for themselves whether they prefer natural fabrics or functional clothing. However, the advantages in the areas of sports, outdoor and functional underwear are tempting for many people. The progress in functional clothing through microfibres and other functional fibers is considerable and makes many areas of everyday life easier.
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