Cotton vs. Synthetic Fibers

December 13, 2018 11:02 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Take a quick glance around your room and take note of everything that is made of fabric or cloth. Curtains, upholstery, bedding, clothing, towels—and the list goes on! Textiles of every sort can be found in every room. Fabric and cloth are a major component of our lives, which is why choosing the right fabrics is so important.

If you look at the tags on the cloth items in your home, you will probably find that they are not all made of the same materials. Textiles are made from many different types of materials, but they can be broken down into two categories: natural and synthetic. Natural fibers, including wool, cotton and silk, are substances produced by plants and animals that can be spun into filaments, thread or rope. Synthetic fibers, such as nylon, polyester and rayon, are byproducts of the petroleum industry. In other words, chemically-derived fibers are joined together to make synthetic materials.

So, the question is, which fibers are best? As one of the premier sources for cotton mill components in Texas, with over 70 years in the business, we wanted to take a closer look at cotton vs. synthetic fibers. Here’s what we found.


Cotton textiles absorb perspiration and release it into the air, creating natural ventilation for your body. Synthetic fibers, due to their more compact molecular structure, cannot allow the skin to breathe. Because of its breathability, cotton textiles prevent skin rashes, itching and even allergies.


Cotton is more sustainable than synthetic fibers. Because cotton is a natural product, it decomposes quickly and naturally. Cotton is also recyclable and is considered a “carbon neutral” product, which means that it absorbs as much carbon as it creates.


When it comes to boosting the U.S. economy, cotton again comes out on top. Because cotton is a natural fiber that is produced in the U.S. in large quantities, it helps support the U.S. economy, particularly the agricultural industry. Synthetic fibers, on the other hand, use non-renewable resources and are imported from other countries at a greater rate than cotton.


Cotton lasts longer than synthetic materials. When cared for properly, cotton clothing maintains its integrity longer than synthetic clothing. Cotton absorbs water, which makes it better able to handle frequent washing, while synthetic materials often begin to fade and “pill,” break down and get fuzzy balls on their surface.


When it comes to cost, synthetic materials are often less expensive than cotton. Cotton is typically more expensive and labor intensive to produce, which is reflected in the cost. While there are less expensive cotton options, these are typically made of low-grade natural fibers.

In conclusion, while synthetic fibers are less expensive, cotton offers better quality. Needless to say, when we compare cotton to synthetic fibers, we’re prouder than ever to be serving the cotton industry by providing high-quality cotton mill components in Texas. If you would like to know more about the products we sell and the services we provide to the cotton industry, call M.B. McKee Company, Inc. today!

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