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Differences between natural and synthetic fabrics

Natural and synthetic fabrics – Main differences

Have you ever wondered why is that dear cotton shirt of yours so comfortable to sleep in, but not quite appropriate for gym practice? Or how come that stuffed winter jacket dries faster than the light spring one? The answers to these questions lie in the type of materials these clothes are made of.

All our clothes, shoes and other textile objects we have at home can be divided into three types, based on the materials they are made of: natural, synthetic and mixed. While some fabrics are very light and soft, others have a stronger texture in order to retain their shape. Each type of fabric has its advantages, and you can choose the one that will best suit your needs.

The origin and history of fabric materials

We get natural materials from plants or animals, and their main representatives are cotton, wool, silk, linen and leather. Ever since the first needle was invented 20 000 years ago, natural materials were used in production of clothes, jewellery, furniture etc. Cotton, the most famous natural fabric, began its journey 5000 years ago in Pakistan, and it dominated the fashion industry up until the 1970s. 

During this period, it was overthrown by polyester – a type of synthetic material which was, as it is the case with all materials of this kind, produced by submerging a natural-occurring substance to chemical reactions. In this case, petroleum was altered and it resulted in firm, elastic and durable strings. Despite the fact they are rather new, synthetic materials are ubiquitous, so it’s no wonder they make up for 60% of fabric market.

Comfortableness of natural material fabrics

Natural materials are especially strong and durable thanks to their structure but are also soft and comfortable. This cosiness is present due to their main characteristic: they are absorbent. A cotton shirt will draw the moisture away from the skin and we get the feeling it can “breathe”. This is especially important when producing items we use or wear every day like pyjamas, bed linen and towels. This also makes cotton materials ideal for summer months. 

Another reason why natural materials are so skin-friendly is the fact they are hypoallergenic and possess unique antibacterial properties. In other words, they won’t cause allergies and we don’t have to fear that a certain shirt will cause a rash, making them ideal for everyone with a sensitive skin, as well as for that soft newborn skin.

Synthetic fabrics: durability and strength

Synthetic fabrics are unbelievably durable, resistant to shrinking and creasing. The most famous material in this category, polyester, is incredibly flexible, stretchable and doesn’t attract moisture. It’s no wonder it’s the primary choice in sports clothing. Because of synthetic fabrics athletes can say goodbye to those awkward sweat marks on their clothes. The fact it isn’t absorbent and that it holds the heat, polyester is also the ideal candidate for winter clothing.

Polyester was popular in the 1970s as a material which can be worn for 68 days straight and it still won’t crease. Its biggest fan was John Travolta in films such as Saturday Night Fever. Nevertheless, technology has advanced since that period of artificial, shiny polyester suits. Today polyester is a high-quality, durable material, easy to print and the colours are durable and permanent.

Which material is right for you?

Different materials have different properties and based on those we can define the purpose of each one. If you are buying bed linen, you will probably choose a cotton one that will allow your skin to breathe overnight. On the other side, you will choose light and stretchable polyester clothes for your gym practice that won’t bother you during your workout. 

The advances in technology lead to advances in material production. Today mixed materials are taking their share of the market. For example, they can offer the best of both worlds – cotton breathability and polyester flexibility. This means you will have a comfortable sports shirt which won’t cause electricity. Each type of fabric has its advantages. Most important thing is that you choose high-quality materials that will let you enjoy them for a long time. 

Which type of fabric suits your needs? On our web shop you can choose between many different types of polyester and natural materials. We are positive you will find just the one you need!

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