How Cotton Sweatshirts Compare To Other Fabrics

When deciding on what material to use in the sweatshirts that you sell in your store, there’s no shortage of materials from which to choose.

From natural fibers like cotton and linen, to synthetic materials like nylon and polyester, there are seemingly endless options. Cotton is one of the most popular, loved for its breathability, softness, and comfort.

Here is a look at the different sweatshirt materials available, and how they compare to cotton. 

How To Choose the Best Material Sweatshirts for Your Brand

When deciding what material of sweatshirts to sell in your store, such as crewneck sweatshirt bulk from Bella + Canvas, there are many factors to consider.

Some things to weigh include:

Target Market: What are your customers doing in their day-to-day lives, as they wear your garments? Do they need more of an athletic material? Or, is something more comfortable and breathable preferable for them?

Manufacturing Methods: The different methods used to make materials can significantly impact their feel and durability. For example, ring-spun and combed cotton are much softer and more durable than Carded Open End (COE) cotton. Take notice of the materials used, and aim for higher quality. With durable, comfortable garments, you and your customers won’t mind paying a bit more for clothes that will last. 

Customization: If you want to customize your hoodies with embroidery or printing, consider the results on different materials. Printing a design on a nylon hoodie may be very difficult, something you may want to avoid. However, cotton and cotton blends can be great for screen printing, direct-to-garment (DTG) printing, and embroidery. If you want a minimalist feel with sparse designs, you may be able to consider a wider range of materials.

Cotton Characteristics

Cotton is extremely lightweight, soft, breathable, and comfortable. Used to make everything from underwear to bed sheets, it’s also a favorite fabric for sweatshirts.

It moves with the body, making it ideal for lounging at home or being out and about wherever the day takes you.

While it’s lightweight, it’s also insulating, making it perfect for layering and staying warm in the winter months. However, its breathability also means it’s great for wearing in warmer seasons.

Plus, it’s the best fabric for printing. It is ideal for brands that want to use graphics and other designs to take their cotton sweatshirts to the next level.

Bottomline, cotton is a perfect fabric for sweatshirts.

Cotton vs. Linen

Like cotton, linen is a natural fiber, made from flax. And like cotton, it’s very lightweight yet durable. 

However, there are a few differences.

  • Linen is a bit better at moisture- wicking.
  • Cotton has a smoother feel than linen.
  • Linen fibers are hollow, meaning they’re not as good for insulating as cotton.
  • Linen sweatshirts are best for summer months and need to be heavily layered in the winter.
  • Cotton sweatshirts are suitable for year-round wear – good at insulating, yet are breathable at the same time.

Linen is a great, lightweight, breathable fabric. However, the fibers’ hollow nature limits its wearability to being more ideal for warmer months. If you’re searching for a great year-round material for sweatshirts to sell in your store, cotton is the better of the two.

Cotton vs. Nylon

Nylon is a very durable fiber. It’s made from synthetic plastics and can easily be molded into various shapes. As a material, nylon is a durable, elastic, and will wear extremely well over time.

However, as a synthetic fiber, it’s not at all breathable and will repel water. This means a hoodie made from pure nylon will be very hot and can quickly make the wearer sweat. It may be better used as part of a blend in an athletic style, but for an everyday sweatshirt, cotton is a much more breathable, comfortable material.

Cotton vs. Polyester

Polyester is another synthetic fiber, loved for its durable, shrink-resistant, anti-crease, and anti-shrinking properties. It’s also very soft and can be great for incorporating into sweatshirts. Polyester is often used to make fleece fabrics, which are desired for their coziness.

Compared to cotton, polyester will hold its shape much better. However, since it’s a synthetic fiber, it can easily make the wearer hot because it insulates heat.

The pros and cons of polyester makes it best as a fabric when used in combination with cotton. Together, cotton and polyester can make some of the most breathable, soft, and durable hoodies.

Cotton vs. Wool

Wool is a very insulating, cozy fabric. Merino wool is especially soft. Because wool fibers naturally scale or overlap, they have moisture-wicking properties that won’t cause bacteria buildup that can make fabric smell from sweat.

These characteristics make wool a great material for many cold-weather garments.

On the other hand, many people find wool itchy and challenging when it comes to fabric care. Wool can’t be thrown into the washing machine like a cotton sweatshirt. It must be hand-washed with a gentle laundry detergent and laid flat to dry. If not, the fabric can shrink, stretch, and wear out quickly.

Wool is also more expensive than cotton, meaning you (and your customers) will pay more per sweatshirt.

Wool garments are best for those who are ready to invest the time and care they require. Otherwise, cotton is a lower cost, low-maintenance material for sweatshirts.

Cotton and Cotton Blends are the Perfect Fabrics for Sweatshirts

When comparing cotton to different materials, it’s easy to see why cotton is often the favored material. It can be made into just about any shape. Its breathability, movability, and softness also makes it hard to beat.

What if you could make the best cotton even better? The answer – fabric blends. 

Specifically, cotton and polyester blends create the ideal combination of softness, insulation, breathability, and coziness. The cotton gives the fabric enough breathability, while the polyester adds structure and warmth.

Many fleece materials are made with a cotton-polyester blend, giving the fabric all the advantages of both fibers. When searching for cotton-polyester blends, look for those with a higher ratio of cotton than polyester. This will help ensure the fabric is still breathable, yet gives all the added elements for which polyester is loved.