Cotton or Polyester - Which works better for your company uniform?

Monday, 10 August 2020 14:37

When it comes to deciding on your company’s work wear, it’s important to know which fabric would be suitable.

In this article we take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of cotton, polyester and cotton/polyester blended fabrics.

Knowing these facts will help you decide which fabric is best for your uniforms.


Cotton is the most widely used natural fabric for apparel manufacturing across the world.

Being a natural fibre, cotton is a renewable resource and is biodegradable. Natural fibres, as opposed to synthetic ones like those in polyester, tend to be more expensive and may not the best option when trying to keep costs down for promotional items and work wear.

The greatest advantage of cotton is its breathability. In hot weather, it’s a great option for keeping your body cool. Even though it may hold moisture longer than polyester, in hot weather this actually becomes a way of cooling down.

When choosing this fabric, keep in mind the end use of the apparel. Is it for office workers who need a breathable, flexible fabric, or someone like an electrician or welder who need a fabric that will not melt to their skin if it comes in contact with sparks? You will find that cotton is the best option for these professions.

Advantages of Cotton

  • Natural fibres free of chemicals
  • Breathable – Great option for hot weather
  • Hypoallergenic and does not irritate skin
  • Burns as opposed to melts like polyester

Disadvantages of Cotton

  • Expensive
  • Natural fibres wear down faster
  • Holds moisture longer (can be an advantage in hot weather)
  • Prone to shrinking


Polyester, being a synthetic fibre, is a less expensive option and has many benefits that cotton does not. It has strong fibres that do not wear down as quickly, while being flexible and resistant to wrinkles and shrinking.

Unlike cotton, polyester dries quickly which makes it perfect for colder weather and sports where you don’t want moist fabric against your skin.

Polyester is very popular among athletes for its moisture-wicking properties, strong fibres, and lightweight feel, as well as workers who wear and wash their clothes multiple times a week.

Advantages of Polyester

  • Strong
  • Flexible
  • Dries quickly
  • Resists wrinkles and shrinking
  • Inexpensive

Disadvantages of Polyester

  • Tends to stick to perspiring skin
  • Not as breathable
  • Temperature sensitive
  • Subject to dye migration

Cotton/Polyester Blend

Cotton/Polyester blends are the best of both worlds. Take the breathability and natural feel of cotton and mix it with the strong, flexible and more cost effective properties of polyester. No wonder a 65% cotton/35% polyester shirt is the most popular choice for high use work wear.

A nice 65/35 cotton/polyester garment will offer you great quality with the benefits of both cotton and polyester fabrics.

To discuss the best option for your business is fell free to email me on and we can go through your needs.